SUP Yoga: The Need-to-Know

Here is a Short Article I wrote a few months back. I thought I would repost it as I have another article coming up very soon. :)

SUP Yoga: The Need-to-Know

The Need-to-Know for taking your Yoga practice out on the water...

What is SUP Yoga?  SUP Yoga is short for Standup Paddleboard Yoga.  It is a combination of the sport of standup paddleboarding (SUP) with the practise of yoga. When it comes to SUP, it’s all about the core. The integration of yoga postures on the board helps to challenge one’s balance while building both strength and flexibility throughout the entire body. SUP Yoga can also be deeply relaxing and most of all, it's fun! 

Here are a few things that you will need to know before trying Yoga on your SUP...

Choosing the proper board. For SUP Yoga your board should be between 10’6’’ and 12’ long and greater than 30’’ wide. The wider the board, the more stable it is. It is also important to select a board that has a large deck pad (the bumpy non-skip part) that covers at least 2/3 of the board. This will act as your mat and keep you from slipping off of the wet surface.  Some boards are even designed specifically for SUP Yoga and have options like a full deck pad or extra width.  A helpful addition to any board being used for SUP Yoga is a bungee cord across the front for storage.

You will also need: For SUP Yoga as with all types of SUP, you will need a Personal Flotation Devise (PFD) or Life Jacket with you at all times. This can be worn while paddling out to your desired practise location and then placed underneath the bungee cord for storage once you are securely anchored. Which brings me to our second necessity, an Anchor, or some way of safely securing your board in one place while you are practising Yoga. The last thing you want is to wake up from your blissful, floating savasana to find you have drifted far away from where you began. You will also need a way to securely store your paddle while you stretch. This can be underneath your bungee cord with the PFD or even velcroed to a leash and tossed off to the side.  

A few more tips: Always check the weather for any storm warnings or wind shifts before heading out for a paddle. Make sure that someone knows you are going out and when to expect you back. Know the approximate depth of the water where you will be anchoring and bring enough anchor line to reach the bottom. Be familiar with the local area, boat channels, and boat traffic. 

Enjoy the challenge! Once you are ready to begin, find a comfortable seat in the center of the board and take several deep breaths. Balance in our Yoga practise comines from the centerline of the body. Balance in our SUP Yoga practise comes from the centerline of the body staying over the centerline of the board.  Use the carry handle of the board as your guide for body placement. 

If you are new to the sport of Standup Paddle or to the practice of Yoga, I highly recommend that you take a SUP Yoga class your first few times. An experienced teacher can help you immensely in the beginning of your journey and answer many of the questions you may have. Remember most of all to Have Fun!

"Breathe and Smile"