Robyn Dawson | 19th July 2019
Many of us choose to take up paddle boarding to find that sense of freedom and peacefulness that comes from being out on the water and exploring your surroundings. So, if you have access to a SUP and you like to have a good old stretch to de-stress then you should give paddle board yoga a try!
The craze of SUP yoga has been around for quite some time, yet in more recent years we have seen it grow in popularity. It’s an extremely inclusive activity that really anyone can enjoy – even if you are a complete novice to paddle boarding and yoga. It is a great way of improving your core strength while completely immersing yourself in nature and finding some truly serene surroundings to improve your practice.
That said, yoga on a SUP is not about challenging yourself to make it as hard as possible. It is about creating the space to look around and enjoy the environment you’re in.
“SUP Yoga allows you to naturally listen to your body and respond to the movements of the paddle board – so you become truly present in the moment.”
No matter if you are a seasoned yogi or are looking to give SUP yoga a go for the first time there are plenty of ways to integrate a few stretches and moves into your daily paddle.
With the help of Katie, from Flow Physio we have picked some poses and created a short video demonstrating a few easy paddle boardyoga moves to follow and try.
But before we get all Zen, let’s take a minute to talk through a few benefits of our Activ 10’8” yoga paddle board shown below. This special board has been designed specifically for water loving yogis and offers the stability and comfort required to improve balance and practice core stretches on a board whether that’s practising Yoga, Pilates or SUP fitness.
“While offering a wide and stable platform for performing yoga poses, the Activ is also a comfortable all rounder for general paddle use”
Cat Variations are a great way to start a SUP yoga session as they help you find a balance point on the board and in your body.
Place your hands nice and wide, and because you are on the water make sure you keep nice and even between all four limbs. Inhale as you roll your spine high into a nice cat stretch and as you exhale, roll your spine down looking up to the sky.
Then take a big breath, inhale to roll your spine again to repeat the movement.
The Down Dog position is a great way to start moving your body more freely on the paddle board. It creates length through your spine, allows you to find your breath, and connect with water.
You can gently move into a plank pose from here, just roll your spine all the way out and lengthen your body by tucking in your chin and lifting your heels.
And you can’t forget the Shavasana position, this has to be one of our favourites! Katie recommends always ending your yoga practice with some time in Shavansana if you can. There’s no better way to de-stress and relax than floating along as your hands dangle in the water.
It is important to mention here that Katie is using an anchor system to ensure she remains relatively stable from the moving tides and not worry about floating away. You can simply use an individual anchor (ideally approx. 10lbs), strong rope and clip using a karabiner to the front or back handles of the board.
There are plenty of handy YouTube demonstrations available for more guidance on how to use SUP yoga anchor system safely.
While we’ve only touched the surface with this SUP yoga sequence, it really is more about the experience, so just take your time and enjoy the water.