Did you ever avoid something because it WAS trending? SUP Yoga is hot right now. If you doubt the challenge or enjoyment of it, I challenge you to give it a try.
I’ve enjoyed Stand Up Paddleboards (“SUP”‘s) since 2007 when my husband and I bought two boards. What fun to be on the ocean, connecting to nature. I regularly go out on my 10 ‘ SUP, usually with a friend. I’ve even learned to surf with it, which makes catching small waves a tremendous thrill. Here in California, there are some great SUP designated surf spots.
With all there is to enjoy with Stand Up Paddleboarding (“SUP”) and my personal yoga practice to boot, I hadn’t gotten around to actually trying SUP yoga, until NOW. So I’m reporting in….. what a great way to mix up your ordinary asana practice, open your mind and body to something different, and enhance the yoga experience with all that water and the outdoors element offers.
Best of all, I was able to share my SUP Yoga experience with another young lady. Together, we had a good time experimenting with what yoga poses we could and couldn’t do. I loved having the water underneath me, constantly shifting my balance point. We even took an unplanned dip or two in the lake, which was a sure way to let go of expectations during practice (and add a good laugh, too).
Earth practice is so dependable; but with SUP Yoga, the water provides a shifting base, making one refreshingly uncertain. New ways to balance abound with SUP Yoga. The lovely and peaceful water element offers a profound relaxation experience (at least in certain conditions). Is there anything more relaxing than the sound of water lapping?
If I am to be honest about my first SUP Yoga experience, I need to come clean with the fact that I felt a little embarrassed. I’m used to doing my asana practice in private. There were moments when I was self-conscious and concerned that I was being scrutinized. That my young friend was open to joining me made me more comfortable. I imagine that group SUP Yoga classes also would help ease the awkward factor of doing yoga by yourself on the water.
I have a few more thoughts on this experience and how it might relate to teenagers. As one legged balancing is irresistable for teens to try on the ground, the challenge of balancing on a SUP on even two feet is enticing. Believe it or not, Mountain Pose (or Tadasana) pictured below, can be so difficult to balance. I was really squeezing into the mid-line here in the photo. Savasana on a SUP is brilliant for posture awareness across the shoulders and upper back. One can instruct the outer shoulders to touch the board and it’s an instant presto posture improvement. Prayer hands (or namaskarasana) comes particularly alive on the water, I discovered, too. My young friend agreed.
My guess is that the sensory stimulation of SUP Yoga would also be great for teenagers. It’s pretty hard to focus on anything other than balancing and feeling what you feel when you’re doing SUP Yoga!