Yoga is a great way to build strength, awareness and harmony of your body and mind. There are various kinds of yoga practices. Some people have been hesitant about starting doing yoga because they think it’s a little boring. So why you should try SUP yoga? SUP yoga is a new and unconventional way to do yoga which could make it more interesting and challenging. And even regular yogis could have a hard time starting doing yoga on a SUP. So if you want to give it a try, here are some SUP yoga beginner tips you should know.
Take time to build strong SUP skills
There are two possibilities: either you're a complete beginner to the SUP world and you are particularly interested in SUP yoga or you've been SUPing for a while and now want to take on a new challenge, SUP yoga. In either case, you want to get well acquainted with your board before you begin doing anything other than standing upon it. Get to know your board, find its center, get a feel of how it responds to different movements. Once you are confident and comfortable with stand up paddle boarding, you are ready to start yoga on your board. Also, you need to find a suitable Yoga SUP if you don’t own one. A good yoga SUP should be able to provide a high level of stability to keep you steady when doing yoga on it.
Complement your SUP yoga with core workouts
SUP yoga is slightly more demanding on the core than normal yoga, so the faster you can get your core strength in tip-top shape, the faster you can start experimenting with more complex SUP yoga poses. If you already practice regular yoga, you can easily integrate more core engaging poses in your practice. Navasana (boat pose) and variations of the plank pose are fantastic core yoga poses. Alternatively, you can do core workouts at the gym or at home by putting together core exercises.
Be mentally prepared
SUP yoga will be a new challenge for you and it might be a little intimidating at first. But, always have faith in yourself that you can do it, it will just take you some time. So be prepared to give yourself time to work on the basics and ground your practice. Always remember that breathing is the anchor of your practice, so start there by focusing on your breath in each movement and let the improvements come naturally with time. Take yourself to a relaxed mental state and find ways to address the fears you may have about yoga on the water. This will help you be mentally present and fully benefit from your SUP yoga sessions.
Slow and steady
Don't be in a hurry to get the crow's pose or handstand on your first few days of SUP yoga practice, but know that you will gradually build the strength to do those. In fact, slow and steady practice is better for your muscles as they get ample time to adapt to the new demands and that is key to sustainable improvement. Slowly increasing the complexity of your routine gives you more time to build your practice foundation which paves way for better outcomes when you want to take on more complex poses.
Join a community of Yoga SUPers
For the first few times, you might want to be around other SUP yogis. Having a community of yogis with different experience levels with SUP yoga is fantastic. Not only do you get to build your confidence as you learn from their experiences as they give you tips on how to navigate, but you also get to experience the thrill of being part of a SUP yoga community. You can also get creative practice ideas as you may not necessarily know how to construct sequences for yoga on the water.
Other than SUP yoga, a regular SUP paddling session is also a good way to exercise your body and relax your mind. Why is paddle boarding a good workout? It can activate and exercise different muscle groups including your abdominal muscle, your biceps, legs, etc. So it's recommended that you try paddleboarding as well other than simply doing yoga on the SUP.
A suitable SUP board should be able to serve you well for both doing yoga and paddling. If you are new to SUP, check out Goosehill for a high-quality Yoga board.