Table of Contents
1. What is SUP Yoga
2. Benefits of SUP Yoga
3. Tips for SUP Yoga
4. Best Paddle Boards for SUP Yoga
If you’ve got access to a paddle and would like to have a perfect stretch to de-stress, you should combine paddleboarding with yoga. Paddle board yoga is the ultimate yoga experience. We’ve witnessed it grow in popularity in more recent years.
In fact, doing yoga on a paddle board is not as hard as it looks and it even offers opportunities that a land-based practice doesn’t. Just imagine yourself doing yoga on a mat that is floating like a magic carpet. The meditating calm of the water and the tranquillity of nature all around you can bring you to the pinnacle of your transcendent yoga journey. Before you start, though, you need to understand as much as possible about SUP yoga so that you can enter a dynamic new phase of fitness.
What is SUP Yoga
Just as its name implies, stand-up paddle board yoga is a combination of paddleboarding and yoga in one. Essentially, it is practicing yoga on a stand up paddle board in the middle of a body of water. SUP yoga is best practiced on calm bodies of water like lakes, bays or harbors.
SUP yoga is designed to challenge your strength and balance as you float across the water. It has gained popularity as an effective way for people who are recovering from injuries or people who are looking for a new way to exercise.
Benefits of SUP Yoga
- Improves balance: Both stand up paddle boarding and yoga are known for improving balance. SUP yoga helps you develop your core strength by challenging your body to a new level, forcing it to work extra harder to help you maintain your balance. If you work at SUP yoga consistently, you’re going to see incredible strides in your balance!
- Reduce stress: The link between yoga and stress reduction is clear. Having masses of water beneath you while switching yoga moves helps you to destress and find deep-rooted peace. In addition, being outdoors is proven to help reduce stress -- just looking at views of the ocean or a mountain lake can ease your worries!
- Engages new muscles: Practicing yoga on a paddle board will challenge all of your muscles. As it is a completely new form of cross training, this action will cause you to work muscles you didn't know you had. SUP yoga forces you to stabilize multiple muscle groups at one time in order to keep you balanced.
- Refine your land yoga skills: If yoga is something that you enjoy and you want to continue to improve your techniques, you should definitely take it to the water. After you have mastered some yoga moves on a paddle board, even the most advanced yoga moves on dry land may seem far less challenging. SUP yoga will improve your land practice and and refine all your techniques.
Tips for SUP Yoga
- Check the Weather and find calm waters: it’s important to check the weather for wind conditions and any incoming bad weather. Heavy winds make the water choppy and much more difficult to balance on your paddle board. Don’t forget to find a calm body of water when you're first beginning SUP Yoga, which is easy to access with your paddle board. The calmer the waters are, the better your focus can be on your moves and your practice.
- Get away from the crowds: Once you’ve found relatively calm waters for your SUP yoga practice, make sure you scope out a location that isn’t crowded. Boats, kayakers, and other paddle boarders can not only serve as a distraction, but they can also make your SUP yoga experience less safe.
- Find your center: Take some time to find the center of the board before you begin, as it’s the easiest place to keep your balance and ensure that the board stays as steady as possible. Usually the handle of the paddle board is the center point.
- Start slow: If you’ve done yoga on land but never on a SUP, don’t bite off more than you can chew. Start with the most basic poses and move through your poses a tad more slowly than you’re used to. When practicing yoga on a paddle board, it is critical to slow down, hold the poses and utilize your breath to keep you focused.
- Take your time: Taking time to relax is benefit for your mental and physical health, there is something about floating that makes dropping into relaxation easy. As you begin your SUP yoga practice, enjoy the experience and don’t rush. Rushing will only cause you to fall in or potentially get hurt. Listen to your body and take your time as you adjust to this new experience!
Best Paddle Boards for SUP Yoga
The most important things with SUP Yoga boards are width and volume, which equate to stability. Depending on your level of Yoga skill board choice should mainly be determined by these factors. Although wider paddle boards are great, especially for advanced yoga poses, they can be slow. So you may need to find a balance between stability and speed.
A typical yoga paddle board would be 34 inches wide and 10 feet, six inches long, with a nose and tail that are wide and rounded. Some boards are designed for yoga, and come with a deck pad already fitted. If not, buy one before you set out. This pad has a non-slip surface, which can prevent you from slipping while practicing yoga.
While some brands manufacture yoga-specific SUPs, the truth is most all-around boards will work fine for practicing yoga, like Goosehill’s sailor SUP board . The paddle itself, as long as it’s sized to suit you, doesn’t need to be anything special.