SUP Yoga: Benefits, Poses and Tips


Table of contents

1. What is SUP yoga?
2. Benefits of SUP yoga.
3. 7 simple yoga poses.
4. What to wear?
5. Tips for SUP yoga.


Inflatable paddle board Yoga

With the rise of the SUP movement over the past two years, SUP yoga has become a trending water sport for yogis and those who already enjoy paddling. If you want to try SUP yoga too, come along and learn more about it.

launch paddle board

What is SUP yoga?

SUP Yoga, as the name implies, is the practice of modern yoga on a stand-up paddleboard, sometimes with specific transitions between poses, usually by placing the paddleboard in calm water, such as a lake. 

People have been practicing yoga for over 5000 years in search of sama, or balance in yoga terms. Most yoga lovers, or yogis, will test their balance on anything - from elevated objects to a slackline (YogaSlackers) and even on each other (AcroYoga). In 2009, someone somewhere along the line thought to combine the two disciplines, and that's how paddleboard yoga came about.

Benefits of SUP yoga

In addition to hanging out with friends or experiencing some quiet solitude on the water, SUP yoga has some amazing health benefits.

  • Strengthens new muscles. Combining both paddleboarding and SUP yoga can greatly improve your workout. That's because paddleboarding is a total body workout that works your legs, back, core, shoulders and arms. This means that doing yoga on a SUP can work muscles that you may have missed when practicing on land.
  • Greatly improves balance. The most important and fundamental requirement for doing yoga on a paddleboard is your body's ability to balance. Because many yoga poses require standing on one foot, this is when the entire body weight is supported by only one foot. When you can easily do yoga poses even on a paddle board, then back on land you will be a master of balance.
  • Relieves stress. While doing yoga poses in the water, you can relieve stress and return to calmness to a great extent by breathing in the fresh air of nature and listening to the sounds of nature.
  • Improve breathing techniques. Yoga is about smooth breathing, through yoga exercises can help improve breathing problems.
  • Increase flexibility. There are many kinds of yoga movements, but they are all stretching oriented. Doing yoga can make the body more flexible and supple.
stand on paddle board

7 simple yoga poses

  • Easy Seated Pose

Facing the front of the board, sit with your hips on the handle, let your hands rest gently on your knees, and then do deep belly breathing.

  • Downward-Facing Dog

Slowly send your hips up and back, straightening your legs. Gaze at the horizon behind you. Take a few breaths and use organic movements to get comfortable with the pose. Be sure to press down hard on your index fingers and thumbs to protect your wrists.

  • Cobra or Upward-Facing Dog

For the cobra, lie prone, place your abdomen on the handles and place your hands under your shoulders, pulling your elbows toward each other. Inhale and lift your head, shoulders and chest. For the Upward Facing Dog, place your hands further back, near the rib cage. Raise your torso while pressing your hands into the board. If possible, engage all four limbs to lift your knees off the plank.

  • Low Lunge Variations

Starting in downward dog, with your hips on the handles, bring your right foot forward and allow your hands to frame your foot. Before your hands go to your knees or thighs, look toward the horizon to get your balance. Then extend both arms to the sky or add a twist by placing your left palm on the board and lifting your right arm to the sky. Switch sides.

  • Wide Leg Standing Forward Fold

Starting from a low stance, place both hands on the inside of your front knees and walk to the bar (side of the board). As you rotate onto the ball mound of both feet, apply even pressure with your hands and lower your heels toward the opposite side of the bar. Hands and feet should be the same distance apart as you would be on land: hands under your shoulders, legs wider than your hips, and toes slightly turned in.

  • Modified or Half Camel

Kneel around the handle of the board and support your lower back with your hands before moving into camel pose. The instability of the water can be more challenging, so start with your toes tucked in, or explore a gentler kneeling backbend by placing one hand behind you, lifting your hips and sweeping your other arm over your head. Switch sides.

  • Bridge Pose

Starting from your back, place your sacrum on the handle, bend your knees and place the soles of your feet on the board so that your fingertips can brush your heels. Keep your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart. Raise your hips toward the sky and bind your arms underneath to find more height.

What to wear?

This is one of the most common questions people ask. In fact, as long as you wear it comfortably, you will be fine. Because, there will be a lot of moving, bending and stretching when doing yoga. It is generally recommended to wear dry, sweat-wicking yoga clothes that won't become heavy and drag you down when it's wet. 

Swimwear is not exactly recommended, unless you are attending SUP yoga classes in extremely warm climates, try wearing a comfortable sports bra and gym shorts. Also, if you exercise in the sun a lot, you can wear sun protection on the outside. Also, remember to bring sunscreen to protect your skin! As much as we love catching the sun, we can't afford to get sunburned. If you want to wear a hat, make sure there is a way to secure it to your board or make it fit snugly on your head.

Tips for SUP yoga

  • Before you do yoga, first, slow down. Go at half the speed you would on land. Pay attention to your mat. The handle of a paddleboard is usually the center of its balance, so try to stay centered on the handle at all times. Finally, don't shift your gaze too quickly, it's easy to lose your balance. You can keep your eyes on a fixed point on the landing for added stability.
  • Don’t wear wetsuits. Because wetsuits don't actually help you with SUP yoga. For one thing, a wetsuit only works properly when you stay wet. But during SUP yoga, it's impossible to stay wet all the time, even if you fall down. Therefore, wearing a dry wetsuit on a dry paddleboard surface can actually make you very hot. On the other hand, wetsuits are really bulky and inhibit your ability to move freely. This just goes against the basic requirements of yoga.
  • The best inflatable stand up paddle board. A factor to consider when picking a yoga paddle board is the stability of the board. Generally speaking, the wider the paddleboard the more stable it will be. I recommend the Goosehill Rainbow R inflatable SUP. This paddle board is designed for beginners and strives for stability, portability, as well as durability in a paddle board.

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