6 SUP Yoga Tips

Woman practicing SUP yoga, on a paddleboard in the Caribbean

Good news! If you’re familiar with yoga, you’ll easily pick up on stand up paddle board yoga. Obviously the new challenge is balancing on a board in moving water. But hey, we believe in you.

The summer months are officially here so there’s no better time to explore your inner-yogi. Paddleboard yoga involves the same asana sequences and positions, but with a bonus zen factor. After all, there’s nothing better than the sounds and sights on the water. The main difference is swapping solid ground for water, but focus and balance can be achieved through proper breathing. We want to help you get started on your summer relaxation, so here’s a few stand up paddle board yoga tips to remember next time you’re on the water.

  • Prepare Your Muscles– This is a core workout through and through. Refresh your ab and core strength prior to stand up paddle board yoga, and don’t forget meditation and breathing exercises.

Some workouts to try: Crunches, Russian Twists, Mountain Climbers

  • Find Your Center– The center of the board, that is. That black handle on your iRocker serves more than one purpose. The handle is a great indicator for the center of the board, and should be where you center yourself for most poses. For standing poses, like Warrior I and II, maintain a firm stance and keep your legs actively engaged to remain balanced. If you’re feeling wobbly, use a narrower stance than you would on the ground.
  • Don’t Rush– If you’re used to moving quickly through poses, leave your ego on the sand. When you hurry through positions like you would in a vinyasa class, you’ll be in the water before you can say “Ohmmmm.” Take time to find your center and gain balance, and use mindfulness with every movement.

If you’ve practiced yoga for awhile, the water will open your eyes to a new peace and different muscle stabilizers. Don’t worry, stand up paddle board yoga is for newbies, too! If you can stand on one foot you can use a paddle board. If you can breathe, you can do yoga.

  • Get Connected– Don’t look at stand up paddle board yoga as a new struggle, but as a new way to connect with your mind, spirit, body and presence. But don’t forget to look around! Connect with nature, animals, other people on the water. If there are dolphins jumping (lucky you!), pay attention to the ease of their movements. If there are waves hitting rocks or the sand, synchronize your movements with the water’s rhythm. Wave to boaters or other paddleboarders, even if they’re throwing off your zen. Finding peace in the presence of disruption is what this thing’s all about.
  • Get Low– When you practice poses that keep you low to your board (like Crow and Bow pose), it’s much easier to balance than when you try the “beginner” poses from a typical class.

To make Warrior I and II easier, start in a kneeling position with your back knee down first. Then, mindfully and slowly, plant the back foot and straighten the back knee.

  • Be a Beginner– Just another ego-check. Don’t let your frustrations take control when you don’t rock your poses at first. Yoga on a stand up paddle board is a totally different experience than yoga on land, it’s like learning a new sport. Resist the urge to compare or compete and instead, engulf yourself in the excitement of learning a new skill.

Get back to basics. Engage your muscles, focus on your gaze and breathing. Be fully present in your movements opposed to mentally checking out.

Take the opportunity to completely unplug from the stresses of the day and the fast-paced lifestyle you’re accustomed to. Let the waves be your music and the sun be your clock. When you practice yoga in the water, you’re surrounded by the most peaceful creation. Namaste.

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