• SUP Yoga: Connecting with Self on A Paddle Board

    SUP yoga is a beautiful blend of devotion and meditation. It takes poses from traditional yoga and puts them into a tranquil setting that will calm your mind.

    SUP yoga is a low-intensity, full-body workout that takes you away from distractions. There’s nothing calmer than being out on the water on a board. Doing yoga on a paddle board adds an extra element of challenge to your practice and gives you an opportunity to connect with nature and calm your mind.

    Here’s what you need to get start SUP Yoga:

    1. Flat Paddle Board
    2. Fishing Anchor
    3. Life Jackets
    4. Leash
    5. Waterproof Vest (PFDs)

    Flat Paddle Board

    An inflatable board is preferred for advancing your skill levels on a paddleboard. Choose a board size of more than 35 inches perfect for placing your body. A board with a mount for attaching a camera is perfect for recording all your sessions.

    The length and width of the board matter a lot to practice all types of yogic exercises. A board with a soft surface should be preferred so that you don’t tend to harm your knees and elbows.

    Fishing Anchor

    You will never prefer the idea of moving boards while you are concentrating on practicing yogic positions. An anchor will come in handy in such a situation, just attach it to the board so that it remains tied at one place and prove to be helpful when you want to fix the position of your board and focus on your practice sessions.

    Life Jackets

    A bit out of trend but is the most important gear inside water. You may try your hand at a complex set of exercises which may lead you to face a splash inside the water. Life jackets will be the savior in such a situation but better ace your swimming lessons because it is not wise to risk your life while you are enhancing your skill sets inside water.

    Leash

    Prefer a board with a leash so that when you might fall, your board takes you along. Attach it carefully to the board and while you immerse yourself in the vicinity of natural beauty over the crystal-clear water, a leash acts as a precautionary measure.

    Waterproof Vest (PFDs)

    Prevention is better than cure and you don’t know when your board tends to lose grip and let you face the splash. A waterproof costume that soaks all the water if you face a fall and let you begin your sessions from the same point where you stopped.

    It’s good to be fashionable but with it following safety measures won’t cost much. Spend on high-quality vests which are a boon for acing water skills.

    Handy Tips to Get You Started

    ● A calm and composed spot where you can relinquish to the tranquillity of natural surroundings is a perfect place to get started. A body of water covered with dense trees would be an added advantage in case you want to save your skin from the wrath of intense rays of the sun.

    ● It is never good to start fast even if you are a pro. Practicing on land and in water comes with huge differences. You might go at a fast pace on land but in water and especially on board never increase your pace because moving slowly also helps you to have a pleasant time.

    ● Find a comfort level with your board because until you ace that comfort level you will tend to lose the grip and fall again and again and it will also affect your pace and you will never experience the full the benefit of SUP yoga.

    ● It’s great to be a soloist, but when you are a newbie, it’s not bad to have an expert guiding you. The yogic experts know how to deal with the challenges of practicing on board and if you take help from the expert in initial sessions you might become an expert in the future as well.

    Health Benefits

    The challenges associated with SUP yoga offer added health benefits. It takes hard work and patience to ace this skill. SUP yoga has a calming effect on mental health and also acts as a stress buster.

    Being away from noises and disturbances instills positive energy in your mind. The balancing technique on the board engages your core and promotes flexibility, concentration, and overall health.

    Your breath is important and yoga is beneficial for improving breathing and circulation. I’ve found SUP to be a life-changing experience.

    Five Handy Points for Beginners

    1. Turn off your mobile phones before getting on the board. Don’t keep it at home because you might need it for emergency situations. Keep it on silent mode or fix it on the mount for capturing some good shots so you can relish the experience later on.

    Don’t move back and forth between your phone and practice sessions. Focus on what you have really decided to practice. You can look at your phone later.

    2. Use sunscreen. The rays of the sun can get pretty intense, especially when you’re on the water. You don’t want to burn out there.

    3. While you might plan your sessions on an empty stomach but that’s not a good idea. It might give you nausea but don’t overload yourself with heavy meals either. Take light meals and plenty of water. You can even keep water bottles inside a SUP cooler attached to your board.

    It’s mandatory to hydrate yourself from time to time. Being under the sun for a maximum amount of time makes your body starve for energy and water or glucose water should be on your list.

    4. It is not advisable to practice every yoga pose on the board. Take into consideration the amount of space you have on your board before you plan a yoga sequence to try.

    Don’t put one leg or hand inside water while keeping the other one on the board. All your body will be fixed on the board, so don’t practice exercises that don’t allow your body to remain fixed on the board.

    Here are some poses you can do on a board:

    A. Seated prayer pose (Relaxes the mind, improves circulation, and strengthens the spine)
    B. Plank yoga pose (Strengthens core, heightens metabolism, and reduces back pain)
    C. Downward facing dog pose (Calms brain, strengthens shoulders, arms, and legs; energizes the body)
    D. Child pose (Releases tensions in back, shoulders, chest; strengthens muscles and tendons)
    E. Crescent lunge (strengthens legs, hips, thighs; opens the front body and balances the body)

    5. Practice makes perfect. Before trying your hand at this fantastic activity on the water practice on your board on land. You can take Youtube classes if you are a newcomer or find a teacher. Once you get a hang of it on land you’ll be ready to get in the water.

    This trendy water workout is not only for fitness enthusiasts and surfers. Anyone who wants to give it a try can.

    Conclusion

    Now that you know how to get started you’re ready to experience the calming power of SUP yoga. It is a beautiful blend of devotion, meditation, and expression of power and energy. SUP yoga takes the sequences and positions from traditional yoga and puts them into a different setting. So grab your board, throw your hair in a bun, and just breathe!

    By Kenneth Driscoll

    Kenneth Driscoll is an expert paddleboarding enthusiast and a yoga lover. He loves to find locations for his adventures, and meet new people who have similar passions. He has been working with various outdoor activities and yoga publications online and offline, providing them quality and meticulous content catering to the range of informative articles. He is a fun-loving and ambitious person who likes to grab every opportunity to have an adventurous experience. Currently, he is working in inflatable paddleboard blogs and online publications.

    Photo by Daniel Frank on Unsplash.

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