Stand Up Paddle Board Yoga also referred to SUP Yoga is a variation that takes yoga from the traditional yoga mat to the outdoors. A wide thick board is utilized and there is a traction or deck pad that helps with stability.
What are the benefits and skill level required?
SUP Yoga provides all the benefits of SUP and yoga combined. SUP Yoga increases stability, flexibility, and core strength. Doing a yoga posture on a stand up paddleboard increases awareness of weight transfer.
For example, when performing Downward-Facing Dog on land, an individual grounds themselves into their mat with their hands and feet, while focusing on the breath, gaze, and proper alignment. When doing the same posture on a stand up paddle board, an individual will suddenly notice if they are exerting too much force through one side of the body more than the other.
SUP Yoga can enhance an individual’s yoga practice, because unlike a mat, the board responds to the movement of the yoga practitioner. Bringing your yoga practice to the outdoors can rejuvenate the mind and soul.
Whether you have practiced yoga for years, or are new to yoga, SUP Yoga is for all ages, and all levels. The only prerequisite is knowing how to swim…that is if your class is on water.
What to wear and where to find classes?
While the obvious choice might be the bathing suit, it depends entirely on the location and season of the yoga class you choose to attend. Stand Up Paddle Yoga has been sweeping across the globe the last couple of years, and can be practiced all year round.
There are now even land yoga board classes that simulate yoga on the water for those who want to give Stand Up Paddle Yoga ago but might want to leave the water aspect behind. Indoboard created an Indo Yoga Board for such yoga board practitioners.
SUP Yoga classes can be offered on rivers, lakes, indoor & outdoor pools, and on the ocean, but there may be some limitations dependent on the weather. To find a class near you, use NamasteSUP, a free global stand up paddle yoga community.
If you find yourself attending a class outdoors on water, I highly suggest layering so that you can enjoy the experience whatever the environment. Capris are usually a great go-to, offering great coverage and when you need to cast off the shore or dock onto your board, you won’t need to worry about getting the bottom of your pants getting wet.