Stand Up Paddleboard Yoga, or SUP yoga, is growing as a challenging new practice all around the U.S. and the world.
At YOLO Board, YOLO YOGA® is one of the most popular and fastest growing segments of our market. Yoga on sup boards impacts your body and mind for the better. The advantages are numerous and include fitness, mindfulness, improved balance, communicating with the outdoors, and most importantly, meeting other people who share your passion.
Yoga Stand Up Paddleboarding is quickly becoming a favorite activity all over the globe. Some may think it looks difficult, or even ridiculous, but in reality, it is easier than you would expect. Before trying stand up paddling and yoga combined, first be sure you are comfortable on a stand up paddle board. Basic paddling lessons through a local instructor are always helpful.
We want to give you the scoop on exactly why Yoga is better on a SUP board. It takes no stretch of the imagination to understand the many perks of practicing yoga on a stand up paddleboard.
6 REASONS TO TRY STAND UP PADDLEBOARD YOGA
Of course we all know the benefits of staying fit. Fitness is important to our lives in so many ways, and promotes longevity, vitality and mental well-being, just to name a few positives. SUP Yoga is an extremely valuable form of exercising that helps your overall personal fitness improve. Whether it be an occasional addition to your workout routine, or a more consistent practice, it is a fun and low-impact way to get outdoors and get your body moving.
Typically with yoga, breathing and focus are used, along with the muscles of the body, to steady yourself in yoga poses. You use most of those same skills and muscles when you’re stand up paddling. SUP boarding alone provides terrific core strengthening, and throwing yoga poses into the mix adds a greater physical challenge. Not only does it boost the core workout, it amps up the activity in your quadriceps, shoulders, arms, and knees. This is due to the muscle modifications required when creating yoga poses while balancing on the water. Practicing stand up paddle board yoga is a great way to have fun and to keep your body healthy.
Mindfulness is the psychological process of bringing one's attention to experiences occurring in the present moment, which can be developed through the practice of meditation and other training. Mindfulness is something anyone can practice and participate in. There are no barriers or imperative training. It is about conscientiously working on being intensely aware of your surroundings, and remaining present in what you are doing.
Being intensely aware of everything you are doing while performing yoga on a stand up paddle board forces you to be present. Being mindful of your body, your surroundings, and the movement of the water are all part of enhancing your experience. Holding poses, pushing your limits and trying new positions, are all actions that take your full attention.
When we practice mindfulness, the worries of the day are effectively pushed aside and forgotten. You are giving your mind a full and complete break for 30 minutes to an hour, or however long your session lasts. Future stressful situations become easier to handle, or are mitigated as a result of the break and respite you’ve allowed. Some even believe that training in mindfulness exercises is so powerful it can bring lasting happiness to ourselves and others.
EXPERIENCE THE OUTDOORS
Many yogis have only taken classes inside of a studio. While there are hot yoga classes and other variations that take place indoors, none of them offer the unique exhilaration you get when spending time outdoors, in the fresh air.
SUP yoga not only gets you to a vantage point outside of the 4 walls, it also puts you on the water. It’s a double treat! Maybe it’s the sound of chirping birds, or the lapping of gentle waves, that rejuvenates. Or, maybe it’s just the undeniable influence of being outside in the sunshine, under a blue sky, breathing fresh air, that is so invigorating.
Researchers have found that exercising outdoors, “was associated with greater feelings of revitalization, increased energy and positive engagement, together with decreases in tension, confusion, anger and depression. Participants also reported greater enjoyment and satisfaction with outdoor activity”, according to ACE. There is just something about exercising in nature that brings the experience to a whole new level.
Thanks to stand up paddleboarding, there is now a platform to take your yoga practice out on the water. And if you get hot and sweaty, you can always take a dip and cool off! Everyone could use a change of scenery every now and then. What better way to get a refreshing location change than combining your love of yoga with the great outdoors?
Paying attention to every breath and body movement, every placement of a foot, leg, or arm, is the key to keeping balance. Practicing yoga on a sup board slows down your pace, requiring more intense focus on executing and holding your poses.
In typical yoga classes, you often rush through the movements, since many students have perfected them. The slower pace of yoga on a paddle board will change your routine. It forces you to balance on the paddleboard while performing the yoga moves. Balance, control, and execution are all more challenging on the paddleboard, which is why so many yogis love the sport of SUP yoga.
It can bring your practice to new levels, and work muscles that you might not otherwise work in a traditional, land-based class. Taking these moves to the board enhances body awareness. It’s much more challenging to perform a downward dog or warrior pose when your yoga mat is actually a paddleboard. The same muscles are used, but in a different way. For those that perform the more difficult poses, like arm balances, might be humbled when they try to perform them on a SUP board. But, hey, who doesn’t like a new challenge?
You do not have to be pro to participate SUP yoga. One of the great things about all types of yoga, is that it’s never a competition. No one is judging you. While it can be done in groups, it’s really an individual experience where you are working to improve upon your own prior experiences.
Paddle board yoga is your time on the water to treat yourself to a rare moment of peace and serenity. Any of the moves can be modified to suit your own level of expertise. Experienced yogis know how to make the poses more challenging, and those new to the sport just need to listen to their bodies and not push themselves too far.
Because you can practice at any level, paddleboard yoga brings all types of people together on the water. It forms a community of like-minded people living life to the fullest. Stand up paddleboard yoga is so popular because you are participating in something that is collectively enjoyable.
Classes are popping up all over our oceans, lakes, and rivers. Even large public pools and gyms are offering these fun sessions. Another cool thing about stand up paddleboard yoga is the fact that the whole family can join in! Consider bringing your kids, or significant other, and enjoy something new and exciting on your favorite waterway with your favorite people.
A CHANGE IN YOUR ROUTINE
Our bodies become accustomed to our workout routines, and in some cases you can even “plateau” in your workout. Plateaus happen when the body begins to adjust to the demands your exercise routine requires of it. In order to keep your physical fitness moving in a forward direction, you have to change up your routine.
Even if you are currently practicing traditional yoga, SUP yoga will keep your practice fresh and more challenging. The same poses that you perform in a yoga studio will be not be as easy on a paddleboard. Water movement, wind resistance, and other unpredictable outdoor factors create a new landscape for you to navigate. No practice will ever be the same. Conditions are always changing on the water.
If you like your yoga hot, practicing outdoors in the summer heat will create the same sweat. Plus, instead of leaving pools of sweat on your mat, you can cool down with an unlimited supply of water just beneath you.
SUP yoga classes vary with the instructors, but just like a traditional yoga session, every class ends with several spectacular minutes in savasana. There’s nothing like finishing a rigorous workout lying on your back with your eyes closed, the warmth of the sun on your face, and the water pleasantly rocking you about.
The sensation of relaxing after a hard workout, along with the satisfaction of completing an exciting new sport, is unforgettable to say the least. It may even become one of your favorite new activities. Bring a friend and try out stand up paddle yoga. We promise you will have a great time and you will leave with a glowing feeling of accomplishment.
YOGA WITH YOLO
At YOLO Board® we strive to build community, encourage discovery and foster well-being. SUP yoga, or as we like to call it, YOLO YOGA®, is an excellent example of a sport that encompasses all of our core values. We hope you get a chance to experience this amazing activity. Check online for stand up paddle board yoga classes near you, as the classes are growing in number and getting more popular every day.