If you’re planning to try out SUP yoga soon, here are some of the must-have gear that you might want to get before you start.
Practicing yoga on a hard floor feels uncomfortable and the same goes with practicing yoga on a paddle board. Therefore, a SUP yoga mat is an essential gear to avoid bruising your knees and ankles, making the experience more soothing which is the main goal of yoga.
When choosing a paddleboard for yoga, it’s best to choose the one that you like most. There is also an iSUP or inflatable standup paddleboard which offers the same cushioning effect as a yoga mat. Plus, it is lighter and more portable. Aside from that, you also need a wider deck for increased stability and better balance. Are you someone who loves yoga and stand up paddle boarding at the same time? If you are, then standup paddleboard (SUP) yoga might be perfect for you. It’s because it combines yoga and paddleboarding in one fun activity. It is a fun way to exercise while relaxing and calming the mind.
If you can breathe in and out while standing on one leg without falling, then you can definitely learn paddleboard yoga easily. If you’re interested to try SUP yoga out, we are going to help you get started.
The difference between SUP Yoga and Land Yoga
Stand up paddleboard yoga or SUP yoga requires more balance compared to land-based yoga practice. When we try to balance, our micro muscles become engaged to support the big muscles. Therefore, if you will be balancing on the water, these micro muscles will always be active. It is a kind of an invisible workout which is pretty impressive.
Another difference is the extra focus required for the constant state of balance. It’s because even just standing still on a stand-up paddleboard without doing any poses yet means telling your body to adjust. Thus, helping you to clear your mind by forcing you to become present with the task at hand which is to stay dry.
Lastly, doing a mindful practice in nature can boost endorphins. Doing yoga in a studio can create a calm and peaceful environment, but it will not match up to the serenity you can get from floating around on the water.
Different Paddleboard Yoga Poses for Beginners
Just like land-based yoga, there are many different poses you can do on a paddleboard. For beginners, here are some of the best poses you can try.
1. Downward-Facing Dog
This pose can help you stretch out the spine, shoulders, and legs. It is a very easy pose to balance on a SUP because you keep four points of contact on the board. From a table position, lift the hips, sending the tailbone back and up to the sky. Then, melt the shoulders down so they will be in line with your head. This pose is also a great core and arm strengthening exercise.
2. Upward-Facing Dog
This is the reverse pose of the downward-facing dog. Lie down and place your hands next to your ribs. Then push up and raise your torso. Since your quads will be engaged, your knees might lift off the ground as well.
3. Easy Seated Pose
To do this pose, simply cross your legs, straighten your back, and rest your hand on your knees gently as you take deep breaths.
4. One-Legged King Pigeon
This is a nourishing pose and a “hip opener” as well. It is ideal for a comfortable balance because it is low to the ground pose. From table position, bring one leg forward to rest the knee between your hands. Then, extend the other leg back. After that, take a seated position and push your chest forward.
5. Bridge Pose
To do the bridge pose, lie down on your back, keep your feet grounded, then bend your knees as you raise your hips. Make sure to keep your shoulders and arms on the ground.
6. Child’s Pose
To do the child’s pose, from a tabletop pose, move your feet to touch each other than bring your hips back to rest on your heels, leaving your hands stretched out in front of you.
This is a popular yoga position and you can also do it on SUP yoga. From the downward-facing dog pose, move your body forward to form a straight line from your head to your heels. Then keep your arms vertical under your shoulders.
8. Low Lunge
To do the low lunge pose, from the tabletop position, bring one foot forward slowly in between your hands. Then rest your hands on your knee or thigh. Or you can also raise them in the air. Alternate doing it with each foot.
9. Chair Pose
This is a bit challenging. Stand tall with your arms raised on the paddle board. Then lower your hips into a seated position. You can also hold your paddle in the air while balancing.
This is the last part of your SUP yoga. You simply lie on your back and make your body feel relaxed. Breathe a happy sigh of relief because you just finished your SUP yoga.
Must-Have Paddleboard Yoga Gear
SUP boards for yoga can be from 33 to 40-inch wide. The common size is from 10’6-inch long by 30-inch wide.
SUP Yoga Accessories
Some useful accessories for SUP yoga are anchor or rope attachments because you can use them to attach yourself to a buoy, depending on where you will do your SUP yoga. You can also attach your paddle alongside your deck to prevent it from floating away.
Paddleboard yoga is a unique kind of exercise with the combined benefits of yoga and an added element of fun.