I get asked all the time, why do you do yoga on a paddle board?
I am writing this article to share some of the key benefits of this blissful new fusion fitness sport.
You see, back in 2009, when I first started this, no one was doing it.
I posted the first sup yoga video ever recorded, on my youtube channel, and it was seen by a few hundred thousand people. Before long, the trend took off, and now people are doing this all over the world.
I have friends in Brazil, Europe, Asia, Caribbean, and many water front locations in USA who actively and regularly practice paddle board yoga aka sup yoga or yoga boarding.
You may want to know, what is the real intention? Why is everyone getting into it?
Here is my list of top five benefits for practicing yoga boarding:
1. It’s amazing for your health. Yoga is already known to be really good for your health. It reduces stress, strengthens, tones, and stretches your body and makes you feel amazing. It can transform your life. When you combine the yoga practice, with the natural elements of sunshine, water and fresh air, you get the added benefits that nature always provides. If you’re a nature lover, this is definitely for you!
2. Advanced core strength on an unstable platform. When you take the practice of yoga out on a paddle board, you increase the challenge. You no longer have the grounded stillness of the earth to root down into, so you are forced to recruit your core stabilizer muscles. With that, you get a more challenging workout. The technique is a bit different then traditional yoga, and we have certain poses and sequences that flow better than others. But for the most part, you can do many of the same poses on a yoga board, and it just forces you to step up your game and get better, improve and advance your balance skills and tap into the root that is at the core of the earth, much farther below. Not to mention, you have to paddle in and out, and that in itself is a great core workout.
3. Learn to appreciate nature in a new way and break through any fears you have of deep water. I love to stand on a yoga board or be in a pose and look into the water to see fish, dolphins, whales or other sea life living beneath me. It is so awesome and exciting! I am a water lover from birth, so that helps. If you have a fear of ocean, water or sea life, this can also help you to break through your fears. You are safe, and they are below you doing their thing, and you have the protection of the board to keep you afloat. And when you are in many of the poses, you are looking at the blue sky! It is very uplifting to see the sky and birds above you, but it’s better than beach yoga because you don’t end up covered in sand 🙂
4. It’s a great way to bond! I love to practice yoga boarding with my friends. It’s awesome alone, but even more magical when shared. I teach it, and they always love the experience. I took two friends from LA out on the water recently when they were visiting here in South Beach, and they said it felt like savasana the whole time. Just being on the water with the sunshine is so blissful and relaxing. For the best paddle board experience, practice if the water is calm. If there are waves, I don’t suggest beginners to go out.
5. Anyone can do it! I have taught everyone from toddlers to people over 70 to do yoga on the board. This is the amazing part about it. Unlike other board sports, it doesn’t really take much technical skill. With time and practice, you will get stronger and better to be able to do more advanced poses. If you can do a yoga pose on land, for the most part, you can eventually learn to do that on the board. It takes you out on the water, but requires much less equipment and training than other board sports. Unlike Kite boarding or kayaking, which require more equipment or are big and bulky, a yoga board is actually not to heavy and is relatively easy to transport.
Now we are developing a travel yoga board, which will be much lighter in weight and easy to transport. I’m really excited about that since it will make this even more accessible to people around the world to experience these amazing benefits.
If you want to see more videos, or pics, feel free to check out my youtube channel where I have some of our most recent and some of the first ever recorded videos of yoga boarding. And for more pics, check out my web page here to learn more: Sup-yoga.com
I am leading more yoga boarding retreats and teacher trainings this year, so I hope you can join us somewhere in paradise and experience this for yourself and with your friends. It is one of those experiences that you will never forget!