Last year I completed a Stand-Up Paddleboard (SUP) Yoga Teacher Training Course with Flow mOcean in Manly. They specialise in SUP and kayak Yoga.
For me this bought together two things I love doing: being on the water and Yoga.
I find it calming being out on the Lake with very few people around, breathing in the freshness and feeling the sun as I do my Yoga practice.
One thing that gets a work out on the SUP is your centre. Nothing quite works the core like trying to balance on a SUP board.
My favourite posture is Shavasana, where you lay on the board and allow your hands and feet to dangle into the water floating wherever the water wants to take you.
There are a couple of rules to keep in mind
- HAVE FUN
- If you don’t fall in, you’re not doing it right
You could essentially do Yoga on any SUP board. However, the larger the board, the more stable it is. You would aim for a 10 to 11 foot board at least 32 inches wide (yes - board measurements are old school).
The grip on the board is important. Some boards only have the grip in the middle. It needs to be a big enough grip that you can have hands and feet on the grip in a plank (for example). Otherwise it can get very slippery.
When doing Yoga on the board you’ll need to stow your paddle. You can either tie it to your strap or let it float behind you or place it in the middle of the board when you do your practice (this can get a little fiddly).
The calmer the water, the easier it’s going to be. When starting off, aim for a Lake or body of water where there aren’t a lot of waves.
You need to ensure you paddle out to a depth of your chest before you begin your Yoga practice in case you fall in.
You’ll have to keep an eye on the current and gauge where your board is going to move, or you could attach it to a buoy or rigging (if you have access to this) to prevent the board from floating with the current.
Reading wind conditions takes a bit of getting used to. There are apps such as Seabreeze which can help. Seabreeze shows you the wave height and wind conditions for the day. This particular app colour codes the arrows. It rates the arrows in Red, Yellow and Green. Green conditions are suitable for SUPing.
Remember to assess the wind conditions for the whole time you’ll be out on the water. Not just when you start out. Weather conditions can change very quickly.
If you are unsure it’s best to ask an expert in your area.
Why not look out for a class in your local area. They’ll show you how to use the board and safety tips through the practice.
Most of all ENJOY!