Maybe you've heard the term SUP Yoga and thought what the?!
Upon closer inspection you think this is an activity reserved only for the fit, bikini-clad among us?
How could it not be?
Standing up on a paddleboard in the middle of the ocean is one thing though getting my downward dog on at the same time?
I don't think so.
Let's start there and break down this crazy sounding acronym activity right now....
SUP = stand up paddleboarding
Yoga = awesome mind, body, spirit practice
SUP Yoga = an awesome mind, body, spirit practice on a board, in idyllic locations
Not bad right?
image : http://yogabodyrio.com/news/photos-sup-yoga-retreat/
How on Earth do you stay upright?
Whilst there is an inevitable, and often greater balance challenge when performing your yoga practice on a stand up paddleboard; the board is large enough to act as a mat and sturdy enough to support you standing on it.
What if you're a newbie to SUP?
First up, SUP'ing is harder than it appears and most people find it far simpler than they've anticipated. As usual, our "worst case" brain is activated here. Additionally, it's important to note that SUP'ing; especially SUP yoga; is done in calm waters, not a churning ocean.
If you need any further incentive, this activity can be done year-round in Australia, provides a cardio workout and killer arms + abs with all of that paddling!
Why would you take your yoga practice off dry land?
By adding water, you increase the core stability required to come into poses, making you stronger in body and of mind.
Whether beginner or advanced yogi, SUP yoga is a wonderful way to bring new life to your practice and transform the regular. We all get stale and we all stay within our comfort zones at some point, SUP yoga will certainly break the routine for you.
Plus, it's a wonderful opportunity to connect your practice to the sounds, smells and experiences of nature around you and maybe even an opportunity to laugh - at the novelty of it all as well as when you lose balance in tree pose and fall into the water!
Image : http://sale.cookislands.travel/2014/12/part-1-charlotte-pihos-travel-tips/
Above is the "Queen" of SUP Yoga - Charlotte Pihos who is an Australian master SUP yoga trainer and takes classes both in her hometown of Sydney and overseas.
Will this enhance my regular yoga practice?
In one word - absolutely.
Being more connected to yourself; the unique challenges and physical restrictions in your body as well as your breath; and the world around you will truly transform your regular yoga practice, no matter your level!
What exactly happens in a SUP Yoga class?
Although each teacher will vary, there is a similar plan to each SUP yoga class and they generally run around 60 minutes in length.
- Warm up sun salutations and stretches on the beach
- Cardio time as you take the boards out for a paddle
- Find your "spot" and move through yoga poses as a group
- Meditation or wind down time
- Paddle back to shore feeling proud!
Image : http://www.goingozo.com/en/activity/activities/en-sup-yoga-gozo
Most importantly - what do I wear?
In Australia we're fortunate to have year-round awesome weather in much of the country and so swimwear is the answer in most cases.
To keep that searing sun off you and yet not restricted, our long-sleeve zip-through rashie one piece would be perfect!
Some boardshorts over the top might work best for you and if there is a little chill on the water, those long sleeves and hoodie will keep you temperature controlled.
Otherwise, regular yoga gear can be worn and just be sure to take some extra clothes with you for after class.
Are there other benefits to SUP Yoga?
Glorious sunshine, fresh air, calmness and beauty all around you.
Better still you're challenging fears and facing them head on, to then carry this practice and skill through to your daily life. Will I fall? Will I get back up? Can I do this? Yes I can!
Where can I do it?
To connect with other SUP yogis all over the globe and find out where you can give it a go for yourself, visit this community.
Image : http://www.roxy.com
So what have you got to lose?
Get out there, give it a go, have a laugh, connect and live it!
Love from The Neontide Team xx