Yoga Paddleboarding Basics – Getting Started
Always wanted to give SUP yoga a go but don’t know where to start? You won’t be the only one – this cool workout can seem a little intimidating at first. However, it doesn’t need to be. SUP Yoga is one of the best ways to improve both your physical and mental health, while taking in nature at the same time.
In this post, we’ll give you a complete guide to start SUP yoga. Why you should try it, what you need, and some of the most important health benefits. After reading this list, you’ll be all ready to go!
Why try SUP yoga?
With all the stresses of modern life, it’s important to find a way to escape from that and disconnect for a bit. SUP yoga is an ideal way to do that. Yogic breathing encourages your body to slow down and achieve mindfulness, which will, in turn, expel any concerns and worries from your mind – at least while you’re enjoying your workout.
Breathing techniques learned in yoga can be applied to your daily life too, so it’s a way to manage your stress levels off the paddle board too.
Change up your regular yoga routine
If you’ve been doing any activity for a long time, it can start to feel stale after a while – no matter how much you love it. Making a small change to yoga, like doing it on water, can breathe life back into that passion. You will notice a few slight differences between SUP yoga and land yoga at first, and you’ll definitely feel that the floating version is more difficult. However, once you get to grips with it, you’re sure to find it fun and invigorating!
Encourages you to enjoy the outdoors
This ties into the reducing stress element of SUP yoga. No yoga studio in the world can compete with the beauty of a mountain lake or the gently bobbing waves of your favourite beach. Research shows that the outdoors are good for you too – especially when you’re around water. SUP yoga is a great way to engage with your natural surroundings while doing a workout slow and gentle enough to take them in.
What to get for SUP yoga
Stand up paddle board
Arguably the most important equipment you need for any incarnation of stand up paddle boarding is the board itself. Most SUPs can be used for yoga, but the best are wide and stable boards with extra large traction pads.
Like SUPs, almost any paddle can work with SUP yoga – so long as it’s adjustable. You’ll need to have somewhere to store the paddle while you’re performing yoga poses. If your board doesn’t have a paddle holder, you could wrap your leash around it so that it floats beside or behind you.
Personal Floatation Device
Depending on where you’re paddle boarding, a PFD can be a legal requirement. These are important in emergencies, so that you are able to stay afloat should you fall into the water. A compact PFD to fit around your waist will be the least restrictive when attempting yoga poses.
Anchor or Tether
Though these aren’t strictly necessary, an anchor or tether will keep your board in one place during a yoga session. It can be distracting if you’re floating away from your yoga instructor or into some reeds or rocks… and that’ll really kill the relaxation element of your session!
Health Benefits of SUP Yoga
It’s a great workout!
SUP yoga won’t just leave you feeling relaxed and chilled out, it’s also a wonderful workout. It works pretty much every muscle in your body – with a particular focus on your core. Many paddle boarders find that after a few sessions of the sport, they’ll start to notice more muscles tone around their abs.
SUP yoga is also great for losing weight. You can burn up to 500 calories in a session, which is more than double what you’d burn on a stroll at average walking speed.
Improves balance and stability
The fact that SUP yoga works on your muscles doesn’t just make them more toned, it helps to improve your stability and balance. While you’re on the paddleboard, your legs and back will be working hard to keep you balanced and upright on the board. Obviously, when doing yoga other muscles will come into play to maintain certain poses, and this is where the flexibility element comes in too.
Staying on a floating board isn’t easy, but with concentration and regular practice, it will become so. And you’ll notice an improvement in your posture – standing taller and moving more gracefully are other benefits to SUP yoga.
Great for your mental health
Last but not least, SUP yoga is a great way to boost your mental health. We’d already touched on it earlier, but being outdoors is a wonderful way to relax your mind. Combined with yogic breathing techniques, you’ll be slowing down your mind and body – all the while doing exercise. Being able to declutter your mind and exist in the present moment is a practice that has huge benefits once you get off the board too.