Go with the Flow: 7 Reasons to Try SUP Yoga

Be like water. Go with the flow.

I sit in Child’s Pose with my forehead resting on the SUP board as my yoga teacher opens class with those words. My senses are at ease with the sound of lapping water and the gentle rocking motion of the waves. The warmth of the sun warming my skin. The gentle breeze cooling me off.

It just doesn’t get any better than that.

From the very first yoga pose, I knew SUP Yoga was for me.

I’m a big fan of taking my yoga practice out of the studio and into nature. I’m not afraid of incorporating a yoga pose at the summit of a mountain hike or while out for an early morning run.

When a local studio offered an SUP (Stand Up Paddleboard ) Yoga class, I jumped at the chance. Taking my practice to the water, was a natural progression. I’m a Pisces after all. Since then, I’ve taken more classes and have fallen in love with SUP for yoga and for fun.

So many people have commented to me that they “could never do that!” That’s so NOT true. If you can stand up, you can do SUP Yoga. The practice is dependent on your level and how far you want to take it. Most teachers gear a class to beginners. It’s slow and gentle because HELLO we are also trying to balance on the board.

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If you need any further convincing, here are 7 reasons why you should get out there and try it.

  1. Peace and Zen – Have you ever sat on a dock and listened to the sound of the water gently lapping against it? That’s all you’ll hear while on your board. It’s the most peaceful sound you’ll ever hear. Go ahead, let your zen flow like wild.
  2. Enjoy nature – I love yoga in a studio but being surrounded by four walls when the weather is beautiful outside makes me want to skip class all together. Here in New Hampshire, we have a limited amount of warm weather. I want to soak it in as much as possible. And what better way than having the sky above me, water below and the wind blowing through my finger tips? Besides, fresh air and Vitamin Sea are the cure for whatever ails you.
  3. Change your perspective – The world looks like a different place when you are in down dog looking through your spread feet out at the water, the trees, the horizon and the sky behind you. Or when you are in a Seated Forward Fold. It’s like you are one with the water.angela_supyoga_3
  4. Every class is different – With practicing on the water, you will never know what will come your way. It may be windy and the water choppy. Or it may be calm with the water as smooth as glass. Each condition changes the tone of the class.
  5. New Challenges – If you have found yourself in a yoga rut, SUP yoga offers a new challenge. If you can float effortlessly into advanced poses like arm balances and inversions on your mat, doing so on a SUP will make you appreciate all the strength and stability that goes into poses like that. I was shocked to find that Side Plank was so tough compared to on land. And it was no big deal to get up into Wheel.
  6. Be Present – How many times do you find yourself hurrying through a vinyasa? Are you really linking breath and movement or are you going through the motions? On a SUP, you are forced to slow down the pace and the flow.
  7. It’s empowering – When you let go of the fear, it’s hard not to feel like a bad ass as you flow through the class. If the class is in a popular area, you’ll most likely have on lookers watching in awe. Even if you feel like the least graceful person out there, you’ll look like a pro to those on shore.

Angela Bekkala

Angela is an ACSM Clinical Exercise Physiologist and RRCA Running Coach who has a passion for running, yoga and healthy living. She shares her love of being active, eating well and enjoying life to the fullest on her blog, Happy Fit Mama. Angela lives on the Seacoast of New Hampshire with her husband, boy/girl twins and Chocolate Lab.