Ever wanted to give SUP yoga a try on your paddleboard? It's a great way to exercise, something a little different AND it's just great fun. One of our #ShePaddles ambassadors, India Pearson, is a yoga and SUP yoga teacher in Kent, and as a treat, she's put together these 5 poses for you to try when you're next on your board. Let us know how you get on!
Words and images by India Pearson
With paddle board sales enquiries increasing by 500% over lockdown, there are so many more of us now becoming proud owners of a SUP :) Paddleboarding has become the ultimate lockdown activity, so if you’ve been on a paddleboard this summer you might be looking to take your paddling to another level, how does yoga on a paddleboard sound?
Since 2016 I have been teaching SUPYoga (yoga on a stand up paddleboard) in Folkestone harbour and Hythe Canal with my local paddle-boarding club The SUPHub. Discovering SUPYoga was a euphoric moment for me, not only could I now walk on water, I could now dance! It’s a great workout for your core and is the perfect way to clear your mind from everyday chaos whilst connecting with nature and having fun at the same time!
The element I love most about SUPYoga is how accessible it is for EVERYONE! No matter your age, size, fitness level ANYONE can get on a SUP and feel great about it! I have many people attend my class who have never done yoga or paddle boarding before. I tell them ‘we were all beginners once, just go at your own pace - even if you stay on your knees for the whole lesson, there’s still so many yoga poses you can do on a paddle board at this level!'
The trick is to take your yoga poses a little wider than you would naturally do on the mat. Your focus will help you balance so try to fix your gaze on the horizon, or the front of your board. Wear comfortable clothing that you don’t mind getting wet, you might find a wetsuit to be too restricting. And finally don’t be afraid about falling in - it’s part of the fun of it!
So whether you're a practiced yogi, looking to trade your traditional mat on ground for a board on water, or a paddle boarder looking to test your balance on the board why not give SUPYoga a go and try my 5 SUPYoga poses for beginners this summer!
Take your feet slightly wider than hip width apart and hands slightly wider than shoulder width apart. This is a wider position than you would take on the mat to ensure a sturdier shape. Press your heels down towards the board and send your tailbone high. Think about rotating your inner thighs back and pressing your thumb and index finger down into the board to help your balance.
Lie down on your back with your head towards the nose of the board and your feet grounded down with your knees high to the sky. Feet should be hip distance apart. Slowly lift your hips up whilst squeezing your glutes. Walk your shoulders in towards each other and clasp your hands together underneath you.
Come onto your knees at hip distance apart. Take your hands to your hips and shoot your elbows back. Press your hips forward and gently lean back. To increase the stretch take one hand to your heal and lift the opposite hand over your head – repeat on the other side.
Kneeling in the centre of the board, take your knees hip distance apart and sit back in your hips walking your hands out in front of you. This is a great pose to take for rest bite in between more intense stretches.
Stretching your legs out behind you, press your hands down into the board and lift the chest broadening through the collarbone, slide the shoulders down the back and engage the glutes. Ensure your thighs and knees are off the board.