Most sane people do a double take when they first see or hear about SUP yoga. Granted, we should be pretty used to strange goings on in the yoga world by now, but most of what we see is at the very least on solid ground. That being said, the allure of combining the beauty and flow of water with yoga needs no explanation. Folk have been propelling themselves across water for thousands of years, but it’s only in the last decade that SUP Yoga has become a familiar discipline.
1. The Challenge
A big part of being a yogi is always looking for your edge and challenging yourself. Even experienced yogis will re-examine the way they approach asana on the board. Some poses that are very basic on your mat will take on a whole new meaning on a SUP board.
2. Core Strength
Without the ground beneath your mat you’ll find that your core and stabiliser muscles will work overtime to keep you balanced and grounded on your board.
3. "Siga Siga"
...as they say in Greece. We rush around like mad things and what could be more relaxing and further away from this than taking the time to do yoga on a SUP board. Time melts away as you work on your tan!
4. The Moment
The meditative ebb and flow of the water will deepen your mindfulness practice and help you truly appreciate each moment as you practice on your board.
5. The Spice of Life
Tiny variations in weather like wind, waves and sunshine will have huge effects on a class meaning no two classes are ever the same. Try doing a headstand on a SUP board with a bit of off shore wind...
Because SUP yoga is so challenging and fun it creates an even playing field and plenty of scope for fun and laughs. Once you fall in the first time all your inhibitions will disappear.
All reclined asana on a SUP board feels like a meditation as you gently bob on the water. Shut your eyes and let go!
8. Get a Little Deeper
The first time I did Half Pigeon (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana) on a SUP board I was amazed at how the tiny movements of the water were deepening and opening my body. This is the case with many poses on the water.
It goes without saying that there is something magical about practising asana outdoors. Being on the water only deepens this sense of wonder wherever you are lucky enough to be doing it.
10. Finding Balance
Although it may seem obvious the balancing aspect of SUP yoga is very profound. Finding your centre of gravity and examining how you body and mind respond to the familiar mixed with the new is very refreshing for your yoga practice as a whole.
Jon Garstang runs the Rhodes Yoga Experience
and lives in Rhodes, Greece where he collaborated with Paddle Paradise