You may have heard the term "SUP yoga" before, but what exactly is it? To the uninitiated, SUP yoga stands for "Stand-Up Paddleboard" yoga, and it is quickly becoming one of the hottest summer exercise trends in the country. For many people, performing yoga on the water provides a sense of calm and exhilaration at the same time, as it offers healthy stimulation for the mind and body.
Whether you choose to try SUP yoga in the ocean, a lake, a bay or a swimming pool, there's something about performing meditative postures out on the water that provides an outstanding sense of connection to your natural surroundings. Interestingly enough, the word "yoga" itself means "union" or "connection," and this sense of union with nature is definitely felt when practicing SUP yoga.
If you're ready to try your hand at this fun and invigorating form of exercise, here are some key things you need to know in order to get the most out of your SUP yoga session:
1. Come dressed to get wet.
From wading your way out into the water to taking the occasional accidental dip, chances are you're going to get wet when doing SUP yoga. For this reason, you would do well to avoid cotton clothing (it gets really heavy when wet) and instead, opt for synthetic "dry-fit" yoga clothing or just a regular bathing suit. In addition, be sure to protect your skin with sunscreen, but try not to choose one that's too oily, as it can be all too easy to slip and slide around on your board.
2. Stay safe.
If you're an unskilled swimmer, be sure to let your yoga instructor know ahead of time! Lack of swimming chops won't prevent you from participating in the session, but you will need to wear a life jacket in order to stay on the safe side.
3. There's absolutely nothing wrong with falling off the board.
So many people get nervous about trying SUP yoga because they're afraid that they'll fall off the board and embarrass themselves. The truth of the matter is that even the most skilled yogis can fall every now and then, and many times the first person to take a tumble into the water actually "breaks the ice" for the rest of the group. Not only that, but if you're doing SUP yoga on a super-hot day, falling in is a great way to cool yourself off!
4. Be patient with yourself.
You might be surprised to learn that some of the poses you have mastered on land will prove to be quite difficult on the water. This is nothing out of the ordinary, so remember to be patient with yourself as you embrace this new challenge. In fact, this is one of the reasons why SUP yoga is so popular – it requires a deeper level of mindfulness and concentration, and it feels really good when you can push yourself and rise to the occasion.
SUP yoga provides a litany of health benefits including increased strength and flexibility, improved circulation, better balance, and decreased stress levels, but beyond all of those things, it's a heck of a lot of fun! If you're interested in giving it a try, Five Seasons Family Sports Club offers SUP yoga classes for all experience levels. Give us a call to sign up for the next class, and start enjoying the many benefits of SUP yoga!