Stand up paddleboard yoga (SUP Yoga) is becoming incredibly popular among many outdoor enthusiasts around the world. With many classes being taught for this, yogis everywhere are taking their yoga practice one step further by incorporating the balance of SUP yoga.
The appeal for SUP yoga is growing and it is easy to see why. Taking your practice to the water will give you a desirable earthy feel that no yogi can resist. Connecting with nature is sure to take your practice to new depths. There is something so majestic about getting onto a quiet lake surrounded by nature and practicing above the water. There is no better place to practice your savasana.
The extra stability that practicing on the water will help you to get a better workout and allow you to grow your skills. You will need to engage your core throughout every pose which will burn even more calories. SUP yoga pushes you to master your balance and allow you to draw a focus to your form. SUP yoga will encourage you to focus on transitioning through your pose as much as the pose itself. The extra challenge with this type of yoga will help to transform your practice and take it to new levels.
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10 Yoga Beginner Poses To Do On Your SUP: Let’s Begin
The good news is that you can take many of the poses from your traditional yoga practice out with you onto the water. I hope you will enjoy taking your yoga experience to the water as much as we do.
1. Downward Dog
This starter pose is an excellent way to get comfortable with your on water practice. Be sure to spread your fingers to increase your stability and focus on your breath. With the main focus on building your comfort and lengthening your spine, this is a great way to get comfortable and confident so you can carry on with your practice. You may want to revisit this pose throughout your practice.
2. Chair Pose
Once you are stretched out from downward dog feel free to jump into some strength building poses. Chair pose is a great option for building your leg and core strength. This grounding pose will quickly test your balance. Start with your feet wide and gradually move them in as you become more comfortable. You can even incorporate a twist to this pose. If you are feeling confident try taking this pose a step further by going into awkward pose or even eagle.
3. Modified Crescent Lunge
This may be a hard pose in the beginning as your legs will feel so far apart. A great hip opening pose be sure to start with your knee on the ground until you get your feet in the right position and then you can try lifting it. Be sure to engage your core, spread your toes and push your weight firm into your board. Once you feel comfortable, move your hands to your front knee and then above your head.
4. Warrior 2
Be sure to focus on your breath when in this pose as it will seriously test your balance. Stretching through your fingertips is important for balance here as is keeping your weight balanced between your feet. This pose will test your core and leg strength and is sure to make you feel on top of the world once completed.
5. Cobra Pose
Cobra pose will help build your comfort when on a board and is a great pose to practice early on. With a low center of gravity, you can start out laying on your stomach. With your hands under your shoulders press your legs firmly to your board and gently lift up on your inhale to enjoy this gentle abdominal stretch. Hugging your elbows towards your spine, roll your shoulders down and back and open your chest. Be sure to focus on your breath and use this time to take in your surroundings getting into a meditative state. As you build your confidence, lift your hands from your board to a hover position. If you are looking for an even deeper stretch why not use this opportunity to take your pose deeper into a seal pose.
6. Full Wheel
If you want an entirely new perspective of the space around you, this pose is one that you will love. Flipping the world upside down, full wheel is an excellent pose for those struggling with mood or anxiety. This powerful backbend works to stretch and lengthen your spine and abdomen while opening your chest. This pose is surprisingly easy to accomplish on a paddleboard. You may want to take a wider stance between your feet to start as this may help with balance.
7. Boat Pose
Boat pose is an excellent pose to go to when looking to build core strength. Practicing this on a SUP will require even more stability and strength making it an excellent fitness tool. Boat pose will not only be useful for your yoga routine but will also help your paddle board experience grow. By increasing your stability and comfort on the board this will, in turn, take your paddle boarding one step further.
Once you become more comfortable with this pose, try straightening your legs and bring your arms up to the sky so your body is in a V shape. Rotating between the two positions, called boat crunches, will provide an excellent full body workout.
Test your balance and core strength in plank pose. Spread your arms and feet to add extra stability while you engage your core, lower your bum and embrace the burn. This is a great pose to get your heart beating and your sweat pouring. Plank pose is often used as a quick transition when flowing through yoga.
Instead of skipping through it quickly take your time with this pose. If you find that the sensation is a bit too much for you or you suffer from lower back sensitivities try dropping your knees to the board. You will still get an excellent sensation from this. Be sure to keep breathing through this pose. This is an excellent stopping point when transitioning from downward dog to cobra pose.
9. Seated Prayer
This is a really beautiful pose when you are on a paddle board. This may be something you want to come back to a couple times throughout your practice. Sitting on your glutes in a cross-legged pose take a couple deep breaths. Straighten your back stretching the crown of your head up to the sky. You can put your hands in a prayer position in front of your chest or rest them palms up on your knees in an opening form. Open your chest by rolling your shoulders down and back. Take in all the soft sounds around you and clear your mind. This pose is excellent for your mind, body, and soul.
This is a pose that is great for meditation too. Perhaps the easiest pose to do on a paddleboard, Savasana is even more enjoyable when you add in the warm sun. Try allowing your feet and hands to dangle in the water and take in all the sounds of your surroundings in a meditative manner. You may want to bring along a towel for this part of your routine as the harsh sun may be too much directly over your face.
You may be excited to try out this sport for yourself before you do there are some things you need to know.
Choosing The Best Paddle Board For Yoga
Before you begin your practice it’s important to find the right board for you. While a regular board will work as well, you will likely require the stability of a board with a bit more width and thickness. Most rental shops now rent boards suitable for this. Once you have found your yoga sup board, you can head to the water and practice your poses.
Begin Your Stand Up Paddleboard Yoga Adventure
While SUP yoga may seem difficult and intimidating, it will quickly become one of your favorite activities. Taking your practice to new lengths, this is a great way to get a better workout and focus on your balance and breath.
As you have an added risk of falling in with yoga, we recommend using a life vest. This is an excellent safety measure. As always, when paddleboarding we recommend the use of sunscreen. The reflection from the water leaves you at a greater risk for sunburns.
Have you ever tried SUP yoga? Let us know how you have adapted your practice to be mastered on a paddleboard in the comment section below.