GETTING STARTED WITH SUP YOGA

You love being on the water. You love the Zen that comes with a good yoga session. Why not combine the two? If you're new to SUP yoga here are some tips and tricks, and five great poses, to start out with for a peaceful, safe yoga session on the water.

First of all, go slow. SUP yoga is a bit different from being on a solid surface so control is key! Get to know your board and make sure you have a comfortable feel for its balance and stability. The best SUP yoga boards are around 10 feet long and 32 inches wide. They have a fairly flat deck and an extended or full-length traction pad for ample space to move around. Keep in mind that if you are looking to do a headstand in the future, handle placement is important and it's often best to find a board with the handle off center. If you're looking for a great SUP yoga board, take a look here.

Next, find a peaceful spot for your first yoga session. Being on calm water away from boats and waves is best for your first few times. If possible, try to find a place where you can anchor your SUP so that in case you do fall, your paddleboard won't go far. If you're looking for how to do this, here's a great video that explains how to best anchor your board.

Lastly, find a fixed point on land for you to focus on; this will help to increase your stability. Once you've got that, you're ready to unleash your yogi skills! Here are five great poses to get started with.

Child's Pose

Start in Table Top with your abdomen above the board's handle, widen your knees and bring your big toes to touch. Sink your hips back onto your heels and rest your forehead on the paddleboard. Arms can extend long in front of you, or your hands can drape over the sides of the board with your fingers trailing the water. Take deep abdominal breaths, noticing the subtle rocking of the water beneath you.

Cobra Pose

The Cobra Pose stretches your abdominals and is great for getting a feel for how to balance on the board. Lie flat on your stomach, placing your palms in line with your hips before pressing up and stretching your ribs forward, your shoulders back and chin up. Keep your pelvis pressed firm to the floor. Inhale and exhale deeply.

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Downward-Facing Dog

From Table Top, slowly send your hips up and back, straightening the legs. Settle your gaze on the horizon behind you. Take a deep breath and shift your weight slowly to settle into the pose. This pose creates length through your spine and helps you find balance on your board.

Bridge Pose

Start on your back with your hips centered on the board, knees bent and soles of your feet flat. Keep your feet slightly wider than hip-distance apart. Lift your hips slowly toward the sky and roll your shoulders beneath you for more height.

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Savasana

Don't forget everyone's favorite pose, it's even better on a paddleboard! Lay flat on your back, feet relaxed, palms up (or fingers in the water). Take slow, deep breaths making sure to exhale fully as you enjoy the sunshine on your face and the calm, lapping of the water against your board.

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As you get more comfortable with SUP yoga you can branch out and move into the more difficult crow, headstand, and scorpion poses . Every session greatly increases your strength and balance so keep on going!

Namaste.