Stand Up paddleboard Yoga is another variation of practicing yoga. It’s a wonderful combination of the two sports that at their core are about practicing balance and being mindful. It’s a fresh take on both sports and a new way to hone your skills.
Yoga has its beginnings in the ancient traditions of India and has a rich history and following of dedicated practitioners who have years of experience. In contrast, the modern sport of paddleboarding got its start in Hawaii and is the fastest growing, trendy watersport in the world taken up by many young people. It may seem like an odd mix at first but the two have more in common than they first appear. By opening ourselves up to our bodies and really listening to how each movement affects us we achieve optimum paddleboarding performance and the same can be said for yoga. Physician and philosopher Debasish Mridha says, “Yoga is the dance of every cell with the music of every breath that creates inner serenity and harmony.”
We can start exploring Stand up paddleboard Yoga by looking at what physical skills these two have in common
Balance and Core Strength –
Both Yoga and stand up paddleboarding depend on balance and core strength. Working on your balance lends itself to helping with overall sport ability. It’s hard to believe we have lived off the water, but we all do and improving balance helps prevent injuries, and according to some studies, even improve your memory. By combining both yoga and paddleboarding it doubles the effort on those muscles to hold your pose. Through practice it strengthens muscle connections and challenges you to stay upright or get wet.
Of course, this is where technique comes into play. Work on each yoga pose by perfecting your technique and you are sure to improve your confidence and ability on a board as well. It may help to start out on dry land for the first couple sessions to see how far you can go.
Mental Peace of Mind –
Take deep breaths! People are finding the benefits of practicing stand up paddleboard yoga go beyond the physical. Breath control and maintaining a calm exterior will help you stay afloat, both literally and in life in general. It can also boost your immune system and improve concentration.
Mindfulness and yoga are gaining steady support in the mental health community as having significant and tangible benefits beyond what was imagined a few decades ago. It’s true that your thoughts affect your body. Stronger bodies are linked to calmer minds. The Johns Hopkins Medical School agrees and lists the ease of arthritis pain; back pain; alleviation of chronic pain; improved heart health; and more energy among many other benefits of yoga.
Speaking of calming those minds- stress relief is the number one benefit of yoga and a known side effect of stand up paddleboarding as well. Other than the chance of falling in the water, what is there to stress about on a peaceful board floating in the water? And, rest assured that swimming is also fabulous for your health.
Relieving stress has whole-body repercussions as the body settles back into a healthy balance and stress hormones stop flooding the system. Removing stress, and lessening it through beneficial activities, has proven to improve sleep and lengthen life as well as make your day a bit better by improving your mood.
Getting outdoors –
Yoga outdoors can have a lot of health benefits because simply being outdoors is good for you. It can sometimes feel like the effects of listening to the ocean lap against the shore and the wind on your face is magic, but in fact, it too is backed up by science. While you are working on your dragon breath you might as well be breathing in the fresh air and boosting your white cell count at the same time.
Being outdoors is also more fun! Let’s face it, doing the same old thing all the time can get boring and if you take your favorite yoga routine and transfer it to a stand up paddleboard you are automatically giving yourself and your body variety without changing a single move in your sun salutation. Your body is stretching and working to keep balance while you are enjoying the sun and the breeze and calming your mind.
By combining Stand up paddleboarding with yoga you are automatically outdoors soaking up all the benefits of both yoga and the magic a whole body workout on a paddleboard can produce.
What are you waiting for? It may look intimidating at first but in my experience it’s a fun and adventurous group of people who try out SUP (stand up paddleboarding) Yoga and never have a I joined a class that wasn’t welcoming and supportive of the journey to yoga enlightenment.