SUP Yoga poses – Exploring What It Is and Benefits It Offers
Have you ever thought of a fun and creative way to perform your asanas? How about giving SUP Yoga a try, trust me, it’s totally worth it. So what is Stand Up Paddle Yoga? SUP Yoga is a unique and challenging way to energize and transform any regular yoga practice. Stand Up Paddle Yoga is making waves throughout the world as many folks in the SUP community have ditched practicing yoga on dry land and switched their mat for a paddle board. Now that’s one super fun revolution!
What Exactly is Stand-Up Paddleboarding?
Stand-up Paddleboarding is a water sport that originated from Hawaii and has since become a very popular sport in the world due to how fun and easy it is for anyone to learn the basic skills. Stand-up paddle boarding shares a lot of similarities with surfing, but it’s primarily practiced in flat waters or protected bays. It only requires you to stand on a board, which happens to have a similar shape to a surfboard but much larger in depth and width.
The most amazing thing about a SUP board is that you don’t need to learn any specific turning or balancing skills, you only need to have an idea of the best places to stand as well as how to use your paddle correctly and efficiently.
Okay! Let’s go back to SUP yoga!
These asanas are performed on the paddle board out on open water, and the joy of practicing Yoga on a Stand-up Paddleboard is that it can reinvigorate you and push you to become a pro at yoga. And all this is achieved while breathing the fresh air, immersing yourself in the sunshine and basking in the natural splendor of floating on water.
What makes SUP yoga more intense than carrying it out in a studio is the fact that the continuous motion of the water charges up your core muscle groups; this is not possible while practicing yoga on land. With Stand-up paddle board yoga, you get to train yourself to have a strong sense of balance and posture. For instance, while practicing the downward dog, if you have more weight on one side, your board will let you know, and you’ll probably end up in the water!
Mindfulness and the Breath Are the Keys To Balance
SUP yoga is excellent for developing focus, mindfulness, balance and breath skills; all these things are crucial to this practice. Well, the only consequence of losing focus or balance is falling in the water, and I bet that’s more refreshing than hitting a hard floor.
You only have to be mindful of all the elements around you (the wind, current, waves) and also pay close attention to your breath to stay calm, and rid yourself of the fear of falling off the board!
Benefits Of Stand-up Paddleboard Yoga
Everyone who has practiced yoga knows that it offers immense benefits to your health and it’s also relaxing to your mind. How about adding the calming effects of nature to your practice by doing SUP Yoga. Here are some benefits you are sure to enjoy:
Relax the body and mind
As we all know, yoga is offers calmness of the mind, body, and spirit. The good news is that the beauty of nature also calms the mind and body. Yoga + Nature is a super powerful combination; paddle board yoga attracts the elements of water and cool breeze to give you a more relaxed and incredibly calm session.
Improves your technique
This is a no-brainer. Practicing yoga on a paddle board is bound to refine your technique. How? Well, it’s mainly due to the movement of the water; SUP yoga is sure to push you to fine-tune your technique and balance, or you’ll end up having a dip in the water.
Better core strength
Since water is unstable, you’ll be forced to make good use of your balance. Practicing yoga on a fiberglass SUP is a sure way to allow your body to use its core muscles, as well as time, build the body’s core strength.
Many yoga participants enjoy a particular technique known as Ocean Breath. This technique emulates the cycle of a gentle ocean wave. Now you can get real-life Ocean Breath practice by immersing yourself in the gentle wave patterns of the lake or ocean against your Stand-up paddle board.
In a nutshell, with SUP Yoga;
• Reduces stress
• Improves strength and flexibility
• Decreases risk of cardiovascular disease and boost the circulation of blood through the body.
• Increases balance
• It’s super fun!
No excuses ! Right now, you have many reasons to try SUP Yoga. (Also, read 10 reasons to try Stand Up Paddleboard Yoga from Julie Phillips-Turner – Doyouyoga.com)
10 SUP Yoga Poses For Beginners
Warm up – Before you get started
2. Easy Seated Pose
Stand on your board and be sure to face the front of your board. Now sit with your hips on the handle and allow your hands to rest on your knees. Sit up straight and tall while taking deep abdominal breaths.
3. Downward Facing Dog
While in Table Top, gently extend your hips up and back while strengthening the legs. Gaze at the view right behind you. Use organic movements to relax in your pose and be sure to take a few breaths. Also, be sure to press strongly into the index finger and thumb to safeguard your wrist.
4. Child Pose
Begin in a Table Top position placing your navel above the board’s handle, spread your knees while bringing your big toes to touch. Now lay your hips back, all the way to your heels and place your forehead on the board. You can choose to extend your arms long right in front of you, or your hands can drape over the sides of the boards while your fingers trail the water.
5. Low Lunge Variations
This pose can be done while in the Down Dog; with your hips over the handle, extend your right foot forward to the point where your hands frame your foot. Gaze at the horizon to gain balance before walking your hands onto the thigh or knee.
6. Cobra or Upward-Facing Dog
For Cobra, lie flat on the board while placing your belly on the handle and hands below your shoulders and draw elbows toward each other. Take a deep breath and lift your head, shoulder, and chest.
For Upward-Facing Dog, extend your hands back, near the ribs. Do this by pressing your hands into the board to lift your torso. Use your quads so your knees can be lifted away from the board.
7. Wide leg Standing Forward Fold
Switching from the Low Lunge, place both your hands right inside the front knee and walk to the side of the board. Be sure to apply even pressure with your hands while rotating onto the ball mounds of both feet. Now lower heels towards the opposite rail. Be sure to keep your hands and feet apart, just as you would on land.
8. Modified or Half Camel
While kneeling around the handle of the board, support the low back with your hands before transitioning into Camel. It’s important to note that the instability of water can be more challenging, so be sure to start with while your toes are tucked, lifting the hips and sweeping your other arm over your head.
9. Sleeping Pigeon
Sleeping Pigeon is super fun on water. Ensure that your groin is over the handle of the board. Now relax into the pose and enjoy the beautiful sound of the waves as they lap at your board.
10. Bridge Pose
Lie on your back with your sacrum over the handle; knees bent while placing the soles of your feet on the board so your fingertips can graze your heels. Be sure to keep your feet a little bit wider than hip distance apart. Now lift your hips toward the sky and steady your arms beneath to gain more height.
Well, there you have it, yogis! So far we have learned a lot about this fantastic form of yoga. You got to admit that SUP Yoga is super fun and challenging at the same time, but it’s totally worth it! It’s now up to you to join the wave and bask in the beauty of nature while relaxing your mind, body, and spirit.
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