There are so many amazing benefits to doing Yoga, there are also some great benefits to a Stand Up Paddle Board workout. So why not put the two together?
On the board in the water you aren’t grounded like a usual yoga flow. You are on a restricted surface space with brand new elements like wind, water and anything else that comes with being outside. This means it requires intense focus and balance to do the same poses you may be used to on land. You will build and use muscles you are not used to using.
Many people find that the most beneficial element is actually being outside, getting to breath in the fresh air. Feel the sun on your skin and the flow of the water makes people feel at great peace.
I start by putting my paddle under the stretchy rope at the front of the board. I like to tuck it underneath these ropes so that I do not have to worry about it falling while I do my stretches.
Yoga Poses for Any Skill Level
Downward Facing Dog – The down dog pose is great for any beginner, it requires a lot of stretch but not as much balance or flexibility as other poses. You will have your feet and hands on the board stretching your back upwards and your bottom in the air. Stretching your shoulders and back while also working the different muscles in your legs.
This is a popular pose for many workouts. While it can also help you relax and feel centered. Super simple to do on your paddle board!
Chair Pose – This one is great for building strength and working on balance or stability on the board. You will stand up, with your feet about shoulder width apart to have the most stable center possible.
Then you will lower your bottom like you are attempting to sit in an invisible chair. Folding your hands in front of your chest is popular, this helps people to keep their center. This is a great pose for helping you to build the muscles you will actually be using while you paddle around on the board!
Boat Pose – Another simple position, you sit on your bottom and lift your back and legs off theboard. This can be made easier or more difficult with simple changes. Straightening your legs upward and putting arms above your head will increase the difficulty. You can also try some boat crunches! This one can also be called a V Sit since that is the shape your body is in.
Thread the Needle – The best way to stretch out your shoulders after a long paddle. You will be on your knees, with your bottom up in the air, while you tuck your shoulder underneath the other side and lay your head on the board.
This one is a great stretch and can also be very relaxing while you allow your head to lay on the board. Stretch out your right arm long toward the front of the board, while you twist your back and place your left arm underneath your right armpit. It sounds a little more confusing than it really is.
Crescent Lunge – A bit modified from the original, this is what it sounds like, a lunge on the board. You will want to keep your front and back foot on either side of the center line of your board. Making sure you are not putting too much of your weight on one side while you stretch your hips forward.
Cat/Cow Back Bends – Super simple stretch for your back and shoulders. You will get on your hands and knees like a cat and push your back up and around like a cat might. Then push your belly button toward the board and allow your back to stretch toward the ground. Breathing in and out while you make these movements. A great stretch and way to work on your balance on hands and knees.
Mountain Pose – Standing tall with your body like a mountain. Breathing out and in, making yourself feel and look like a powerful mountain. You can’t go wrong, this is just a standing pose so it should be easily accomplished. Plus make you feel important and amazing out on the water.
Yoga Poses for the More Advanced
Whether you are a more advanced Yogi or an expert paddle boarder, these may still be difficult but should be attempted for someone with more practice.
Warrior 2 – More challenging than some poses, this can be difficult but very rewarding. Once you can nail the warrior pose on your paddle board you really will feel like a warrior. Finding your ground while standing out on the water is so invigorating.
This pose has your feet far apart on the center line of the board. Standing the long way you will stretch backward and then place your arms far to either side of your body. This is a pose that will make you feel like you have power.
Malasana – A crouching pose where you will eventually attempt to lift your body off the board ontop of your knees. This one can be tricky to do on land, let alone a moving board. Starting with the crow pose can help you to work towards this tricky one. It is a peaceful position once you have build up the muscles and the courage to lift off the board.
Headstand – Now this one can leave you bruised if you don’t do it quite right. (I know the first few times I attempted, I flopped on my back pretty hard!) You want to make sure that you are in the dead center of the board. You want your board to be completely flush and flat along the water. Slowly attempting to rise your feet far above your head you need lots of balance and even more focus. One of the most fun out on the water! It completely changes your perspective as you will see the water and waves from upside down.
Full Wheel – This is essentially a back bend, which can also be tricky because you are upside down again. You will want to start on your back and push up from there. Unless you are advanced and want to start from standing
This will require a lot of practice so that you are standing on the exact starting spot on the board. You’ll nee to make sure you have the perfect amount of space to do a full wheel. Great for stretching your shoulders and back. A yoga pose that is known to improve people’s moods as well!
Savasana and Sun Salutation
These are two very important elements to yoga that you will find have so many great benefits out on your board.
Savasana is the most relaxing, you will essentially just lay down on your board. Focus on your breathing and be present with your body at the moment. Many boarders will even allow their feet and hands to come off the board and float in the water. This can allow you to feel the most connected to your surroundings. Take a few minutes at the end of your ride to do this and on a high note with happy reflection and relaxation!
Sun Salutations can look different in everyone yoga flow and practice. This is something that people find a lot of peace in during a sunrise or sunset out on the water. I encourage you to find a salutation that you enjoy and then begin practicing it out on the water. While you are actually watching the sun rise you will feel so connected to yourself and the world around you!
Benefits of SUP Yoga
As I mentioned above these are both amazing ways to move your body! Getting a full body workout while paddling, working your legs, back, core, shoulders and arms just from the paddling. Then stretching and building those smaller muscles while you attempt some yoga on your board.
Doing yoga on your SUP will help you to refine your techniques on land. Having to focus just a little more, and be that much more present because if you are not you may fall in the water. You can bring that new-found concentration and focus to your practice on land.
You will find that you have a new beginners mindset. As you relearn how to do all the same poses you have been doing as a yogi on land, it will challenge your mind and body all over again. So you never find that you are in a rut or feeling at a stand still with your yoga practice.
Plus the same for paddle boarding, you will find a new-found understanding of balance and being present on your board.
This will strengthen new muscles, you are working a lot of the same but just as many new muscles. Trying to focus on balance and keeping you body on the board will challenge your body to use different muscles. You will be strengthening all kinds of muscles, big and small in your body while doing SUP Yoga
Stress Relief. A great way to relax, take in the fresh air, water, scenery and just relax. At first while learning and practicing you may find that it is not so relaxing. But once you get the different poses and moves down, it will be the most relaxing activity you do. Floating on the water brings a whole new presence of your body to your heart and brain.
Increasing your flexibility, with all kinds of yoga you are always increasing your body’s ability to stretch in different ways. So this is a great way to get more flexible. It will also improve your balance. With more flexibility and balance your yoga and paddle boarding will drastically improve.
Improve your breathing techniques, this is a great one. Because you are trying to find you center, be present and not fall in the water it will help so much to focus on your breathing. The more you can focus on your breathing the better you will get at controlling it. Creating new and using old techniques to make sure you are present and enjoying your moments doing yoga on the water.
Gets you Outside!
Something I hold a lot of importance on. I think that being outside is one of the best things you can do for your body, your mind and overall happiness. Your body was not meant to be at a desk all day, or inside an office! We were built to be outside, one with nature. This is one of the best ways to get your workout in, find relaxation after a long day while taking in the fresh air God has given to us.
Now get on the water and try some new yoga poses!