If you enjoy SUP boarding and yoga, then why not try combining the two? Stand up paddleboard yoga is one of the best physical activities you can do.
Whether you join a SUP yoga class or go at it solo, the benefits of combining yoga with paddle boarding are numerous. Strengthen your balance, work muscles you didn’t know you had, and reduce stress on your stand up paddle board!
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Sup Yoga Will Boost Your Physical Health
If you have ever participated in yoga classes then you know just how great this type of exercise can be. Taking your favorite yoga technique and practicing it on the water adds an extra dimension to an already fun activity.
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Let’s take a look at some of the ways combining sup boarding and yoga can help boost your overall physical health.
Strengthen Your Core With Intentional Yoga Poses
It’s no secret that SUP yoga will help you strengthen your core. Practicing intentional poses that target your core is a great workout, but on a paddle board, they are even more effective.
This is because, along with executing the SUP yoga poses, you’ll be working to keep yourself balanced. This additional focus will allow you to get a core workout that penetrates at a deeper level than regular yoga.
A great exercise that will help you balance and stabilize your core is the mountain pose. Arm balances and a bridge pose will also help you stabilize and work your core muscles.
Exercise New Muscle Groups
Because you’ll have the challenge of balancing on your board, your body is going to be activating new muscles to keep you stable.
This unintentional targeting of muscles is much easier to execute than with yoga on solid ground. Some of the different muscles you can look forward to activating include your transverse and rectus abdominis muscles as well as your obliques.
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Increase Your Flexibility and Balance
Yoga brings increased flexibility and balance to those who practice.. But when you do yoga on the water, you push your body even further through your regular exercise routine.
As you stretch on your board, you will be pushing back against the water as well. While it can seem challenging at first, as you master balancing, it will automatically improve your technique and promote greater flexibility.
Improve Your Circulation
Experienced yogis will tell you that the calming effect of yoga is beneficial to your overall health. As with many forms of physical exercise, yoga helps to improve circulation – and combining yoga with paddle boarding is no different..
There are some poses that are particularly good for this . For example,‘downward facing dog’, is great to execute towards the beginning of your exercise routine, as this pose puts your hips above your heart and your heart above your head. Gravity will help do the rest as it encourages your blood to circulate up to your head.
Other poses that require you to stretch out big and wide in will help facilitate oxygenated blood to the rest of your organs. It’s important to take nice deep breaths that will help open up your airways as you practice. This will help introduce a boost of fresh air and oxygen into your body.
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Sup Yoga Poses Can Boost Your Mental Health
Practicing yoga on a paddle board forces you to go beyond your physical body so that you are paying attention to your mental health as you exercise. Here are some of the great benefits you can expect from SUP yoga.
Proprioception, or kinesthesia, is your body’s natural ability to sense how it moves, and its positions in your environment. Proprioception is the reason why you don’t have to think about every movement you make and how that movement will impact you.
It also allows you to move quickly throughout your environment without having to think about how you are moving in your space. Research suggests that individuals who practice yoga have a greater sense of proprioception.
Individuals who practice SUP yoga have even greater proprioception.
SUP yoga is really interesting in the fact that you are constantly working to maintain your balance. Because of this, you will automatically be strengthening your ability to move in your space.
Aids in Stress Relief
A relaxing environment is essential to helping you keep and maintain your focus so that you can execute your poses at a deeper level. As opposed to other physical activities where you are exerting yourself, one of the biggest benefits of SUP yoga is stress reduction through mindfulness.
Picking a location in nature that is quiet and calming will help you relax as you work your muscles. This mental exercise will allow you to walk away feeling refreshed and reenergized.
Improve Your Mental Wellbeing
If you practice yoga often then you know how much of a calming experience it can be. Taking your activity out of the yoga studio and into nature is arguably even more relaxing!
If you pick a serene location that is quiet, then your yoga experience can be even more enjoyable – but this is not to say sup board yoga has to be a solitary activity. Combining yoga with paddle boarding can be a great way to meet people and make new friends, as you can find a yoga instructor who teaches sup yoga classes, and learn as part of a group.
Plus it’s a lot of fun!
Practice Good Safety Habits
Before you head out onto the water, it’s important to develop good safety habits. A simple rule of thumb is to apply all safety precautions you normally would when paddle boarding. .
Here are some necessary tips to keep in mind.
Practice Sup Yoga on Calm Waters
To get the most out of your yoga workout, it’s important that you picked the right location. The best location is one on a calm body of water and free of frequent, large, or choppy waves.
While you can always expect there to be some waves , you can still control this factor to a certain degree. The best way to do this is by doing SUP yoga on a calm day and picking a lake or pond that doesn’t have many boaters or paddlers around you.
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Know How Shallow the Water Is
It’s important to understand how shallow the water is when you are doing stand up paddleboard yoga. If the water level is too shallow, you can injure yourself when you fall off of your board. Help avoid falling in by keeping a wide stance and at least two points of contact on the board.
Your paddle or an SUP anchor is an easy way to figure out how shallow the water is. Once you reach the location that you want to do your yoga practice on, stick your paddle into the water and see if you can feel the bottom. If you can, then the area might be a little too shallow for you. You can also use an SUP anchor if your paddle is too short as well.
Use Proper Sun Protection
The warmer months are the best times in the year to do SUP yoga. However, you do have to be careful about exercising under the summer heat. One of the most important things to consider is the health of your skin. It’s important that you wear sunscreen to keep your skin protected.
Opt for a broad spectrum waterproof sunscreen that needs to be applied every 60 minutes or so. If you want to avoid sunscreen altogether, you can use a wetsuit instead. It can also help to wear a hat in order to help keep your face protected too.
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As with any physical activity, you need to make sure that you drink plenty of water throughout your SUP yoga exercise. With all my outdoor adventures, I like to bring along a thermoregulated water bottle that can keep my drink nice and cool.
Ditch a Traditional Yoga Class and Get Outdoors!
With the many benefits of SUP yoga, it’s no wonder why it’s become such a popular activity. While it can be difficult to get the hang of at first, it’s certainly one where practice makes perfect.
If you are someone who loves SUP yoga, be sure to share in the comments section below some of your favorite poses.