What is SUP Yoga?
If you’ve heard of paddleboard yoga, you’re not alone. It’s an ingenious way of combining 2 cool sports into one, where you can improve your balance, strength, build a strong core – all while being outdoors in a relaxing , stress-relieving environment well. This 1-minute video shows a brief run-down of what it is all about:
What are Good SUP Yoga Boards?
Even though there is not an actual “SUP yoga board”, inflatable SUPs are a good choice for performing yoga movements because they tend to be more stable in the water. This makes it easier (but not too easy!) to do balancing movements – or even any exercise for that matter. Especially if you are new to paddleboarding, this is a convenient advantage to have.
Tip: Look for SUPs that have a 6″ thickness vs a 4″ thickness because they stand further out of the water and will be helpful when you are exercising and moving around on the board. Preferred choices are the Tower Adventurer (shown above in the video) and the Isle iSUP. The wider the board, the better. This increases it’s stability. Longer SUPs ride faster, but they are less stable.
SUP Yoga Workouts
Doing yoga on an unstable surface adds a new challenge to routine movements. For this reason, you don’t have to be a yoga expert to get a very effective workout on the water.
Getting Started: Start with standing and kneeling movements where you are stretching and lengthening, like Mountain Pose, Downward Dog, Plank and Warrior One. This will help you find your balance – and keep in mind that the entire time your core will be engaged automatically to keep you from falling into the water.
Basic Movements: Also, don’t forget basic exercises like sit-ups and push ups that can help you strengthen your core and practice your stability. They may be easier to start with versus standing movements, wince your center of gravity will be lower.
Tips for More Advanced Moves: You can then progress to add twisting movements and back extensions for an additional challenge. Move slowly at first and practice the movements until you feel comfortable. This will take time – enjoy the journey and try not to get frustrated.
Of course, there are very difficult movements, like performing headstands on the SUP or balancing in crow. Basically, there is an endless number of exercises you can do to keep your workouts interesting, motivating and challenging. Check out this cool video for some ideas:
Virtually all stand up paddle board yoga routines will help you strengthen your core, but if you’re looking to specifically work your abs, here’s a video you’ll probably like. It’s also a good workout for beginners: