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Paddleboard Yoga: Why?

SUP Yoga
Paul Ainsworth
Written by Paul Ainsworth

‘Start with the why?’ a phrase coined by Simon Sinek is one I often reach for as the power of why is so important. So, ‘why’ paddleboard yoga? Why not yoga on the shore? Why not just enjoy the therapeutic nature and rhythm of using your paddle to propel yourself along a water way?

Paddle boarding in general has captured the interest of so many people. Beginners find they can make progress on their own or even better in a two-hour introduction to paddle boarding lesson than you can ever make surfing. Their inflatable nature mean they are readily transportable. You can also have lots of fun in your locality exploring a local river without the inconvenience of the surf from the ocean waves.

I think many of us enjoy yoga outside, there is something special about practice in the right location. Indeed, the lake where I paddleboard has a regular yoga session where students can view the tranquillity of the water during their class.

Five Reasons to try Paddleboard Yoga

Relaxation
The first thing I love about Paddleboard yoga is the relaxation that is brought to practicing on the water. Whether it’s the gentle motion of the water on the board felt during asana or the feeling in my hands as they float on the water when lying in shavasana.

The challenge of Balancing
Secondly is the additional challenge of balancing in any pose whether it is on all fours and performing ‘Balancing Table’ to rising up from the board into Mountain Pose or Warrior 2. Suddenly for poses that we know so well, we are required to rethink how to move into them and then to transition into other poses.

Downward Dog on a paddleboard
Downward Facing Dog

The Board
Thirdly the board could have been designed for yoga. It is just the right size and with it being designed to be gripped by damp feet, it works equally well for keeping hands stable in a yoga pose such as Downward Facing Dog (Adho mukha svanasana).

The element of Mindfulness
Fourthly is the element of mindfulness that paddleboard yoga brings. I have a small admission to make but in my regular yoga practice my concentration can lapse as I return to the stresses and strains of everyday life. Yet in Paddleboard Yoga, I continually focus on everything that I am doing as I recognise a wandering mind on the board can soon become a wet one, off it!

And last but not least, it’s fun
My final thought is the fun that it brings. People smile when they are performing yoga on a paddleboard, they laugh if they do fall in which brings camaraderie in the group.

There we have five reasons why I would recommend taking your yoga practice onto a board. Why not give it a try yourself?

Namaste,

About the author

Paul Ainsworth

Paul Ainsworth

Paul K Ainsworth is a Yoga teacher who is developing SUP Yoga classes for ‘Activities Away’ a water sports centre in Lincoln.
Follow him:
Instagram: @theendlessskies
Facebook: @ActivitiesAway

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