If you’re looking to kick your yoga routine up a notch, it’s high time you take to the water.
Stand up paddle board yoga is becoming increasingly popular—and for good reason!
Not only do SUP yogis get a full body workout; they reap the many benefits of spending time in nature.
Whether you’re a yoga aficionado, or you’re just starting out and want to give SUP yoga a try, you’ve come to the right place! I’ve compiled a list of 13 great reasons to try this fun and addictive sport:
1. You’ll Become One with Nature
Getting outdoors and away from life’s daily stressors can be incredibly therapeutic.
Workouts on the water are restorative, and according to a 2013 study on “green exercise,” outdoor workouts have a positive impact on both psychological and physiological health.
Your SUP yoga session could lead to stress reduction, plus improved mental fatigue, mood and self-esteem. So, when you hop on your board, virtually every aspect of your physical and mental health is being positively impacted.
2. It’s Great for the Core
If you’ve ever taken a group fitness class, the instructor likely urged you to engage your core.
During a SUP yoga session, your core will naturally engage, as you will need to maintain your balance throughout the workout.
SUP yoga workouts can be intense; you’ll quickly gain core strength and endurance with each and every workout.
3. Your Focus and Technique Will Improve
When you set out to sea on your SUP, you’ll need to focus on each individual movement.
Maintaining your balance while perfecting poses can be challenging, but the payoff is so much sweeter on water than it is on land.
Unlike at-home workouts, your mind won’t have the opportunity to wander, as you’ll be focused on your poses. Otherwise, you may wind up in the water.
4. It’s Relaxing
It’s difficult to be stressed when you’re hanging out in nature. Just one SUP yoga session will bring you a sense of peace.
Try SUP yoga at sunrise or sunset for an extra dose of calm. The lapping waters and stunning skies alleviate stress and worries.
SUP yogis often emerge from their workouts relaxed and ready to tackle whatever life has in store.
5. It Improves Confidence
SUP yoga is an empowering experience. It teaches us to get back up when we fall down and to keep going no matter what.
SUP yogis feel as if they’re walking on water. Is there a better feeling? I think not. If you’re in need of a confidence boost, I highly recommend giving SUP yoga a try.
6. It’s More Exciting than Traditional Exercise
Let’s face it, exercise can be dull. SUP yoga is truly fun. I promise. It will keep you coming back for more, unlike those humdrum traditional workouts.
The National Institute of Health notes that “mixing it up helps to reduce boredom and cut your risk of injury.”
If you’re in need of a change, try supplementing your workouts with a SUP yoga session or two a week for increased motivation and overall well-being.
7. You’ll Breathe Better
As every yogi knows, how we breathe is important. When you step on your SUP, focusing on your breath will keep you from fretting about falling.
Ujjayi Pranayama, or “victorious breath,” will calm the mind and warm the body, according to Yoga Outlet.
You’ll also bring your awareness to the present moment, so worries will melt away. Find step-by-step instructions on mastering the Ujjayi Pranayama technique at www.yogaoutlet.com.
8. You’ll Overcome Your Fears
Sure, falling can be scary, but each time you get back up, the fear lessens. Just like in life, every fall is followed by a comeback, and SUP yoga is no different.
There’s no shame in falling (every SUP yogi has taken a spill two). There’s power in standing up and trying again.
9. It’s a Challenge
Yoga poses feel much different on a SUP, so you’ll have to allow for the unavoidable learning curve. Every challenge we face results in confidence and a sense of pride, so begin with an open mind and you’re bound to be proud of your efforts.
10. It’s Gorgeous
Next time you’re on your SUP, take a moment to look around you. Whether you’re practicing yoga on the ocean, a lake, or a river, pause and take in the stunning views.
11. Anyone Can Do It
From kids to seniors, virtually anyone can try SUP yoga. It’s a wonderful intergenerational activity. If you have kiddos, bring them along! They’ll learn valuable life lessons, get a great workout, and spend quality time with Mom or Dad.
12. It’s Easy on the Joints
If you struggle with traditional workouts, you’ll be happy to know that SUP yoga isn’t hard on the joints. If you can’t do a particular pose, simply modify the movement to meet your abilities and needs.
13. It Can Help You Lose Weight
Unsurprisingly, SUP workouts burn a lot of calories, which could potentially result in weight loss. Going for a recreational paddle after a SUP yoga session? You could burn over 400 calories in just one hour.
If you’re ready to give SUP yoga a try, look for classes in your area. There are also some great online resources.
Isle Surf and SUP offers a free video (below) for beginners that highlights 10 introductory yoga positions. We recommended trying each pose at home before attempting them on the water.
Do your best, remember that everyone falls from time to time, and never give up. You’ll be a SUP yoga pro in no time.