Everyone knows the ‘OM’ chant which is synonymous with yoga but if you try this mindful movement on a stand-up paddleboard, bets are on that you’ll be saying ‘OMW’ because this activity is next level amazing!
And the good news is that you don’t need to be an experienced yogi to enjoy SUP yoga. Devotees and newbies alike are discovering that yoga on the water, surrounded by the calm, soothing presence of nature brings a heap of physical and emotional benefits.
Yes, it can be extra challenging to keep your balance and stabilise your breathing while you’re on a SUP board, but the rewards are huge. Water-based yoga is an extraordinary workout for body and mind and if any of the following benefits appeal to you, it could be time to make your move!
- Improved mobility
- Increased muscle strength, especially around the core area
- Better balance
- Greater flexibility
- Improved stamina and endurance
- Better awareness of where your body is in space (kinaesthetic awareness)
- Ability to use controlled breathing (pranayama) to calm the mind and body, reduce stress and anxiety and improve self-awareness
- Sharper mental focus and improved levels of concentration
- Sense of calm and inner peace
A specialised surf shop will be able to help you choose the most appropriate board for your SUP yoga practice, but it’s worth knowing that although specialised yoga SUP boards are available, there are other options. An all-round inflatable SUP or a traditional entry level board which is a bit longer and wider and therefore more stable, are both excellent options which will give you greater versatility. We have a huge range of SUP boards to hire or buy at our Perth surf shop and our friendly team will be all too happy to help you make the right choice.
SUP yoga is also about having fun in the great outdoors and you’ll find that a part of letting your hair down while you’re out on the water is getting it wet!
It can be quite challenging trying to control your movement and hold a pose on the board all the time because the board isn’t stable like a yoga mat on the ground. It’s dynamic and is constantly responding to your weight distribution and to the rise and swell of the water which means that falling off while trying to hold a pose happens often! But contrary to what you might think, that’s not something to be embarrassed about but is rather something to be embraced and enjoyed. SUP yoga instructors all agree that falling off a SUP board during a session brings humour and it sparks a sense of play which is so essential for growth and creativity in our lives. What’s more, getting back on the board can also be a life-lesson in tenacity.
With all that it offers for the body, mind and spirit, it’s not hard to see why SUP yoga has become a hot trend around the world – especially in Perth where there are endless places which have calm and protected waters. But remember, you don’t need to join a formal class to experience all the physical, mental and sensory benefits of this water-based mindful movement. You can get bendy by yourself or with a partner, and all you need is a SUP board, some calm water and of course, a sense of humour!
Check out our range of SUP boards and accessories at www.standupsurfshop.com.au or pop into our North Fremantle surf shop for friendly advice that is tailored to your needs. Namaste!