What is SUP Yoga?

Stand-Up Paddleboard Yoga (SUP Yoga)

tumblr_lwi8xfwRKY1qajbwho1_500Stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) first emerged in the beaches of Hawaii in the 1960s and began to make inroads on the mainland about 10 years ago. Aside from the coasts, it is particularly popular on urban waterways, where it provides a unique vantage point from which to interact with city life while skimming past it. Standing erect at the water’s surface level gives you the feeling, and appearance, of walking on water. It’s also a great way to get fit, as you work the legs and core to stay up on the board and the arms and back to propel yourself. The board is broad and stable enough that someone got the bright idea of treating it like a floating yoga mat, and SUP Yoga was born. (From About.com)

What is a SUP Yoga class? In a SUP Yoga class, the teacher will lead students through a series of yoga postures on the stand-up paddleboard, each posture with modifications for the student’s level of experience. On SUPs, students can feel how the alignment and actions of the yoga poses create balance, as when we are not balanced, the board will wobble, and you may even tip over, and enjoy a dip in the ocean.

What a typical class looks like: Instructors will lead warm-up yoga on the beach, give a lesson on the beach on how to use the stand-up paddleboard. Instructors and students will then take their boards out into the Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary to practice paddling. Then, the teacher will guide the participants to a soft bed of kelp, to practice a safe, sequenced series of yoga postures.