As you’ve read here in the news column of SUPthings.com and through our Twitter feed, “everyone’s doing it” when it comes to yoga on the water and, specifically, when we’re talking about yoga on a stand-up paddleboard.
So far, I haven’t joined the ranks of folks performing yoga positions such as “downward dog” or “wild thing” on their boards, and here’s why.
I love yoga. I attend a class twice a week and am moving it into my workout routine more often. It is physically challenging and marvelously therapeutic. A class session leaves me sweating and wobbly-legged, yet filled with a great sense of well-being and calm at the end.
When I’m on my board, I get the same feeling. I can sweat, depending on how hard I’m working, and I can feel a bit unsteady in the legs after a long session on the water. But no matter how fatigued my muscles may be when I’m pushing my board into the truck, I experience that same sense of calm and well-being that I feel at the end of a yoga class.
I mentioned some of the reasons why in “Sights and Sounds.” The sights and sounds that a person experiences while stand-up paddleboarding are equivalent to listening to some new-age music in yoga class. What’s not to like about the sound of the water hitting the bottom of your board and birds talking overhead while you’re enjoying the shoreline horizon of lakes and streams? It’s great stuff. Combine that with the physical benefits a person gets from standing and paddling, and you have an activity that is very similar to yoga.
It’s funny, but just about everyone who gives my board a try comes away loving it and wanting one of their own, yet only a handful of those people are interested in yoga. I have to chuckle at guys, especially, who wouldn’t be caught dead in a yoga class but think that SUP is a great way to exercise.
I am impressed with the physical fitness and coordination of people who can use their boards as platforms to stand on their heads and perform what are often awkward movements even when attempting them on solid ground. SUP yoga is popular and it looks like it might be fun. But as far as I’m concerned, stand-up paddleboarding IS yoga on water. You don’t necessarily have to add a tree pose to make it so.
If it makes your SUP experience better, then have at it! Namaste