Hot yoga is the newest yoga craze, right? Think again! Paddle board yoga is taking over as it brings health freaks, yogis and water sports enthusiasts together. It’s not as hard as it looks!
Photo By: moonlightsleeper
Paddle Board Yoga Explained
So we assume you know what yoga is, and we’ve already written about Stand Up Paddleboarding, but paddle board yoga (or flo-yo as it can also be known, as in floating yoga) combines these two gruelling sports. You basically do a yoga class while simultaneously balancing on a board that’s floating on water. The benefit of this is the increased stability, core strength and flexibility because completing the yoga poses while balancing on the board definitely ups the ante. The board acts as a good non-slip yoga mat, plus you’re out in nature which is very ‘yoga’ – so there’s the meditative element of it.
How Hard is Paddle Board Yoga?
Look, we’re not going to lie it’s not the easiest thing in the world. You should be pretty confident at yoga and maybe even SUP first. Start by practicing just on the board on the sand or the banks of the river so that you get used to doing yoga on the board. Then you can progress to either the sea, river or lake. Obviously the water needs to be very still – so don’t attempt it in a rapidly flowing river or at the ocean with huge waves. Of course, it goes without saying that you should know how to swim because chances are you will fall in – particularly to begin with. Try in shallower water first, and depending on where you do it the board might be anchored to the ground to make the board a bit more stable. Start with the easiest poses like sitting and kneeling and work your way up to completing a full class – even if you fall in. Then eventually, once you’re quite proficient you can paddle out and then complete the yoga class without falling in the water.
Another challenge is that SUP yoga offers the chance to test your art in concentration. The minute you start looking at the horizon, or thinking about the ripples of water, or checking out a fish swimming by is the second you might forget to focus on your yoga, your core strength and the distribution of weight between your feet, and then off you might fall.
Finally, don’t be fooled this is a total body workout, possibly more-so than standard studio yoga – particularly when it’s combined with paddling in and out, plus the additional muscles you’ll have to ‘turn on’ to balance on the board. Then, if you fall in and have to haul yourself up a few times and you’ll be really testing your strength and stamina.
Where Can I do Paddle Board Yoga?
There are loads of places to try paddle board yoga, probably some even very close to you. Ask your local yoga studios if they know of any. In terms of our favourite places to try SUP yoga, here’s our top list:
- Head to the beautiful island of Crete in Greece for SUP yoga classes and retreats.
- SUP yoga in Singapore
- Yoga Kai Paddle Yoga in Hawaii
- Academy of Surfing in Australia
- Bliss Paddle Board Yoga in California, United States