Some people may have tried Stand Up Paddle (SUP) and many may have tried Yoga in their life but when you combine the two you get a whole new activity growing in the San Diego community called SUP Yoga. This added level of adventure of floating on a board in the water while striking different poses with emphasis on breathing drew my curiosity in to where I needed a taste. I decided to take my SUP Yoga adventure to the Carlsbad area and let the professionals of Floating Yogis guide me into this new world of bliss. http://goo.gl/maps/ZHfFb
SUP Yoga Boards with Anchors
It was not the nicest of days to be out on the water for this first SUP Yoga experience but the weather may have added to the serene setting in Agua Hedionda Lagoon with calming cloud cover. The Owners of Floating Yogis (Sarah and Marci) fit all 6 students in the class with the appropriate boards and gave a brief tutorial about what to expect, where to stand, how to paddle, etc. All boards are equipped with a small anchor to prevent drifting with the currents or winds while out on the water.
Once the tutorial was complete. We paddled out together (no more than 80 yards) to commence our SUP Yoga class. This paddle out gave all students the ability to adjust to the board and get a feel for the new platform that was going to act as our new floor for our yoga practicing.
After everyone got situated out in the water, the class adjusted themselves and fell into Suk asana (Easy Pose). Here we began focusing on our breathing, relaxing our minds and taking notice of our surroundings with our eyes shut. It was extremely peaceful out on the water especially as the small waves rocked against our boards in rhythmic fashion.
SUP Yoga Poses
The class moved on smoothly with Marci leading the SUP Yoga class and Sarah posing as another instructor for visual purposes. Sarah also managed to get these great shots as well which is part of the package at Floating Yogis. Marci transitioned us from move to move with that calming yoga voice from multiple downward dogs, to cobra positions and Hal asana (plow pose) to name a few. The act of balance really played a huge role throughout these poses as the core had to be even tighter to maintain most positions.
The group rocked the SUP Yoga class as we did our own variation of Eagle Pose on the paddleboards with both legs planted. I’m sure there are a few select few out there who can handle the full eagle pose but as this was everyone’s first adventure with SUP Yoga I think we were all pretty pleased with our first attempt at this challenging activity.
SUP Yoga definitely proved to be a great full-core power workout with many muscle groups engaged the entire time to ensure dry clothes. The thing I enjoyed about it the most was the setting at which the class was taught in. The added element of water adds such a calming yet challenging effect to this activity, as it was very easy to clear the mind and surrender to the surroundings. The class size was also small enough where everyone got the attention from both instructors. Marci and Sarah were the ultimate dynamic team as it helped having multiple instructors on the water with us. I know I am very driven by visuals when it comes to teachings of anything so it was nice to be able to look at both for guidance. Depending on the wind direction and distance from instructor I can see where it might get hard to hear for some people but everyone seemed to manage just fine today. It would great as well if there was a way to store the paddle on the board somewhere near the front out of the way or maybe on another floating device to allow more space or visually just a cleaner mat area on the board. I look forward to trying SUP Yoga again. Besides, once again it was another activity where it was 7 women and me. Not a bad way to spend one hour and 15 minutes.
In terms of gear, not much was required for this activity. Floating Yogis provide the boards if need be or you can bring your own board if you choose. The board just needs to have a leash plug so you can tie the anchor to it. It does help to have a longer and wider board, as you will appreciate every last inch of that board for balancing purposes. The boards we used which were provided by Floating Yogis were Riviera paddleboards (10’6”-11′). In terms of clothing, one can wear what they choose but the items may get a little wet and slightly dirty……………………….not one person in the group fell in the water so I think I’ll end on that happy note.