By Michael Chi
So you’re a proficient yogi - you can hold an arm balance, standing balance, and a root to rise is no biggie. It’s time for some levelling up. Think some breeze, some water, bright light, and you the main event holding your asana atop a paddle board. Welcome Stand Up Paddleboard (S.U.P) with wide open arms, a yoga community that is growing by the moment, and here are some reasons why you should totally give it a go!
Fire Up Your Core
You’re gonna wobble, fall off the board. But balancing on a board atop a running current, no matter how slow it is, would switch on all the alarm bells in your core. Your midsection would go on overdrive to keep you afloat and dry. And through finding your balance, unexplored muscle areas will be ignited, and you can be guaranteed of a good workout through the exploration of balancing.
Enjoy the Breeze
You are out on the water. Expect to have your lush locks unraveled as the breeze propels you into shampoo advert superstardom. But yes, adding additional zip to your tree pose on a paddle board is your hair swaying, blocking out your sight, keeping you cool, but challenging your ability to center your focus amidst the distractions.
Focus on Your Breath
You’ve done Ujjayi Breathing (Ocean Breath) a million times, now you get to do it for real, with the ocean breathing alongside you. The technique helps to sooth your mind, and open your passageway, while calming your nerves. And what better way to enjoy this sensation, than the cool water lapping through your seat, with the gentle sound of the waves to help zilch out all others to bring your awareness into your breath, the penultimate focus of your yoga practice.
Live in the Moment
The possibility to fall into the water is very real. Unlike a regular downward dog that you can hold firmly on your mat and allow your mind to wander, now your adrenaline system is dialled up too to keep you focused and motivated as you find stillness atop the board. And through the circumstances, it channels your mind to be present in your current practice and leave the stresses of everyday life back on shore. Essentially that’s a concept we want to cultivate in life itself, to live in the moment.
Get Back Up
One of life lesson is aptly practiced in S.U.P, when you fall, get back up and keep going. When you fall off your board, you have no choice but to overcome your emotions, climb back up, reset your nerves, and try again. S.U.P teaches you that it is okay to fall, just like what yoga would do, and if you fall out of the pose, come back into it again. It is liberating once you get comfortable to the sensation of falling into the water, might even be fun too, and you now know nothing can leave you down and out.