The fastest growing sport in the world has certainly started to make its way around the globe from lakes to rivers every body of water is starting to see more SUPers day in, day out. PaddleBoard Yoga is one of the most relaxing activities you can use your board for, and thousands of people around the world are trying to improve their piece of mind and balance every day!
Yoga is one of the oldest forms of exercise, it focuses mainly on flexibility, strength and breathing patterns; all of these combine to improve your physical and mental wellbeing. One of the major factors in a yoga session would be postures, in other words changing your body position to improve flexibility and/or strength. Although Yoga is not a strenuous activity it can still have a massive impact on your overall fitness and well-being.
SUP Yoga is much more difficult than the standard activity; there is one main reason for this, balance. When you are on a Paddleboard it will be nowhere near as sturdy as the floor in a house. The moving/still water underneath the board will be constantly working against you to take away your balance. All this will do is enhance the challenge and make your usual yoga techniques even harder.
Best SUP poses/positions
Downward-facing Dog- This pose is relatively easy to learn and effective. Slowly raise your hips and back, while keeping your legs straight. Keep a strong grip with your thumb and index finger to support your wrists. You should be able to look between your legs and enjoy the scenery while in this pose; your body being in a triangular shape.
Upward-facing Dog – You must lay flat on your stomach and place your hands near your ribs. Before pressing up with your hands you may want to try and lift your knees from the board using your quads. If you can/can’t do this then continue to press with your hands turning your back into an arch.
Bridge Pose – Lay on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the deck about hip distance apart. Lift your hips up in the air and move your arms to under your body while joining your hands to improve your balance in the position. If you want to make this even more difficult then try staying on each leg for a set amount of time (eg 5 minutes on left leg, 5 minutes on right).
Easy seated pose – Anyone can use this pose to relax and take in their surroundings, sit in the middle of your board with your legs crossed and your hands on your knees. Take deep breaths and get lost in your thoughts whilst the water rocks and relaxes you.
Childs Pose- Start by kneeling on the board; let your hips sink into your heels whilst upper body lays on top on your legs. You can then fully extend your arms and rest your head just in front of your knees on the board.
What should I wear?
What you wear whilst you are performing this activity could have a major effect on the end results. If you wear restricting clothes you may not be able to fully relax and utilize some of the poses. Also if you are expecting to get wet at some point in the process then you don’t want to be wearing certain items. There are also certain things you legally need to take on your Paddleboarding trip if you’re in the United States, we will over what they are and why you need them below. If there’s one thing we would advise it would be to make sure you’re safe at all times and you’re comfortable enough to enjoy your trip.
It depends on the water you will be paddling in will be like, and the weather in the area you’ll be in. If you know the waters and weather are both going to be cold then the best thing to wear would probably be a wetsuit. Not only do they retain heat but are also flexible and shouldn’t hold you back whilst doing this activity. Keeping warm whilst SUPing in a cold environment can be one of the most important factors to not only having fun but could even save your life without you knowing.
If you know that you’ll be SUPing in a warm area then we would advise wearing a shirt and shorts for men, and a bikini for women. Again getting too hot while Paddling could cause discomfort and destroy your session. Neither of these clothing items should hold you back while trying different poses.
There are a few legal items that you will legally need to take on your trip; in the United States a paddleboard is classed as a vessel and you will, therefore, have to take a PFD (personal Floatation device). If you’re under the age of 13 this should be worn at all times, although you can get away with just having one. You will also need a sound production device such a whistle; also a waterproof light may be a sensible purchase if you’re going paddling at night.
A wetsuit has been designed to keep you warm even if you are wet they will still keep you much warmer than you would be in normal clothing. It is not waterproof and you will want to get a size that will be skin tight to you or you’ll lose most of the heat that was stored. You can either get a short suit that will cover up to your knees or a full suit that can go as far to cover your feet as well. If you’re going paddling in extremely cold conditions you might want to get yourself a thicker than usual suit.
• O’Neill Men’s wetsuit 2mm- This is the first wetsuit on our list and will cost you between $90-$120 depending on the size you order. Reliable and coming in at a good price this is a good choice for anyone who wants to improve their safety and stay warm while paddling in cold waters. Krypto Knee pads will protect you whilst doing SUP Yoga also!
•Xerra suit- Another great option when it comes to a wetsuit for SUP Yoga; the X-Flex on this suit means that it can be rapidly moved in any direction without causing rips/tears. You can pick this suit up for around $130 (down from $350) which is a good price for a high-quality suit. Comfortable, durable, flexible and able to keep you warmer while in the water; this wetsuit is everything you want while having a relaxing Yoga session on the water!
• Seavenger unisex wetsuit- With sizes ranging from Small to XXXXXXL (6XL) it is pretty much guaranteed that you will find a wetsuit that fits you from seavenger. Costing users Between $60 and $100 (dependent on the size). Knee and shoulder pads also add durability and comfort to the wetsuit; flatlock stitching will also help to reduce seam chafing.
• Realon kids wetsuit 3mm- If you want to make paddle boarding safe for the whole family while in cold water then don’t forget to pick up a wetsuit for the kids! Brought to you by Realon and coming with a 1-year warranty this wetsuit could be perfect for your little one! Super stretch fabric means that you should be able to get into any pose whilst doing Yoga without worrying about causing damage!
• NeoSport Skin (mainly for diving snorkeling and swimming)- Comfort is one of the main features of this skin and will more than definitely be noticeable if you’re going on long trips. A long front zip makes it easy to quickly change outfits, while the foot stirrups will stop the suit from riding up your legs. Although this is NOT a wetsuit it could still be used in paddleboarding to retain heat and add comfort throughout your journey.
SUP Yoga Boards
The board which you are paddling on is one of the major factors in having a relaxing yet tiring SUP Yoga session. With boards ranging anywhere from $300-$3000, it isn’t always easy to pick which is best for you. The fastest growing sport in the world is seeing new manufacturers come in and try to get a slice of the profits every day. Every SUP is designed with a completely different purpose in mind and has certain features, design tweaks, and marketing campaigns; some are racing boards which are typically rather expensive, these would be used by professional boarders in tournaments. There are also touring boards which are used for long trips and usually have a mixture of features which could be found in both racing and/or our last type of board, all-round. All-around boards are perfect for anyone who does paddleboard for fun and wants a mixture of the best features at a competitive price.
When it comes to picking a board that will enhance your SUP Yoga experience there are many different options on the market. There are a few factors you want to be looking out for the main of which is a balance, whilst you’re on the water you want your board to be as still as possible so that you can concentrate on your positioning instead of the boards! Paddleboard Yoga could be one of the best things you’ll ever try but before you go out and splash the cash on your own board, we would recommend that you rent a board and/or go to a SUP Yoga class to make sure you enjoy it! Below we will go over some of the best boards for Yoga on the water, their pros, cons, features and much more! If you are looking for a full review of lots of Yoga SUP board then try here.
Naish MANA 9’10 – Includes Bundle. Pump – Backpack – Pumped Up SUP Pressure Gauge
– This board is perfect for anybody who’s looking to have a comfortable Yoga session whilst taking in the beautiful nature which surrounds them, coming with a weight limit of 230 lbs most people should be able to use this board with ease. There have been lots of features added to this SUP in order to make it more suitable for Yoga. At 6 inches thick this board has a reliable amount of stability that will let you change poses without falling into the water.
Eva Deck pad- Comfort is key and this pad makes the board ideal for SUP yoga as you’ll be spending a lot of time stood, knelt, or laid or there. Also, the Evo pad will add grip to the deck also.
Bungee Strings- Bungees are very useful on a paddleboard, especially if you’re going on a long trip. Anything from a bottle of water to a PFD can be stored in this space and there’s no doubt you’ll appreciate this feature at some point in your SUP journey.
Fins- This board comes with 1 main center detachable fin, followed by 2 smaller fins that cannot be removed. If you want an extra level of control when on flat waters then the center fin can make a huge difference.
• Inflatable, because this is an iSUP it can be deflated and easily put into a backpack and taken to placed that may have been difficult to get to while hauling a heavy board.
• Comfortable, this board has been designed so that the user is comfortable at all times. Which is great when using the board for yoga as your knees/any other body parts will be saved from aches and pains.
• Durable, the materials used in the production of this iSUP are all durable and won’t is damaged easily!
• Comes with a hand pump and the valve is easy to work (the same as on most other inflatable paddle boards).
• Price, although this Is a good price for the product, the over $1000 may be out of your price range
• If you’re looking for speed whilst paddling then this isn’t the board for you. Although it’s perfect for Yoga so this is only a con if you plan to use your board for other activities.
Lotus YSUP inflatable Paddleboard
The Lotus iSUP was specifically designed for Paddleboard Yoga enthusiasts and contains all of the features you would hope to find on your board when going out for a Yoga session. Coming in at around $900 this board is great for anyone who takes their Yoga seriously and is going to have at least 1 session a week. Having received only 4 and 5-star ratings
Large foam area on deck- The foam material used on the deck is extremely comfortable and also gives the user more grip.
Extra wide- Because the board is slightly wider than your usual SUP it will be much easier to spread out and perform some of the more difficult poses without slipping into the water!
• Comes with a carrying bag which means you can deflate the iSUP quickly and easily to transport it to your favorite spots.
• Foam deck adds extra grip as well as more comfort
• Hand pump with a gauge is included
• Board has been designed to be stable and let you enjoy your Yoga session.
• Price, although we’d say this is the ideal SUP for anyone who plans to use their board for Yoga, the around $900 price tag might put some people off!
• iSUP, because this is an inflatable board it is easier to damage in comparison with typical boards.
Wavestorm 9’6” SUP (x2)
Costco offers this great opportunity to purchase 2 fantastic boards for $600 ($300 per board). All of the needed equipment is included in this price tag (Ankle leash, Adjustable paddle, Adjustable fin etc). If you’re looking to take up Paddleboard Yoga with a friend/family member then this deal could be perfect for you! Read our full review of this board.
Image sources: Pixabay, Yoga.com, Amazon.com