Paddleboard Yoga – Q&A with Kathleen Tefft
What exactly is “paddleboard yoga”?
Paddleboard Yoga is essentially yoga on a stand up paddleboard in the water. Since the SUP board is large enough to act as a mat (and sturdy enough to support someone standing on it) it was only a matter of time before yogis started to discover the ways it challenged their practice.
What’s a sup yoga class like?
Before diving into a SUP Yoga class, you should:
1. Know how to swim
2. Take an intro to stand up paddling class.
We try to keep our sessions intimate (about five to six people) so that we can really pay attention to our students and their needs. We generally start with a warm-up stretch on the dock, working through a few sun salutations – then we hit the water. We take the boards out for a paddle to get the heart pumping and once we’re settled into an area we move as a group from pose to pose. We finish with a seated meditation and Savasana. Imagine the hot sun warming your body, the smell of sea salt and your fingertips grazing the water as your float around on your board – pure bliss.
What gear do we need?
For cooler days I recommend the kind of stuff you’d wear to a regular yoga session, clothes that will move with you and dry quickly if you get wet. In the warmth of summer, a bikini and board shorts (and of course, sunscreen) will do just fine. There’s always a chance you could get wet so come prepared – bring a change of clothes and a towel!
What about a board?
At first it’s a good idea to just rent a board until you’re ready to commit. I paddle an 10′ 6” Evolve Roots board – this board is the most versatile to paddle and play on for SUP Yoga. If you’re just beginning go for a board that is much longer and wider, such as a SUP ATX Adventure. The wonderful thing about the SUP Yoga practice is if you think it’s getting too easy… just get a smaller board.
On a scale of savasana to handstand how difficult is sup yoga?
SUP Yoga is definitely challenging (especially when it comes to balancing poses) but it’s a fun way to energize and transform your regular practice. Adding the element of water simply increases the amount of core stability you need to achieve every pose.