Finding my Balance with Standup Paddleboard Yoga

As some of you know, I am in yoga teacher training.  I teach yoga to staff at my workplace and intend to lead yoga sessions on my future Caminos. When I am not immersing myself in yoga during training weekends at the studio, I like to try different yoga classes in the Bay Area. I especially love to do yoga outdoors and seize any opportunity to do so. Variety makes any activity a pleasure to do!

A few months ago I tried a yoga class unlike any other: Standup Paddleboard Yoga, or SUP Yoga. I surfed when I was a teenager and tried Standup paddleboarding recently on vacations in Kauai and St. Thomas.  I have practiced yoga for eighteen years, so figured I was up for the challenge of yoga on the water. One of my favorite yoga teachers, Nicolette Tura,  turned me on to SUP Yoga in Alameda, where she led a half-day retreat.

Nicolette Tura, an amazing Yogi that teaches at UC Berkeley and on the San Francisco Bay!

Nicolette Tura, an amazing Yogi that teaches at UC Berkeley and on the San Francisco Bay!

Below is a video of my experience doing SUP Yoga, along with an interview Mike Wang, owner of Mike’s Paddle in Alameda.

I found that doing yoga on a paddleboard was much harder than I expected! It really tested my balance on some basic standing poses that are easy on land. A few girls fell in the water, but that could have happened to any of us, so we laughed it off.  Below are a few photos from our experience.

I could see how SUP Yoga adds extra strengthening to your core as it challenges your stability. If you are an experience junkie or looking for a new yoga challenge, I highly recommend trying SUP Yoga. Perhaps one of these days I will be able to achieve these poses. It is nice to have something to aspire to!

All that paddling and balancing made us hungry! Included in the half-day retreat was lunch at a Moroccan restaurant next door. We played it straight in this group photo.

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When you get a group of women together who have just bonded over a challenging yoga practice, things tend to get goofy.

moroccanlunch

When I asked Nicolette what she likes about SUP Yoga, she wrote:
“My yoga practice on the water has been absolutely life changing for me. Not only do I love nature, but I also found the marriage of yoga and the elements blissful and healing, lending itself to more ease in tuning out the demands of daily life and a busy mind as you soak up your surroundings and focus intently on the postures. The unstable surface of the board along with the lull of the water add a new dimension to the challenge in one’s yoga practice. Balance and core strength are tested and improved, yet many experience deeper hip opening and more. My favorite thing about teaching SUP Yoga is seeing both beginner and advanced practitioners discover their new challenges and ‘hidden’ strengths on the water as opposed to land yoga. Mike’s Paddle is such a welcoming environment providing high-quality gear and instruction. I am so thankful Mike Wang created such an amazing service! He is a phenomenal coach, business owner, and all around human being!”

nicolette

For more on Nicolette’s yoga classes, visit rockyourbestlifenow.com.

For more on SUP Yoga and other paddleboarding activities, visit mikespaddle.com.

See you on the trail and on the water!

Namaste

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Nicolette Tura doing a perfect Upward Bow pose.

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Mike Wang demoing a beautiful stroke as he glides off into the sunset.


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Digame, por favor.

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