5 reasons to try SUP yoga
Yoga comes in many forms: Bikram, Yin, Vinyasa, hot - even bottle rocket yoga. But the new yogi kid on the block is SUP yoga.
SUP yoga – or stand-up paddleboard yoga is becoming more popular around the world – and not just in tropical hotspots like Hawaii. You’ll even find classes in Surrey – yes, that’s landlocked Surrey.
Fans say it’s addictive, fun and easier than you might think. Yoga and SUP yoga teacher Dee Opp, who teaches on the River Thames at Sunbury-on-Thames, says the two main differences between yoga in a studio and yoga on a paddleboard are an increased ability to focus and the beautiful interchange with nature.
Here are five other reasons why you should give SUP yoga a go.
1/ You’ll work harder
You’re core gets a good workout when practise yoga on a paddleboard. The board wobbles in the water, so you’ll have to engage those core muscles if you want to stay afloat.
2/ It’s a greater challenge
There’s less room for error when you’re on a paddleboard. Get it wrong, and you know what happens. *splash* But as soon as your mind is focused, you are able to use what Dee likes to call your ‘sensing powers’. It’s like what the Japanese culture terms a ‘Forest Bath’. The senses are cleansed and you feel a new sense of freedom, expansiveness and awareness.
Practising yoga in the outdoors, on water, brings with it an immense feeling of calm and serenity. If there’s running water to be heard, then even better. You’ve just added an extra layer of calm. The sense of floating will also bring in an extra level of relaxation. Getting on a paddleboard is like a big dose of me-time. Stress and concerns dissipate as you become focused on your body movements in relation to the support of the board and movement or flow of the water.
4/ Improved technique
Your board will let you know pretty quickly if you’re not correctly balanced.
5/ It’s fun… and a little bit scary
You’ll have fun on a paddleboard – and if you’ve been in a yoga rut this will certainly bring you out of it. But it will also help teach you one of life’s most valuable lessons. If you fall down… get back up again!
Dee Opp offers four-week courses throughout the summer in Sunbury-on-Thames.
Dee Opp Yoga