During the summer, it may be nice to roll out your yoga mat outside instead of in a warm studio, but sometimes you need something new and challenging. So why not do yoga on the water? The stand up paddle (SUP) yoga summer trend is a relaxing yet challenging total body workout.
What is stand up paddle yoga?
The USP for SUP yoga is the surface that you use. Instead of having a secure footing on your yoga mat, you can expect a bit more action on a special SUP board. Everything else is the same. SUP yoga also involves practicing your asanas – the various body poses aligned with your breathing – in order to achieve a state of balance and harmony. The boards used for SUP yoga are wider and therefore more stable – extremely helpful when you’re trying to find your balance. If you want to do SUP yoga, all you need is a stretch of water. Calmer waters are more suitable for beginners; the bigger the waves, the more challenging it gets. Lakes are the ideal choice. And you don’t need to worry about drifting off either, as the boards can be attached to special docking stations that the SUP yoga instructor brings along.
What does SUP yoga train?
Yoga is an effective full-body workout, even on land. Depending on the yoga style, it can develop flexibility, strength, and endurance. This effect is intensified by bobbing up and down on the water. But SUP yoga doesn’t only train your body, it works your mind as well. Here are the four most important points:
#1 You train your deep muscles
SUP yoga primarily works your deep muscles, which most workouts barely touch. A yoga session on the water will therefore help you to build up a substantial amount of stability and strength while providing your torso and leg muscles with a completely new training stimulus.
#2 You build strength in your arms and core
In SUP yoga, it’s not only your legs and deep muscles that get their money’s worth. Doing yoga on the water also strengthens your entire upper body and your arms – not just from the poses, but from the paddling as well. As you can see, SUP yoga is a really effective full body workout.
#3 You develop your balance and coordination
When your board wobbles, you’ll need balance and coordination. Every movement, no matter how small, requires more attention than it would on solid ground. It’s not just the one-legged poses that train your balance, but really every single asana.
#4 You challenge your mind and build mental toughness
As well as being a physical workout, yoga also gives you mental strength. That’s because it’s impossible without concentration and focus, which means your mind has to be present the entire time. A SUP yoga class will also push you out of your comfort zone. This makes you more courageous and builds your mental toughness.
Is SUP yoga right for me?
Yoga on an unstable base is challenging but doable! Ultimately it’s like standing on one leg – and it may well nudge you out of your comfort zone. However, since the poses are executed with more calm and are held longer, this special kind of yoga on a SUP board is still , suitable for everyone. It doesn’t matter whether you are just starting out with yoga or have already spent numerous hours on your mat. Beginners should start in shallow water.
The most important thing for SUP yoga is a suitable board. These special SUP boards are wider than surfboards, for example, and give you more stability. Depending on what you feel comfortable in, you can practice in sportswear, a swimsuit or swimming trunks.
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