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As far as fitness goes, I have a wide variety of interests. I like to run, ride my bike, I go to Zumba once a week and I work out at Crunch as well. I do a small group training class on Sundays and I try to incorporate some weight training throughout the week. But one of my favorite activities is a SUP Yoga session!
Stand-Up Paddleboard Yoga
SUP stands for Stand-Up Paddleboard, which is basically a long, sturdy surfboard that you stand on and paddle with one oar.
I first went Paddle boarding last summer, after buying a Groupon to try it on the North Shore of Long Island. I took my sister and cousin and we paddled around the cove near Sea Cliff. We were in and out of a boat yard so there was a bit of a wake (aka waves and current) but I got the hang of it pretty easily.
This is such a great upper body workout, a test in balance, and I LOVE being on the water. After an hour on the board, you WILL feel those quads the next day!
When I went to Hawaii last August, I noticed that the resort where we stayed at end of our trip (Waikoloa Beach Marriott) offered SUP Yoga classes! So I signed up!
When I arrived at the class, I was the only student! So I had a private lesson!
For this class in Hawaii, we were out on the Anaeho’omalu Bay, also known as A-bay to the locals. We paddled out, dropped an anchor and went into a full yoga practice. I am a novice yogi (at best) and could not believe how hard it was to balance on the board. I did fall in a few times trying to do standing poses. But in this beautiful Hawaiian bay – I didn’t mind!
When I came back to New York, I knew I wanted to try more Paddle Boarding and SUP yoga. I live on an island after all!
Serendipitously I reconnected with a former teacher colleague, who had moved out my way and was giving SUP lessons and SUP yoga classes on the weekends!
Isn’t life funny like that?
So I started going out with her on the weekends, and bringing along friends and family!
Our instructor operates out of Brightwaters, which means we paddle into the Great South Bay. We will launch in this protected cove-area and then paddle out to the bay. We will usually take in the views of the Robert Moses Bridge and the Fire Island Lighthouse, and then return to the cove to do a yoga practice.
It is so peaceful being out on the board, and doing a yoga practice. The board is big enough that you are comfortable doing your favorite yoga poses like downward dog, sun salutations, cat/cow, wheel and camel. I can now do warrior 1 and 2 and have gotten more used to standing on the board in various poses. You really have to ground your feet and use the idea of counterbalance to keep yourself up.
Last February I did a SUP yoga class in Naples, Florida. Through the Naples Kayak Company I found this awesome instructor, Simon, you can LIKE his Facebook page here. He took a group of us out on the Gregory River where we had to paddle sitting or laying on the board as we traversed through the mangrove trees! We dropped anchor in a lagoon to have our yoga practice. Needless to say, here I did not try standing poses, I did not want to fall in this water! But it was so beautiful!
Here on Long Island I hope to get on the water through October. I know in my winter travels I will look for the opportunity to Stand Up Paddle, or take a SUP yoga class.
I know a few local friends are interested in coming out with me on the weekend to try Paddle Boarding or SUP Yoga. I highly recommend trying it! Even if you don’t love the water (as some friends have told me) you can wear a life vest and if you stay low on the board, you most likely won’t fall in. The Paddle Boards we use are large and sturdy and paddling is very easy to learn.
Have you ever been paddle boarding? What is your favorite water activity?
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