When the toughest choice of your weekend is whether to paddle out and catch some waves or get bendy at your favorite yoga studio, you know you’re living a pretty charmed life. Still, when the thought of choosing one over the other sends you into a FOMO-induced panic attack, we’ve got your back. Don’t choose, do both! Here are five tips for taking your yoga practice out onto the water to get the best of both worlds, highlighted with some great pics of folks trying it out at Rock Creek, in Chatanooga, TN (rocking their Carve outfits of course!).
- Start with the right board. Your regular surfboard won’t really cut it for downward-facing dog (unless your down dog likes to doggy paddle!). Fortunately, stand up paddleboards have come a long way since they reached critical mass a few years ago. We love Boga’s yoga and fitness specific boards, which provide more stability and balance so you can really focus on your flow.
- Dress for the occasion. There’s a lot to consider here: Water temp, air temp, UV exposure, and how long it’s been since you visited your bikini wax pro. Our no-fail outfit for seaworthy yoga is a moderate coverage bikini top like the Hana paired with boyshort bottoms like the Isla . We throw the quick-dry Mercer long sleeve tee on and the boardshort-inspired Del Rey skirt on bottom and call it a day.
- When in Rome… Do as the paddling yogis do. Wait - that’s not how the saying goes! Oh well. Our point is that yoga in a yoga studio is a bit different than yoga on the water, so be prepared to make some adjustments. You may not be able to get quite as deep into some of your familiar postures, or hold them for as long, or transition as quickly from asana to asana. Give yourself some grace and remember that you’re working with a much more unstable foundation, which will give you a totally different experience. And if you wipeout, just throw up a shaka and hop back on your board. That’s what the Romans paddling yogis do.
- Take advantage of the stillness. Yoga on a SUP is a natural fit for many surfers, but it’s typically a much less adrenaline-fueled activity than getting barreled. No matter, use the relative calm as a chance to meditate, relax, and set some intentions about how you hope to approach both the thrilling and stilling aspects of your life.
- Consider taking a class. While there’s not yet an official certification required to teach yoga on a SUP, there are plenty of great classes available across the country. Find one near you with Boga’s “floating studio” or Paddle Into Fitness’s affiliates locator. Learn from a pro, enjoy the camaraderie of other sunshine lovers, and make some new friends for your next adventure, wherever it might take you!
Photo credits: Rock Creek, Chatanooga, TN