Paddleboard Yoga: Beginner Poses To Get You Started
Peace Out on the Waves
Yoga is all about finding zen, building your balance, and keeping healthy. Choosing a suitable yoga location on land can be tricky, especially with a plethora of distractions and nuisances to steal away your focus. It’s far easier to find your center amongst the calm, gentle waves on an inflatable stand up paddle board (iSUP) far away from the hubbub of the concrete jungle.
Though paddle board yoga might seem daunting, it’s actually far easier than you imagine. The right board, perfect prep and practicing some basic positions will transform you into a paddle board yoga guru in no time!
Before getting your feet wet, it’s important to select the ideal board to effortlessly glide into your yoga journey. Depending on your weight, height and how advanced your skills are, there is a board out there that fits everyone.
For newcomers and beginners, the Aquaplanet Allround TEN, Rockit Pnk, and Rockit Blu iSUPs offer great stability, maneuverability and versatility. These boards are best used in calm waters, and can be the perfect platform for novices to begin practicing yoga on a paddle board.
The Aquaplanet Max iSUP and Aquaplanet Jupiter iSUP are larger boards that are great for both beginners and intermediates. Built to carry heavier loads and with supreme balance in mind, these boards not only provide ample space to show off your moves, but also make it unlikely that you’ll cause a big splash if it’s your first time trying your hand at yoga on a paddle board.
For advanced boarders looking to tone down the adrenaline and take things slow, the AquaPlanet Wingtail and AquaPlanet Wilderness iSUPs are the way to go. These boards fare well in choppy waters when the urge for adventure strikes, but are also sturdy and adaptable enough to be great choices for yoga on paddle board.
Before You Dive In
Keep these five useful tips in mind before you begin practicing yoga on a paddle board. They will help ensure you are more comfortable, and have the confidence to thrive.
- Seek a sheltered location
Picking a spot that has calm water is a simple, but often overlooked first step to yoga on paddle board success. Choppy waves are the nemesis of a water yogi!
- Start Slowly
Methodical movements will ensure your board remains as stable as possible. It’s hard enough keeping your balance on land, let alone on water!
- Avoid Crowds
Chances are, most people won’t have seen anyone practicing yoga on a paddle board before. This might draw unwanted attention and ruin your tranquility.
- Broaden Your Stance
Keeping a solid center of gravity and wide base will grant you greater control and stability on the water. It’s important to try and keep your feet hip-distance apart for optimum balance.
- Contact with Your Board
Make sure you have at least two points of contact with your iSUP at all times. Poses that require a single point of contact with your board (like tree poses) demand exceptional balance, and are generally not ideal for beginners. Instead, try to utilize poses that keep you parallel with your board (like warrior 1 or warrior 2).
With the right board, location and preparation complete, now it’s time for the fun part! Yoga on a paddle board is a truly rewarding experience once you get the hang of it. As a beginner, these five positions will be a great launching point for you to build a routine from.
Let’s start really chill and easy. The Savasana position basically requires you to lie flat on your back while enjoying the sensation of floating on water. It’s great as a warm up and cooldown exercise and also serves as a fantastic base for meditation so you can build focus before trying out some tougher positions.
A staple pose in the world of yoga, the plank is a great way to build core strength and endurance. You can practice this pose with straight or bent elbows, and even lift one leg in the air at a time for a greater challenge.
- Downward-Facing Dog
One of the most recognizable yoga positions out there, the downward-facing dog is concentrated on strengthening your arms, shoulders, and legs. It involves pushing your hips up and back while straightening the legs. With your head lowered, gaze behind you and breathe deeply as your worries melt away.
- Warrior 2
For a slightly trickier pose, you can try warrior 2. This move looks flamboyant and requires great balance, so ease yourself into it slowly. You can start by keeping a strong base while standing (known as a mountain pose) and then extending your left leg backward. Raise your hands so that they are parallel with your board while bending your right knee and keeping your lower back curved.
- Low lunges
A constant in almost all exercise routines, lunges should be familiar to most people. To perform a perfect low lunge on your iSUP, start in a downward-facing dog position and put your right foot forward while raising your arms. Take it slow while doing this, breathe evenly, and make sure you keep your balance and avoid wobbling. Hold the lunge for as long as you feel comfortable.
Plenty More to Explore
Remember, we’ve only covered the basics of what is a deep and enriching activity. Yoga on a paddle board is truly one of the best ways to detach from life’s constant stresses while focusing on peace and building strength. Before delving further into your new passion for yoga on the water, make sure you are equipped with the right board, have a great location in mind, and prepare well. With all the necessary stepping stones before you, there’s no reason why you can’t reach enlightenment and become a true paddle board yogi.