With warm water, sunny skies and countless beach days, summer is a perfect time to get out there and try out some new water-sport activities. To help kick-start that motivation train, Ocean Minded Ambassador and Yoga Journal‘s current cover feature, Gillian Gibree has three simple Standup Paddle (SUP) Yoga poses that can be done by everyone!
By Ocean Minded Brand Ambassador, Gillian Gibree
I got into SUP Yoga about four years ago. I never really thought it would turn into what it is today, that’s for sure! I had been practicing yoga for a while and did a few different trainings, and I always loved the ocean and was hooked on SUP. The combination just seemed like the perfect way to bring together two practices I love!
SUP Yoga has helped me achieve my fitness goals because the unstable surface makes poses more challenging, and basic poses like plank will trigger different muscles groups than on land. Plus there is nothing better than being out in nature! It’s important to do a workout you love, because it’s the only way you will stick to it. SUP Yoga can be done by everyone, as long as you keep your practice basic and modify poses for the board. You will get the cardio and strength benefits from the paddling side, and the flexibly and coordination with the yoga. Here are a few poses you can try out during your next SUP Yoga session:
Mountain Pose- Tadasana
“I am deeply connected to the earth, expanding into the heavens and radiating from the core of my being.”
Mountain pose is a simple, yet very powerful grounding and spiritual posture. Begin with feet hip width distance apart on your paddleboard (on land it’s feet together, but we need the feet spread wide for added stability on water). Press the toes and four corners of the feet into the board. Engage the core and release the tailbone down, creating elongation in the spine. Roll the shoulders down the back and lift through the crown. Bring your hands to heart center, and take three deep breaths as you relax into your center. Take this time to connect to nature and bring your awareness to the present.
Modified Warrior 2- Virabhadrasana 2
“I encounter life with energy, courage, determination and fortitude, sensing the power of the courageous hero within.”
From three legged dog, sweep the right foot through between the hands. Drop the back knee down to the board while keeping the back toes tucked for stability. Lift the arms up to shoulder height and stretch the fingertips away from each other, creating lines of energy alongside the arms. Relax the shoulder blades down, widen across the pelvis, and bring the right knee over the ankle. Remain here for three breaths.
Bow Pose- Dhanuransana
“I balance and surrender to reach my true self effortlessly.”
Begin by lying on your stomach, with arms overhead and forehead down to the board. Bend the knees, reach back and grab the ankles while flexing the feet. Exhale out. On the inhale, lift the thighs off the board, creating both length and height in your ‘bow’ as you press the legs and chest away from each other. With each breath, you will rock gently back and forth, allowing prana to flow freely. On the third breath, release the ankles and rest on your board.
Feel like taking a class? There are many yoga and surf schools that offer instructional classes, but be check out Gillian’s SUP Yoga school, Paddle Into Fitness if your in California this summer. Paddle Into Fitness also offers instructional classes, SUP Yoga Retreats and certifications courses for yogi’s of all ages and abilities.