Are you looking for a new way to get fit? A great way to do that is by combining two sports. Stand up paddle boarding is a water sport that comes from Hawaii and is becoming more and more popular throughout the world. Yoga is an ancient type of exercise which encourages you to slow down and focus on the present, while boosting strength and flexibility. Put them both together and you have SUP yoga!
SUP yoga is a good workout
When you’re planning any new form of exercise, the first thing you’ll want to know is how good a workout is it? Let us tell you that SUP yoga is VERY good. From the perspective of losing weight, you can burn around 500 calories per session. This is more than regular paddling, and even that burns calories at twice the rate of your average leisurely stroll.
It’s not all about losing weight though. With SUP yoga, it also is excellent for working on muscles that you never even knew existed - and of course, some that you did. With slightly different poses to land yoga, you’ll be working quads, shoulders, arms and knees. The area that is worked on most though is your core. A common recommendation for people who want to get more toned abs is to try stand up paddle boarding. Throw in the yoga element, and that will only happen faster.
SUP yoga improves balance and flexibility
We’ve already covered some of this in the workout aspect of SUP yoga. With your core muscles being constantly engaged, as well as your legs and back, both paddle boarding and yoga are great for improving your balance. Staying on a floating board while maintaining yoga poses is even better! As well as working on balance, it also increases flexibility, and it strengthens muscles that you may not usually engage.
If you practice SUP yoga regularly, other people will start to notice your improvement in balance and flexibility too. Thanks to an improved posture, you’ll be standing taller and moving more gracefully.
SUP yoga is fun and challenging
For most people, SUP yoga is not (yet) a daily activity. However, our brains love variety and taking the plunge to do SUP yoga will give it something new to get excited about. SUP yoga is not only a physical challenge, but a mental one as well, as you have to master yogic breathing techniques and train your mind to stay in the present. All of this is very rewarding in the long term.
To give yourself the best chance of enjoying SUP yoga and keeping it up, it’s best to have mastered the basics of stand up paddle boarding and/or yoga before you combine the two. Otherwise, you could get frustrated before you get to the fun and challenging part!
SUP yoga is relaxing
Yoga encourages you to stay in the present moment. By only focusing on your breathing, you are not making space in your head for any worries or concerns. Therefore, you’re reducing your stress levels and increasing a sense of relaxation.
Add in the therapeutic effects of water, and these peaceful and tranquil feelings will only increase.
That sense of peace extends beyond the end of your workout too. The breathing techniques you learn in yoga can be applied to your everyday life, meaning that your stress levels will be reduced overall.
SUP yoga gets you closer to nature
This ties into the previous point about the relaxation element of SUP yoga. All kinds of research prove that spending time outdoors is good for you. It reduces stress and improves your mood, even more so when you’re out on the water.
The best yoga sessions are always done outdoors - whether that’s on a roof terrace of a hostel while the sun rises, deep in the forest, or out on your SUP to the backdrop of a sunset. If you get too hot from the exercise of yoga, there’s nothing to stop you sliding off your board and cooling off in the waters of an alpine lake or the gentle waves lapping against the .
SUP yoga refines techniques on land
Last but not least, there’s nothing that will improve your land yoga technique quite like SUP yoga! There are a few subtle differences between the workouts, and SUP yoga will definitely feel harder at first. However, keep practising, and you’ll notice that you’re able to refine the moves you picked up in land yoga, as well as learning new ones out on the water.