I’m always amazed by the new, adventurous things that my friend, Susan, is doing. Here’s a new one: stand-up paddle boarding yoga! Namaste.
Hi to all the wonderful Charmed Wellness readers! My name is Susan, and this is my second guest post for Charmed Wellness. I’m a communications coordinator in higher education who loves to run, ski, bake, and read. I blog about my various adventures in running, life, and the kitchen over at Adventures With Suz. Happy reading!
A few years ago on a trip to visit a friend in New Orleans, I saw my first stand-up paddle boarders. I was at the Bayou Boogaloo festival and saw two people who were doing yoga on the Bayou on paddle boards. At first glance, it looked effortless, but from experience that usually means it’s hard.
Fast forward two years, and stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) has become extremely popular. I was recently on vacation in South Carolina and wanted to try it, but the tours/lessons sold out before I had a chance. Next year!
Living in Central Pennsylvania doesn’t exactly make you think “water sports.”However, we have a number of state parks within driving distance of where I live, and many offer boat rentals, kayak/canoe rentals, peddle boats, swimming, waterskiing, and tubing. I had yet to hear of SUP anywhere nearby.
That changed when a friend of mine “liked” a Facebook page called SUP State College. Operating out of a local state park, she offers a 90-minute SUP yoga class on weekend mornings and SUP rentals for the rest of the day at reasonable prices. I decided to check it out.
I signed up for the Saturday morning SUP yoga class. There were four of us plus our instructor, Camille. To preface this, I’m not a yoga person. I don’t find it relaxing at all, and, after 30 minutes, I’m beyond bored and most likely in pain. But the instructor assured us this class was for everyone, yogis and non-yogis alike.
We first learned how to get on the paddleboard from the dock and stand up. Not so hard! Then we paddled out a bit, dropped our anchors, and started to learn about yoga on a paddleboard. Just like in yoga on land, there are options to make things easier or difficult. She always showed us both. We went through several positions before doing a connected series. Sadly, I can’t remember the names of everything. It was really enjoyable and was a different challenge, because you’re on an unstable base. While we dropped anchor, the boards still moved around a bit, and, despite a calm surface, water is water. You also had to be mindful of where you were on the board, because there’s always a chance you can topple in! No one fell in, even when two women tried headstands. It was impressive!
I definitely felt challenged, but it was also relaxing. It was a beautiful day to be outside on the water, especially in the quiet surroundings.
After class, our instructor sent us off to paddleboard around the lake and a bit down the river. (It is more of a stream in my opinion, but they call it a river.) The water was clear and mostly shallow, so you can see down to the bottom. We paddled around, saw a few turtles and even some bigger fish. We headed back to shore around 11:30 a.m. and were all hooked!
I was excited to learn that Camille plans to continue the weekend SUP yoga classes through September. I’m hoping to be able to attend a few more. I might even try some of the poses I was a bit afraid to try. What’s the worst that can happen? Oh, right; you fall in! No big deal. I also plan to be on top of things to register for a tour on vacation next year before they sell out!
Question: Have you ever tried SUP? How about SUP Yoga? If so, what did you think?