Our new feature “Fitness in the Key” will highlight the many different ways to exercise and stay fit in the Florida Keys. In this feature we discuss all the benefits of Standup Paddleboard Yoga.
Standup Paddleboard (SUP) Yoga is the combination of the sport of standup paddleboarding with the practice of Yoga. It’s one of the newest trends in fitness. Enjoy the natural elements and splendor of floating on the water while getting a great workout. When you live in a tropical paradise, what better way to get fit than a little Yoga on the water!
SUP Yoga helps cultivate balance, flexibility, relaxation, and most of all it’s fun!
While practicing yoga poses on a paddleboard you will be challenged to engage your core and stabilizing muscles constantly in order to stay balanced. This provides a great full-body work out, just by simply being on the board.
Yoga is about focus and the breath. SUP yoga requires you pay deep attention to your breath and your body, meaning it can help focus and quiet scattered minds.
The fear of falling in (even though it feels great when you do!) provides the perfect amount of exhilaration to motivate your body to work harder. When you work hard, your body releases endorphins. This is what gives you that blissful feeling when it’s finished and helps to combat stress throughout your day.
Want to see if SUP Yoga is for you? Next time you are on your board, try these three simple poses:
Child’s Pose–Come to a kneeling position with one knee on either side of the handle in the center of your board and knees wider than your hips. Bring the tops of your feet to the board and sit your hips back on your heels. Crawl your hands out in front of you until your forehead comes to the board. Take several deep breaths feeling a nice stretch in your spine and hips.
Cobra Pose–Lie down on your belly in the center of the board. Press the tops of your feet on to the board. Place your hands down underneath your shoulders. Draw your shoulders down your back. Press down into your hands and as you begin to straighten your arms, pull your chest forward through your arms. Keep your hips rooted down on the board. Continue to draw your shoulders away from your ears and lift your heart up to the sky. Maybe even let your head drop back and give the clouds a big smile.
Downward facing dog— From cobra pose, keeping your hands and feet where they are, press your hips back towards your heels until your arms are straight and your back is flat. Curl your toes under and lift your hips up to the sky. Draw your shoulders down your back and press your chest towards your thighs. Let your head hang down keeping your neck relaxed. Stay here for a few deep breaths and maybe even gently rock your floating mat side to side for a little balancing fun.
Never tried SUP? Never tried Yoga? No problem! Whether you live here or are just visiting, SUP Yoga offers fitness and health benefits to anyone who loves being on the water. As with any form of yoga, it can be as gentle or as challenging as you want to make it. Try a class with an experienced instructor and you will be guided safely in and out of poses while having a great time.
Feature written by Seychelle-Ocean Child, Professional Standup Paddleboarder, SUP Yogi, Adventurer
I was born and raised in the Florida Keys and have always had a deep connection to the water. I am an internationally competitive SUP racer and current long distance World Record holder in SUP. I began teaching Yoga on standup paddleboards in 2013. With my extensive knowledge of the sport of SUP and 13 years studying Yoga, I have developed a unique curriculum for teaching safe and FUN yoga classes on the water. I also lead SUP Fitness and Private SUP coaching lessons for beginner to advanced paddlers, as well as lead SUP Yoga teacher trainings. My classes on and off the board are a blend of the diverse styles I have practiced and a journey to cultivate strength, energy, balance, and bliss within our bodies.
I am passionate about life, fitness, nutrition, love, and being happy. I believe that anything is possible. My mantra is “Breathe and Smile”
It is my life’s dream to share this adventure with you.
Blessings and Gratitude,
Places to try SUP Yoga in Islamorada, FL:
Paddle 88 http://www.paddlethefloridakeys.com/
Islamorada Fitness http://islamoradafitness.com/