Feeling on-edge or up-tight? Need some soothing? Try getting grounded on an unsturdy surface. Really. If you’re a waterbaby as much as an avid yogi, step up your game by taking your earth-bound practice to one of nature’s pools of CBD. Surprise yourself with all the ways yoga on the water can dilute the daily stressors you carry around on land.
Simply being near a body of water reaps intrinsic and extrinsic benefits to an individual’s wellbeing. Revitalization, clarity, strength, stability, peace, serenity, connection—the ripple effects carry on like undulations pulsating just under your feet. It’s science. Research shows that our physique and psyche have a deep-seated spiritual and emotional relationship with water, known as “Blue Mind,” derived by marine biologist Wallace J. Nichols--diving into the remarkable effects being by, in, on, or under water has on our livelihoods.
It’s not only a picturesque place to X out too many tabs open in your brain, but the humbling aspect of being in nature’s playing field is a whole new opportunity to enhance your practice.
Time to get waterbound.
We know you love your yoga mat, but best to put it aside for a more buoyant base when it comes to SUP yoga. If you already have a stand up paddleboard, you’re more than halfway there. If not, no worries. If you live in a town gifted with shoreline, or plan to visit a coastal destination, there is likely a board rental company around the corner, or even a local yoga studio that offers SUP yoga classes to help immerse you in the world of downward doggie and paddle.
Be sure to avoid an ocean with strong currents, rips and large waves. Having a flat and safe foundation will ensure a positive experience instead of a frustrating one. Any lake, lagoon, mangrove, cove or gulf-like body of water will do. Still, you will notice that finding your center will be more difficult on a SUP--like trying to change a ceiling light on a waterbed difficult.
The art of paddleboard yoga is a challenging, yet rewarding one.
Mastering a headstand or eagle pose with the unpredictable flow below may be one of the most gratifying moments. Whether tree pose or warrior, it will engage your core at the fullest, challenge your lower body and demand extra balance. And transitioning from different asanas on a SUP requires an added dose of strength, focus and flexibility than yoga already requires in order to maintain yourself afloat.
To avoid falling in, micromovements are often needed, with your gaze on a fixed point. But in all honesty, falling in is part of the fun--let the saltwater heal any literal or figurative wounds.
Experience the spiritual wellness of practicing sun salutations in the actual sunshine. Spending time immersed in a seaside environment with fresh, open air is that healthful boost of Vitamin D that absorbs calcium into your body and breathes serotonin into your brain. Call it nature’s medicine. Taking your next vinyasa to the beach at sunset hour or dawn patrol will boost your immunity and mitigate the anxiety that surmounts indoors.
We spend enough time in boxes already, right?
There’s also something unique about simultaneously focusing on the state of your posture and technique of your poses, while also taking in the boundless beauty of what lies on the horizon. Turn the world upside down in a wheel pose and lock in on its linear glory with a new perspective. And after a nice sweat session, alleviate any lingering tension by sitting in lotus or laying in Savasana to meditate.
And don’t worry about what other beach goers and passerbys might think--this is about you.
Notice the salty zephyr brushing your skin, the calming sound of the tide rolling in, the relaxing decompression the beach inherently brings. Sensing the sand underneath your yoga mat just became your new favorite feeling.
This one may be a bit harder to pull off. Perhaps hang out at a marina in your finest pair of yoga pants and maybe a friendly captain will let you prance onboard. While you’re at it, sneak in a boat pose while on the bow of the boat. If you have the resources to sail out to the open sea for a few castaway Chaturangas, you’re winning.
Anchors away and namaste.