In the heyday of a precious New England summer, outbound adventures reign prevalent. The feel of the welcomed sunshine, the smell of a salt-tinged air, the blooming trees chocked full of wind chimed leaves – these and more are the draw to the great outdoors this season. And what better place is there to be than out on the water, in the vortex of all this bounty? Around this time of year, the Long Island Sound and its inlets are like a bouncy castle for the summertime spirit and a salve for the timeless soul.
Paddleboard yoga provides the platform for play. On a paddleboard, the rock of the sea beneath the board is an experience that leaves ripples. Often the reflection after a class is marked as deeply memorable. Here’s why –
The following are five things to expect from your SUP Yoga class this summer:
1. PREPARATION: Each SUP Yoga class will include a preparatory overview of the general stand up paddle “How Tos”: How to hold a paddle, load the board, stand up and get back down, paddle efficiently, tie up for yoga and call out for support. In addition to the nuts to bolts (or in this case, nose to tail) instruction, be prepared to be guided in your SUP Yoga sequence in a clear way. You may feel unsteady but the overarching approach will be to move slowly. Also to move in acknowledgment and acceptance of unsteadiness; even with reverence to that which is not within control.
2. KNOWLEDGE: The insights on a paddle board may be abundant. The experience may be highly informative to your studio practice, like recognizing intrinsic muscles in your body used to hold a balance. And on a personal level, the time on board might reflect an emotional state of being – one that reminds you of your courage, strength, playfulness, gusto, and compassion.
3. POWER: There is an old adage in yoga – while the teacher is the designer of the framework of the sequence of postures, the approach, response, and experience is entirely up to you. The SUP Yoga teacher will articulate tools to help maneuver a stable board through postural transitions, however, the student will rely on the teacher within and use their own felt sense to activate appropriately for optimal stability. It’s a highly empowering experience to command a 32-inch wide board and it’s totally doable.
4. CREATIVITY: Call me crazy, but each class you attend will be unique. Expect a fresh class sequence, theme and an individual landscape to that moment and tide. Nature speaks of the day, calling attention out of the busyness of the mind and into the far-flung beauty of the sky and sea. Curious adventures in form and thought will zing and reverberate in these out of the box experiences.
5. CALLING: As below, so is above. Mediation and mindful movement on board may cause alignment to those dreams spoken or whispered of off the board. By catching the wake of an experience in nature, without walls, be prepared to ride that wave into a feeling of spaciousness and possibility.
Here is my personal favorite paddle board which I love to take out on the take behind my parents house or up in Maine in Acadia National Park.