8 Essential SUP Yoga Poses

Outdoor yoga is a favorite activity of mine as is time on the water.  So if you put them together you get SUP Yoga.  This blog is a repost from Athleta’s Chi Blog.  It is a great overview of some basic poses you can try on the water.  Be well everyone and keep paddling!

Lindsay Lambert is a certified Stand Up Paddleboard Yoga Instructor and PaddleFit Core coach through Bliss Paddle Yoga™. Today on the blog she shares eight essential yoga poses to start building a foundation for SUP Paddleboard Yoga.

Getting Started

Be prepared to get wet. At the very least, your feet will touch the water as you launch the board from the beach or shore, so don’t be afraid. When getting onto the paddleboard, focus on the center of the board (where the handle is located). Take one knee onto the paddleboard, then the other knee onto the board so that you are on hands-and-knees or Table Pose. Take a moment to make sure that you’re centered on the board and patiently adjust accordingly.

The center of the board is the most stable place for your body to be so it’s important to make sure your body is centered on the board in each pose.

Honor your body, let go of judgment and comparison, and begin your practice with an open heart and patient mind.

#1 Table Pose

This posture is a key transitioning and foundational pose. On all fours, your wrist and shoulders are stacked with hands the shoulder-width apart. Fingers fanned out. Your knees and hips are stacked with your knees a hip-width apart. Elongate your neck and spine/belly space, with your gaze down between your hands. Your head, shoulders, and pelvis are in one line, parallel with the board. Keep a softening in between the shoulders and start to tighten up your belly space.

#2 Child’s Pose

From table pose, drop your pelvis back to your heels. Reach your hands towards the top of the board as you lower your forehead down to connect with the board. Those with knee issues, focus more on the reach of the hands towards the top of the board and keep the pelvis up higher instead of dropping it back to the heels.

Child’s pose is a pose of physical surrender and a good place to go when you need to check-in mentally.

Be free of distractions, fears, and anxiety. Instead focus on the present moment; your body on the board, floating safely on the peaceful water.

#3 Downward-Facing Dog Pose

From table pose, curl your toes under. Start to sit your pelvis back almost as if you’re preparing for child’s pose, then lift your knees off the board and raise the pelvis as high as you can towards the sky. Crown of the head points between the hands. Your gaze falls to the center of the board. Shoulder blades flush with the ribcage. If the hamstrings are tight, simply keep abandon the knees as you enter downward-facing dog pose.

#4 Plank Pose

From table pose, practice just stepping your right foot to the end of the board, into a modified plank. Replace the right knee back to table pose, then try stepping the left foot back to the end of the board. When you’re ready for a full plank from your foundation of table pose, step the feet back, keep the muscles around your navel and spine fired up. Nothing changes about the torso space from table to plank pose. Your navel is still directly center aligned. The gaze is still between the hands. This posture will challenge your core a bit more than table pose. Make sure the booty and thighs are fired up and the center of your body is working for you not against you.

Simply put, engage your core.

#5 Cobra Pose

From plank pose, slowly lower down onto your belly, hearts, and chin keeping the hands right next to the rib cage. Your navel should be center aligned. Set your gaze forward, start to elongate your neck space, and lift/open your heart forward where your gaze is set. Press your tailbone down as your heart shines forward. Your collarbone should be smiling forward, as well. For low cobra pose, you will use just the strength of your back to lift into the bend. For high cobra pose, the arms can assist the lift. Keep the elbows close to the side bodies and don’t lock or hyperextend your arms. For both variations of the pose, keep your shoulder blades flush to the rib cage.

#6 Forward-Fold Pose

From downward-facing dog with bent knees, begin to walk the feet as close to the handle as you can. Then walk your hands as close to the feet as you can. Your feet should be hip-width apart at the center of the board. Place your palms on the board at the outside of the feet. If you have tight hamstrings or lower back issues, modify the pose by bending your knees, just like in downward-facing dog. Point the crown of the head down at the board and the pelvis up high to the sky. Your gaze is at back through the legs. Try to connect to your rib cage with the top of the thighs. Again remember you can bend the knees to modify the pose. The wider your stance is on the board, the more stability you’ll have. Also consider taking your hands to the sides of the board and your gaze down at the center for more stability in your forward fold pose.

#7 Mountain Pose

From forward fold, set your gaze at the top of the board and place a bend in the knees. Slowly circle-sweep your arms out and over your head, move your gaze to the horizon that lies in front of you. Connect your palms over your head and either lower your hands to heart center or lower the arms to a 45 degree angle with the arms extended out, palms facing forward, and the fingers fanned out. Stack your masses (head, shoulder & pelvic girdle) by lengthening your spaces (your neck spine/belly). This will help you to engage the core of your neck and torso. Think of reaching through the crown of the head, as you ground/root through the soles of your feet. You can always choose a slight bend in your knees and take a wider stance for more stability. Keep your gaze to the horizon for more support or for more challenge close your eyes.

#8 Relaxation Pose

From a seated position, patiently turn around so you’re facing the back of the board. Take your time to gently, slowly roll back into a supine (on your spine) position with your legs out long and wide. Your head is now resting at the nose of the board. Stretch your arms out long, with the palms facing up towards the sky. Feel free to let your hands and feet relax over the sides of the board into the water. If you’re feeling hot, this is a great way to cool your body down. As you close your eyes, surrender all work and effort of the body. Let your body melt into the board, as the gentle movement of the water rocks you into a peaceful state of tranquility and serenity. For about 5 minutes, rest and reflect on all the goodness of your practice.

What if I fall?

Don’t stress about it! Everyone has the moment where a fall happens. Learning to pull yourself back onto the board is important and everyone should practice at some point. If falling is an overwhelming fear you have, don’t do any of the standing poses until you’re feeling more confident and stay in shallower water.



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Breath Like this to Feel Better- Immediately

Here is a repost from Levverage-events.com.  I love finding to pranayama exercises.  Enjoy!

Have you ever found yourself getting frustrated to the point where your emotions take over your logical mind? Right into victim role you go. Your mind starts to support your feelings allowing you to blame someone else, the situation or the condition.

Please tell me you know what I’m talking about? It’s almost like you could hit the replay button and away you go reacting over and over again.

Then something happens, a little voice says, “Stop! This is not helping in any way.”

This little voice or alarm, reminds you that you are not a victim. You have a simple practice that helps you reset in the moment.

YOU BREATHE

In 30 seconds the breath and a postural change can improve your state so you can solve your problem from a place of love and compassion. A place of clarity.

HERE is my gift to you (30 second breath practice).

I promise you’ll feel noticeably better!

Breathwork is an active meditation technique that I’ve learned to help me reclaim the moment and make better choices. Breathwork has helped me feel focused, grounded and safe.

Brian MacKenzie and Rob Wilson are two of the most impressive leaders in the field of Breathwork, and they’re coming to Maine! If this is the first time you’ve heard about them, trust me when I say they are beyond incredible. These two are leading SEAL Team Six, big wave surfers, yogis, professional athletes and Olympians to be champions through effective breath skill sets.

Are you committed to growing this year? We would love to see you at our next event and created a great way for you to learn from the leaders with our new Leverage Membership.

Environmentalism as a Yogic Practice

Repost from www.wanderlust.com

Because yoga doesn’t just happen on the mat.

“Live your yoga.” We hear that a lot in our community, whether from teachers, from fellow yogis, or from that internal voice gently urging us not to flip off that bad driver; to patiently smile at that baby screaming on a long plane flight. There are countless ways in which we can incorporate the lessons we learn on the mat into our interactions with others—the same stillness we find in the yoking of body and breath can bring calm, respect, and space into our relationships.

But our personal relationship to the environment is also a part of the practice. In other words, how we treat the Earth—the small and large choices we make every day—is an important part of a yogic lifestyle. Several major tenets of environmentalism can, in fact, be pinpointed in the Yoga Sutras, though it’s really more basic than that.

“Yoga and mindfulness practices are what give us the tools to live in a conscious manner,” says Wanderlust teacher and environmental activist Chelsey Korus. “One of the gifts that having a yoga practice in your life gives you is a window of knowing—to know who I am, the world I’m in, and the environment that feeds me, nourishes me, and gives me a home.” With this in mind, how could the environment—upon which we so integrally depend—be disregarded in any conversation about health and wellness?

A Natural Connection

Environmentalism isn’t a lofty idea unrooted in the daily ebb and flow. As Chelsey says, our environment is what nourishes us; what gives us a home. How we interact with nature can be seen as a reflection of how we interact with our truest selves, which we come to time and again on the mat. Chelsey says that her practice helps her to be drawn into nature—into a specific place in nature that calls to her. “The natural response is to give back in the same measure you have received, she says. “So that’s your yogic act of giving back to a place that feeds you and gives you a home.”

It was, in fact, her practice that turned Chelsey from a casual steward of the environment to a passionate advocate. She had for some time been engaging in environmental work because she says she was fulfilling what she considered yogic obligation: “I was being a good servant, doing the things I ‘should,’” she says. But then Chelsey found a place in nature, for the first time, that she absolutely loved and which fed her soul, leading to a deep personal connection with the land itself. “It nurtured me and brought me back to health—I would fight for this land,” she says. It was when she noticed that this particular piece of land was littered with broken glass that she was spurred to impassioned action.

Every Decision Counts

The butterfly effect is in full flutter when it comes to environmentalism. We can make conscious decisions every single day when it comes to what we purchase, what we cook, and even what we wear. Perhaps the most obvious—and most effective—daily choice that makes a significant impact is in the decision we make around food. Whatever your diet (there’s no small contingency among yogis that considers any diet outside of veganism to be harmful to the environment), there are conscious decisions that you can make when buying food.

The most obvious, of course, is to choose organic products. If you eat meat, buy less of it, and buy from farmers or companies that are committed to responsibly raising animals. Take into consideration factors such as whether the producer is committed to land regeneration or water conservation. Try to shop at farmers markets, and eat locally. When you’re heading out to the store, bring along a reusable bag, or try your hand at zero-waste grocery shopping.

You can also commit to environmentalism by the clothes you choose to wear. The spring/summer 2018 adidas x Wanderlust co-branded line, for example, was developed with Parley for the Oceans, an initiative whose intent it is to bring awareness to the plastic problem in our oceans. Select pieces in the line were developed using Parley Ocean Plastic™  fabric, recovered from the deep blue. Imagine what good we could do the ocean if every article of clothing created or worn was spun from recycled materials!

It may cost a bit more, and it may take more time to make these responsible choices. It may not be possible to choose the environment every single time you have to make the decision. But every little bit helps. Even if you only buy one pair of leggings made from recycled plastic, or only shop at the farmers market once a month, you’re still putting the principles of yoga into practice.

Get Involved

In addition to the choices we make on the regular, we can also incorporate our yogic principles to environmentalism by bigger commitments or projects. When Chelsey noticed the broken glass on her beloved land, she “realized I am the one I’ve been waiting for, and the person doing harm was me by just walking past and doing nothing,” she says. “I have two hands that work! I have two feet that can carry this waste back to where it can be properly disposed of!”

Just as on the mat we learn to take responsibility for our actions by tuning into the subtleties of body and breath, we can take that lesson of responsibility and apply it to physical efforts. Maybe it’s as simple as walking a couple extra blocks to the public recycling bin while holding onto an empty kombucha bottle. Maybe it’s signing up to volunteer for a month at a reforestation center. Maybe it’s donating a couple hours of your time to participate in a public cleanup effort, like the one Chelsey helped lead at Wanderlust O’ahu this year.

However it fits into your life, there are plenty of things small and big you can do to make environmentalism a part of your yogic practice. Have ideas? We want to hear them. Let’s work together to keep this planet our healthy and happy home.

Lisette Cheresson is a writer, storyteller, yoga teacher, and adventuress who is an avid vagabond, homechef, dirt-collector, and dreamer. When she’s not attempting to create pretty sentences or reading pretty sentences other people have created, it’s a safe bet that she’s either hopping a plane, dancing, cooking, or hiking. She received her Level II Reiki Attunement and attended a 4-day intensive discourse with the Dalai Lama in India, and received her RYT200 in Brooklyn. She is currently the Director of Content at Wanderlust Festival.

Yoga for Small Spaces: Heart Pumping Sequence

Repost from www.yogabycandace.com

Over the years, I’ve lived in a number of places – with host families in Costa Rica and Spain, in a bunch of different apartments in college, in Upstate New York, in southern Connecticut, in a hotel in Massachusettes, in a townhouse in southern Germany, an old loft in the Czech Republic – the list goes on. Strangely enough, the place I look back on with the most nostalgia is this little studio apartment I had while I was going through grad school. It was in a rough part of town, and definitely not the safest place, but it was all I could afford at the time. The building was old and falling apart, the elevators barely worked, and the entire place had a very distinct smell that I never really could place. I actually remember once afternoon coming home from student teaching and there were three cop cars outside my building. I asked if everything was ok, and they go, “Yeah nothing big, your neighbor was mugged but he’s fine.”

Uh, it was 3:00pm on a Tuesday! So yeah. Not the safest place, but it was my place. It was the first time I lived alone, and my little studio felt like a castle.

Today I want to address small spaces. Whether you travel a lot and are in hotels more often than you are home, are currently in a little studio apartment, or you’re living’ it up in dorm life, this yoga sequence should fit (quite literally) into your space. I created this heart pumping sequence because I don’t know about you, but sometimes after traveling and being sedentary in the plane for hours on end I just want to get in a good sweat. The instructions here should be considered suggestions. Definitely modify as you see fit – if you have more energy, hold the poses longer, and if you’re running on fumes, take it down a notch or two.  Enjoy!