7 musts for your trip to Bar Harbor, Maine

Bar Harbor is a coastal town in Maine wedged against a popular lobstering spot—Frenchman’s Bay. Rich with culture and historic buildings, this town also backs right up to Acadia National Park. It’s location, and bustling culinary and shopping scene make it an awesome place to visit. As a life-long visitor and new local from away, I wanted to share some ideas to make your visit to Bar Harbor extra unique and fun!

The Travelin Lobster: This place services lobster rolls on Brioche. Do I need to continue? Seriously though, whether you are on your way on or off Mount Desert Island you must stop here, play corn hole, and eat a lobster roll.

Mount Desert Ice Cream: Located in the heart of Bar Harbor’s village square, this place has flavors like blueberry basil and blueberry crumble made from New England berries. They also have classic chocolate and vanilla. There is something for everyone. Shout out to this shop for using all local ingredients. When you come to Maine, please support locally owned businesses. Big business is literally killing the economy of the State of Maine. Shop local!

Acadia SUP: Getting off the beaten path is everything if you visit Maine in the summer. Acadia SUP is a complete gem. You will have a personalized and truly unique experience if you go for a paddle with this crew. The storefront is located on Main Street in Bar Harbor, with paddle-board trips off the sand bar and to the quietside of the island (secret spots where no one else is going!). A bonus, they offer paddleboard yoga twice a week which is the best deal EVER! It is for all levels even total newbies.

Yoga in Your Park: Want to be in the park and find some cool spots where it’s not overrun with people? Join Yoga in Your Park for one of their daily classes inside Acadia National Park or message me to set up a private class!

Mount Desert Campground: This place is the best when it comes to camping on island. It has tent platforms that hang out over the Somes Sound. You can put your kayak or paddleboard in right from your tent site. Unreal. It also has a unique location with access to Bar Harbor, Acadia, and the quietside.

Bar Harbor Inn: This one is totally biased. My husband and I were married at the Bar Harbor Inn almost exactly 12 years ago. It is beautiful, classic, historic and literally right in the heart of town. You can walk anywhere from this gorgeous hotel.

Acadia National Park: This is my all time favorite National Park. There are so many places that go undiscovered in this park. The loop road is really cool and accessible, but I recommend finding a hike off the main path. There are also three secret spots that I won’t write in this blog, but you can email me if you want to know more.

I’ll end it with that. Eat, drink, paddle, and be merry my friends.

Whoopie Pies 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 .

8 Essential SUP Yoga Poses

Outdoor yoga is a favorite activity of mine! I love practicing outdoors and on the water.  SThis 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.

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.

What to Expect at Your First SUP Yoga Class

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Sup yoga friends

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.