If you like yoga and love the ocean, SUP yoga is the ideal blend of asana and water sport. Many SUP yogis enjoy the added elements of challenge, balance, the outdoors and adventure of being on the water to their yoga practice. Seeing how Hawaii is known as one of the most active and aquatic places for people to both live and visit year round, there’s no better time or place to give this up-and-coming paddleboard practice a shot.
All you need in Hawaii is a bathing suit, sun protection, a SUP board and an anchor. Almost any standup paddleboard can be fun for playing around with some basic yoga poses, but there are SUP boards specifically catered to the needs of water bound yogis that provide extra flat, wide and buoyant surfaces to serve as a more stable, floating yoga mat on the water. The anchor is dropped from your board to make sure that you stay put while nature’s elements blow and flow as they will. Your practice becomes your focus on what’s happening on top of your board, as opposed to around it.
As with taking on any new activity, it’s best to start with the fundamentals. Child’s pose, tabletop, cat/cow and downward facing dog are some of the best poses to begin exploring on your SUP board. These asanas give you the opportunity to explore your range of motion on the board while staying on four solid points of contact (two hands, two feet/knees) on your board so you can stay balanced and secure in your space as you feel out your SUP practice.
Finally, is there anything better than experiencing savasana (corpse pose) while basking in the sun with your fingers skimming the water? How marvelous is it to feel the island breeze on your skin, sway with the waves, and listen to the rustling palm trees around you? There’s only one way to find out — go online at YogaHawaiiMagazine.com and search for an instructor that teaches SUP yoga!
Ashley currently teaches all formats at CorePower Yoga. She began practicing SUP Yoga in 2015 and now leads weekly classes out on the water as well. Ashley enjoys exploring the island and is particularly enamored by the sea. She spends most of her free time snorkeling, free diving and/or scuba diving.