A few weeks ago I was stretching my groin in the regular Downward Dog position when it suddenly hit me: it would be far more fun to do paddle board yoga.
Paddle board yoga is one of the top 16 alternative forms of yoga (it’s also the coolest).
Paddle-board yoga, which is basically doing yoga while riding a paddle board is probably the most fun way of exercising both body and mind (though these healthy hobbies are great too).
I love the beach. And I do yoga at least three times a week. But nothing could have prepared me for what happened when I combined my love of the beach with my love of yoga.
Then it happened: I bought a yoga paddle board and went….er…. yoga paddle-boarding. And oh my days, I cannot tell you how much yoga-paddle-boarding has done for my inner Zen.
I’m thrilled to tell you guys all about it. That’s why I’m going to talk to you all about yoga paddle-boarding, the benefits of it, and why you should buy a yoga paddle board. And I’ll help you choose a yoga paddle board to buy, too.
But don’t sweat it.
If the idea of doing yoga while paddle-boarding seems insane, no worries. Paddle-board yoga isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s for people with spunk. If that’s you, carry on reading.
What is paddle-board yoga? The FUTURE, that’s what
Paddle board yoga is basically the best thing to happen to yoga since Patanjali wrote the yoga sutra.
That’s an exaggeration obviously. But paddle-board yoga is so good. Almost too good. And honestly, it just might be the future of yoga.
Oh yeah, it’s also great for you.
But let’s hit rewind and get back to basics.
Just what is paddle-board yoga?
Paddle-board yoga is an art form (yes, art form. It says that on Wikipedia (1) so you know it’s like practically gospel at this point).
Paddle-board yoga is an art form. It’s the art-form of doing yoga while also doing stand-up paddle surfing (SUP).
But what the heck is SUP?
SUP (standup paddleboarding) is an emerging sport that began life in Hawaii—home of board sports. The locals call it How He’e Nalu. They started paddleboarding so they could see from a higher viewpoint than the surface of the water.
Probably the best thing about paddleboarding is that you get a beautiful view of the ocean.
You’ve been canoeing and surfing, right? Well SUP is like a midway point between those two.
Stand-Up Paddleboard yoga is the beautiful (and skillful) art of doing paddle-boarding and then doing yoga poses at the same time.
You will probably fall over. So start with basic asanas for paddle-board yoga
You have to be pretty darned skillful to do yoga poses while balancing on a paddle-board. I fell off a good few times before I got the hang of it.
Hell, we can’t all be Andrea Paolo Sanchex
But here’s the good news: Paddleboard yoga can be quite easy. Just follow a good Paddleboarding Yoga guide. Here’s one on IsleSurfAndSup
Not convinced? Check Out These Paddle Board Yoga Benefits
The benefits of paddle board yoga are seriously impressive:
- It is great for positivity (see our guide to using yoga for positivity).
- Paddle board yoga relaxes the mind as you spend time at the beach
- It connects you with nature (which is proven to reduce anxiety, depression and other conditions).
- It is a great exercise for balance and coordination
- I found that paddleboard yoga improves yoga performance because it acts as a refresher. It gets you to think about asanas in new ways.
- Paddle board yoga is good for the skin, hair, and lungs (because of the fresh air of the ocean).
- Paddle board yoga is great for cardio.
- Standup Journal (2) says:
“Standup paddling offers an incredible cardio workout and helps relieve stress. The most often mentioned health benefit of this sport is the improvement to one’s core. With an easy learning curve, sup is an excellent choice for improving your overall fitness, no matter what shape you’re in now.”.
So put simply: you are going to get a lot out of paddle-board yoga.
Which yoga paddle board should you buy?
Yoga paddle boards are a little bit different to traditional paddle boards. To do yoga you need a paddle board that is good for both general boarding and yoga. I tried it on a regular paddle-board and ended up splat in the water. A regular board is just too thin.
To do paddle board yoga you’re going to need a wide paddle board, one you can stretch-out on. You want to feel stable, especially if you’re in the ocean and not just in a pool.
A good yoga SUP will be wide and will offer excellent support. It should be sturdy when you’re on it and you should be able to get into yoga-poses without feeling too wobbly. This is especially important if you’re looking for a yoga SUP for beginners.
Let me show you the board I was interested in when I chose mine.
Let me give you a few pointers to help you choose the right board.
Because you want a SUP yoga board that is stable in the water, you typically want a planning hull. There are sturdier so you won’t be getting soaking wet all the tin.
Obviously you are going to need a board that can hold your own weight, but you also need a little bit more than that. I like to take a yoga mat with me, and some friends of mine like taking their dogs. If you want to do that, you need to account for the additional weight. So always plan a little heavier than you think you need.
The average paddle boards are somewhere from nine to twelve feet, which is an ideal length of SUP board for most people. Naturally if you are very tall you will want to have a longer board so you have the length to actually do your yoga poses.
It used to be that all SUP boards were made of polyester or epoxy resin. Recently, a lot of people have started to favor the inflatable yoga SUP boards. Because they are inflatable they have more buoyancy. This can be a big deal because it means you are higher above the water and les prone to getting splashed. Plus, if you like to travel with your SUP board a lot, an inflatable one will be much more manageable.
The Best Yoga SUPs To Buy
Red Paddle Co – 10’ 8” Active Paddle Board
The 10’8” Active yoga paddle board is a beautifully designed board that is premium through-and-through. It is thick enough (5.9”) to provide excellent support and is sturdy and solid. Because it is so sturdy, you will easily be able to do your favorite yoga asanas on it, unlike many other boards which lack sturdiness and therefore make it too easy to fall off.
The package comes with a CUP pump, water resistant phone case, and a backpack that makes it easy to carry when you travel.
Tower Paddle Boards – Adventurer iSUP Package – 9’10”
This paddle board is not specifically marketed for yoga paddle boarding. But it is a very high quality make that you can rely on. Plus, you get a two year manufacturer’s warranty just in case.
What makes this yoga paddle board so enticing is its military grade PVC construction. It’s very durable and unlike lots of other boards, it will stay in decent condition (you wont scuff it). It is also arguably the most buoyant of all yoga paddle boards. When you ride this beauty you will feel like you’re gliding like an eagle.
If you’re a beginner paddle board yogi, you’ll be happy to hear that because this board is side and sturdy you will be more likely to stay on.
Advanced Elements Lotus YSUP Inflatable Yoga SUP Board
This stand-up paddle board was specifically deigned for yoga and is a turdy ride that will keep you balanced throughout your yoga session. It’s 10 inches long by 32 inches wide and had six inches of top-stitch material.
Officially, this board is intended for up to 200 lbs, but it is known to be able to take more weight than that (manufactureres like to play it safe with weight estimates so you don’t sink). A nice feature on this yoga SUP is the removable shoulder carry strap that makes it easy to travel with.
Speaking of travelling, this board is light and compact, so it is definitely one of the most easy yoga SUPs to get around with.
So which yoga SUP did I pick?
The three yoga paddle boards that we’ve looked at above are all excellent. If you love the design or feel of one of them, get it. You will definitely be making a smart purchase.
That said, my personal recommendation is to buy the Ped Paddle Active yoga board. It is specifically designed for paddle-board yoga. It is sturdy as an ox. And it looks beautiful.
Time to start SUP-ing, guys.
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