What is SUP Yoga? (Answered)
Simply put, SUP yoga (stand up paddle board yoga) is practicing yoga on a stand up paddle board in the middle of a body of water. SUP yoga is best practiced on calm bodies of water like lakes, bays or harbors. In the last two years, SUP yoga has become a trending water sport for yogis and for those who already enjoy paddle boarding. In fact, many yogis are improving their yoga skills tremendously by practicing SUP yoga because it requires more strength, balance, and focus. People are even performing acroyoga on stand up paddle boards.
Today, we’re going to help you learn as much as possible about SUP yoga so you can get started as soon as possible. We are going to discuss a variety of topics, including:
- The difference between yoga on land vs. water
- Benefits of SUP yoga
- SUP yoga classes
- 10 Simple SUP yoga poses you can try
- What to wear for SUP yoga
- The best paddle boards for SUP yoga
Before we get started, you should know that you do not need any prior yoga experience to try SUP yoga. If you have the willingness to give it a shot, you will do just fine. Like anything, practice makes perfect. If you’re new to paddle boarding, watch our simple, step-by-step video tutorial on how to paddle board or read our SUP Beginner’s Guide. The only things you need to know how to do before trying SUP yoga are paddle boarding and swimming.
Land vs. Water
There are some contrasting elements between practicing yoga on land vs water. Stand up paddle yoga incorporates hatha and vinyasa flows which require different adjustments that you will not be used to if you have only practiced yoga on land.
For example: On land, you’re always grounded, and on a paddle board, you’re constantly moving with the wind and current, while also balancing on a restricted surface.
Because of these restrictions on the water, SUP yoga requires intense focus and balance to keep your paddle board steady when holding or transitioning between poses. Ultimately, these new challenges will refine your technique on land and work muscles you aren’t used to.
Another amazing benefit to practicing yoga on the water vs. land is that you will be doing it outdoors on a beautiful, calm body of water. You will be breathing in fresh air with every pose you do and when you open your eyes, you can appreciate the beautiful scenery surrounding you. Ultimately, practicing yoga outside is a relaxing, calming experience.
Benefits of SUP yoga
SUP Yoga has several amazing health benefits and so does stand up paddle boarding. If you were to combine both paddle boarding and SUP yoga, your work out would increase immensely. In short, paddle boarding is a full-body workout, meaning it works your legs, back, core, shoulders, and arms. Paddle boarding for 15 minutes and then completing a 15-minute yoga flow would be an amazing workout challenge.
7 benefits of SUP yoga
- Refines technique on land
- Strengthens new muscles
- Relieves stress (fresh air, sounds of water & nature, gorgeous scenery)
- Improves breathing techniques
- Increases flexibility
- Drastically improves balance
- Gets you outside
SUP Yoga Classes
Depending on where you live and the season, you can find SUP Yoga classes that run weekly. Classes typically start with a short warm-up paddle. After the warm-up, the yoga instructor will pick a calm spot and begin the class with focused breathing, sun salutations and some beginner SUP yoga poses. SUP yoga classes generally run for an hour and will also incorporate simple fitness exercise like planks, lunges, as well as beginner to advanced yoga poses.
SUP yoga class is just one way to practice yoga on a paddle board. You can also practice SUP yoga by yourself or with a group of friends whenever you please.
5 simple SUP yoga poses you should try
If you’re interested in doing SUP yoga, below are the top 5 beginner poses we laid out for a balanced and fun yoga practice. Perform a few cycles of these poses until you feel complete.
- Downward Facing Dog
- Chair Pose
- Warrior 2
- Boat Pose
What to wear for SUP yoga
To effectively do SUP yoga, you will need the proper attire. Stretchy, water-resistant workout attire is recommended when performing such poses. In addition, before you leave your house be sure to check the weather, that way you can be prepared if it is going to be colder than expected.
SUP yoga attire of women
- Bathing suit
- Women’s yoga clothing
SUP yoga attire for men
- Men’s yoga clothing
Best paddle boards for SUP yoga
There are many stand up paddle boards designed for SUP yoga. SUP yoga paddle boards are wider, have more volume and are equipped with a longer deck pad. When comparing epoxy paddle boards to inflatable paddle boards for SUP yoga, we recommend using inflatable SUPs. In general, inflatable paddle boards are more stable, sit higher up on the water and provide a more comfortable platform for practicing floating yoga.
Four of our favorite yoga paddle boards:
SUP yoga (stand up paddle board yoga) is an amazing opportunity to practice yoga on the water. If you already love practicing land yoga, SUP yoga will provide you with several amazing benefits that can enhance your yoga skills and get you outside. Benefits include improved balance, strengthened muscles, refined technique, and the opportunity to relax as you will be outdoors on the water. You can practice SUP yoga by yourself, with friends or at a class. As well, the best yoga paddle boards are inflatable paddle boards because they are more stable, comfortable and typically have expansive deck pads.