SUP Yoga (Stand-Up-Paddle boarding Yoga) : The history and some surprising facts you may not know
You may be hearing the term SUP or Stand Up Paddle boarding and you may have even heard about doing yoga on a Stand Up Paddleboard a.k.a. SUP Yoga. This fun activity has grown its popularity from Hawaii and to many other countries. Lots of people who love the sea or the water would go on their paddleboards to surf the waves….
but maybe you are wondering how did yoga come into the picture?
For such a long time people have been practising yoga to find balance – both mentally and physically. And I’m sure you know that there many different types of yoga that you can choose from and for most yogis, they can actually ‘balance’, at least in a Yoga class. But some people were looking for something that can challenge them more…..
So as we did our research, we learnt that the beginner-friendly sport of stand up paddle boarding seemed to have been born way back in the 1940s when Waikiki surfers stood on boards and navigated their way through the waves with a long paddle. SUP yoga, the practise of positions (asanas) on 10 to 12 foot long boards seems to have become popular around 2012 when Yogi’s starting trying SUPing (Stand Up Paddling) and presto, the new sport of SUP Yoga was born. It doesn’t take much searching on the internet or instagram to get a feel for the popularity of this sport and the magnificence of the settings most people choose to practise. Beautiful ocean scenes, glassy lakes, amongst the mangroves are just a few of the amazing places people seem to find themselves in the best place for a Headstand SUP selfie ☺
Increasingly, a lot of people who practise yoga are trying this fun and challenging new activity. They enjoy the greater core workout, the increased intensity of the balance training and just to be out in nature and being on top of the water gives relief for stress and anxiety. If you are unsure how this all comes together, just imagine the floor of your yoga studio moving when you are practising. Moving in a unpredictable way, forcing you to engage and stabilise even more to not fall over. Those underlying muscles that aren’t needed on a stable ground are forced to kick in and so it intensifies the workout. Similar to the concept of a vibrating power plate, seen in some gyms.
So how can taking your practise to the water, benefit your studio Yoga practise?
- As a general statement – it improves your technique. You’ll be more stable in your poses allowing you to advance in the studio, faster.
2. Greater Relaxation – It helps you focus on your breathing. They say the gentle sound of the water lapping on your paddleboard will give you a greater feeling of relaxation and the general silence of your surroundings will help you hear and focus on your breathing.
3. It is liberating. When you think about falling into the water, the more focused you are on your poses and when (or if!) you don’t fall, you’ll feel a new sense of accomplishment.
4. It is fun! You probably will fall, and so you will laugh, and you will find yourself out of your comfort zone. And if you are a seasoned yogi, this may be a new feeling for you again.
So what you are waiting for! Your new muscles are calling! SUP yoga does not only challenge you but it makes you go above and beyond and be out of your norm while doing it with nature. So come on, take on the challenge and find a place near you…to try doing SUP yoga!