Want to try SUP yoga this summer but are a little skeptical about your level of nautical yogi skills? Here are 2 short sequences you can do on your SUP or yoga mat to help you relax.
Before you start, here are some important points to get you in the right mind set.
1. Leave your ego on the beach
Once you get on the SUP board, even if you practice yoga regularly, you'll notice that everything is different on the water. That's the beauty of SUP yoga: you don't have to take yourself too seriously and everyone is a beginner on the water. You have to tame the postures with a lot of patience and resilience. It is this practice that will bring you a better awareness of your body, your breathing and the present moment. It encourages you to slow down.
Let's face it, this can be useful for all of us on the water and in our daily lives.
2. Too much is like not enough
Sthira - firm, solid, durable.
Sukha - happiness, ease, tranquility.
In the practice of yoga, we try to find the balance between these two poles. The body balance is between effort and relaxation, doing and letting go. You will feel this in the balancing postures: "Tense in the will to hold, one stumbles; too relaxed, not very vigilant, one does not hold either."
In SUP yoga, all postures become balancing postures. We must therefore learn to find the right balance between letting go and commitment. The trick, again, is to take your time and breathe calmly.
It's not complicated, we should reinvent the saying "when the breath goes, everything goes!"
3. Focus on your belly button
Unlike practicing on a yoga mat, practicing on the water doesn't give you much of a chance if you're misaligned. So it's essential to position your body perfectly so that you're centered on the board. It is excellent to correct the little misalignments that we can have in our practice on land. The trick is to always place the heaviest part of your body (the pelvis or the navel) above the center point of the board (the handle).
If you keep this in mind, it should prevent you from getting "ploutsch".
If you already have a paddleboard, I recommend using an anchor or tying yourself to a buoy to do your SUP session with peace of mind. This way, your board will stay in place and you can concentrate only on what is happening on the board.
Flore & Flow is an outdoor yoga school established in the Eastern Townships. We offer SUP yoga classes at Lake Memphremagog (Plage des Cantons) and at Lake Brompton (Plage Mckenzie), among others.