You'd like to try SUP yoga this summer but you're a little skeptical about your skills on the water? Here are 2 short sequences that you can do on your yoga mat or SUP to help you prepare for the upcoming season.
Before you start, here are a few important points to get you in the right mind set.
1. Leave your ego on the beach
Once on the SUP, even if you practice yoga regularly, you will 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. Learning the postures will require time, patience and resilience. It is this practice that will bring better awareness to your body, your breathing and on the present moment.
It encourages you to slow down.
Let's admit it, that can be helpful for our day to day life!
2. Too much is like not enough
Sthira - firm, strong, durable.
Sukha - happiness, ease, tranquility.
In the practice of yoga, we're try to find the balance between these two poles. The body's balance is between effort and relaxation, doing and letting go. You will feel this in the postures of balance: "tense in the will to hold, one stumbles; too relaxed, not very vigilant, one does not hold either. »
In SUP yoga, all postures become balance postures. One must therefore learn to find the right balance between letting go and commitment.
The trick: take your time and breathe calmly.
3. Focus on your belly button
Unlike practicing on a yoga mat, practicing on the water doesn't give us much chance if we are misaligned. It is therefore essential to perfectly position your body so that you are centered on the board. It's excellent for correcting the little misalignments that we can have in our daily practice on land. The trick is to always place the heaviest part of your body (the pelvis) above the central point of the board (the handle).
1. DEEP BREATHS (repeat 5 - 8 times): a moment to be present and reflect on the purpose of your session.
2. BREATH IN: lift both arms up and stretch your entire body towards the sky
3. BREATH OUT: release upper body towards your board. Gently bend your knees, neck is relaxed.
4. BREATH IN: lift your back until it is parallel to the water. At the end of your breath, bend your knees to put your hands on the board.
5. KEEP YOUR BREATH: move in a plank position. Stretch all fingers making sure your body is aligned and core is engaged.
6.BREATH OUT: move to a downward dog position. Your back is straight and knees can be slightly bent. Breath 3 to 5 times.
If you already have a paddleboard, use an anchor or tie 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's happening on the board.
Start by putting both hands under your shoulders and knees under your hips. Your belly must be right above the handle of your paddleboard.
1. BREATH IN: deep back. Your spinal cord is long and shoulders are pulled back. Look far ahead.
2. BREATH OUT: round back. Pull your belly towards your spine and your shoulder blades towards the sky. Bring chin towards your chest.
3. REPEAT 3 TO 5 TIMES
1. BREATH IN: stretch one arm to the sky. Your hips are straight and parallel to the board but your upper body can open on one side. Look towards the sky.
2. BREATH OUT: bring your arm back on the board. Look towards your board.
3. REPEAT 3 TO 5 TIMES ON EACH SIDE
4. BREATH IN: stretch your right arm in front of you and your left leg behind you. Your neck must be aligned with your spinal cord. Look towards the board. Hold position for 3-5 breaths.
5. BREATH OUT: release and switch sides
1. CHILD POSE: for 5-8 deep breaths, pull your back towards the your heels. Gently place your forehead on the board. Stretch your arms and your shoulders in front of you, on the board. Focus on your lower back which will inflate and deflate upon breathing.
2. SPHINX POSE: for 5-8 deep breaths, lean forward on your SUP. Place both arms parallel to each other, in front of you. Your elbows must be slightly in front of your shoulders. Your feet can be either close to each other or separated.
3. CHILD POSE: re-do child pose for 5-8 deep breaths.
1. SAVASANA: Lay on your back, on your SUP. Let your hands touch the water. Release your entire body. Breath slowly. Life is good.
Flore & Flow is an outdoor yoga school established in the Eastern Townships. We offer SUP yoga classes at Lake Memphremagog (Plage des Cantons) and Lake Brompton (Plage Mckenzie).