balancing act :: paddleboard yoga

instructor demoing

A couple days ago I had the opportunity to try my hand (and feet, and core, and entire body) at paddleboard yoga! This new craze is definitely catching fire in coastal towns (or any town for that matter with a bit of water). 

As stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) has been steadily growing as a sport in the past few years, some yogis have been getting in on the action. A friend in town who owns the Bikram studio recently started taking groups out in an inlet area of the island and invited a group of us to try it out! 

I'd never been on a paddleboard, although I've surfed and felt that the balance issue was similar. So first things first, we headed out from Lighthouse Park to an area around the floating boats...

 ...tied our boards up to a line between some buoys so we wouldn't float away or bump into each other. Then took a deep breath and began... 

A few sun salutations started us off, and a lot of concentration and precise intention of movements was needed to maintain balance during the flow. It was really amazing being out in the quiet of the water, so close to this beautiful setting while doing the class. Yes, there was some splashing, some falling in, some laughing, but those times where we could be still, stay concentrated, reconnect with the breath, allowed for some pretty amazing moments.

friends trying headstands

 Then of course, there was some free-style time where we pushed the limits of balance and tried out some inversions and arm-balances.

attempting flying pigeon

I loved how being on a moving board allowed for a deeper awareness of every small part of your body. During a few arm balances, my fingers and breath were the main things keeping me upright. I actually made it through without falling in, but it took a lot of core work. The next morning I woke up with the sorest quads I can remember in a long time - plus a deep soreness in my midsection core. All those little muscles were working to keep me on the board and what work they did.

The class was amazingly fun and I can't wait to go again after I'm back in town from Italy next month. If you have an opportunity to go to a paddleboard yoga class, definitely try it out! (and bring a towel!)