SUP Yoga

Blog about SUP Yoga by our frequent guest teacher Chrissy from Grateful Yoga:

Most of my best ideas aren’t mine at all. That’s how the universe works; we draw inspiration from the forces around us to create some fusion that is genuine and authentic but far from original. Stand-Up Paddle Board Yoga (SUPYO) was not something I came up with. Like many teachers my biggest inspiration comes from students, watching the new, the old, the young, the little, the big, the anxious and eager all come together to practice. I have been teaching yoga for 5 years and SUPYO for 4 summers in Vermont. One day a student asked me, “Have you ever thought about teaching paddle board yoga? You should do that…”

Top three reasons I was instantly drawn to the idea SUPYO:

  1. Nature: Doing yoga outdoors is a gift, especially when you live somewhere with long cold winters. Our classes are just before sunset in the summer time, with beautiful reflection, Green Mountains in the background, a bald eagle, a heron… Just getting on the water and floating around is an uplifting and rejuvenating experience. Learning from all the natural elements I have now practiced SUP Yoga on rivers, ponds, lakes, reservoirs, oceans and seas.
  2. Board Sports: As a snowboarder of 20 years, I value the ability to take your skills and transfer them to different locations all over the world. Growing up and snowboarding in Vermont, I will never forget this first time I rode in Colorado, or that one time in Germany…. Because of the ease and versatility of a paddle board I was always interested in trying it out. No, I had never been on a paddle board before trying SUPYO! My friend and I rented boards with the intention of paddling around and trying to do yoga on them. The best time to try something new is now! And you will soon find SUPYO classes everywhere you go.
  3. FUN: David Williams once said, “The greatest yogi is the one who is enjoying their practice the most.” I am constantly trying to not take life too seriously, sure there are bills to pay, a business to run and endless emails, but bring a little bit of light in every day. The smiles I see during SUPYO class are blissful, authentic representations of pure happiness. I’m known to say, “This is the best class we’ve ever had!” because it really does expand my heart each time I go out there on the water with a group of yogis. We laugh, we splash, we balance and we practice.

While all that is great, I’m sure there are still some head shakers out there. Here is the real secret about SUP Yoga, it will revolutionize your practice on the ground. When you try to put equal pressure into your hands in down dog on a paddle board, it responds if you aren’t balanced. If one foot is stronger in warrior the board will let you know. When you try to stand on one foot in tree pose the body must be stacked and strong to stay on the board! My practice in the studio only became better informed, equally balanced side-to-side and much stronger overall.

Whatever the motivation, fresh air + sunshine, better balance, adventure + laughter, SUPYO is a practice that works for all people. Students often show up with no yoga practice and no paddle board experience, but are amazed at how much they can do on the boards!!! Have fun, expect to get wet and don’t forget to smile.