As you might imagine from our name 'Happy Seal Yoga' we love all things by the coast and even more so all things in and on the water, so being able to combine our love of the water with our love of yoga is simply a no brainer!
Whilst I've been practising yoga for 15 years and I've been surfing and playing in the sea for even longer, I've only taken up the sport of Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP for short) in the last couple of years but have to say it's great fun for those flat days and even better all that balancing is fantastic for your core strength. It's also a great way to appreciate the local coastline and countryside plus it is incredibly peaceful.
Having mastered the basics of the SUP I decided this summer to have a try at doing a little yoga on the board, I'd heard that it's really good for focusing the mind as the extra challenge of holding a pose on a board requires not only super core strength but extreme focus too. I can confirm that this is definitely the case I can definitely feel the muscles in my core the day after a session of SUP yoga and even the simplest poses on land take on a whole new challenge on the board.
As you can imagine standing poses are the trickiest whilst anything laying down or seated is a little easier as your centre of gravity is nearer to the board in these postures. There are certain tips you can use to help you with your balance which I didn't discover until I took a specialised SUP yoga teacher training course over a long weekend in Malta as the summer faded into Autumn.
So what other benefits are there? Firstly I'd say that practising yoga on the SUP really keeps you in the present as your focus is taken up with maintaining your stability and balance so you have little time to think of anything else. It also doesn't matter how many times you do SUP yoga you can guarantee that no practise will ever be the same, just a simple small change in wind strength or direction can agitate the state of the water and as a result alter the amount of core strength you need. Most of all though I'd say it's great fun, you may never fall in or you may fall in many times (there's nothing like a quick dip!), you're outside connecting with nature in it's purest form and you never know you might even get to share your practice with some local marine life, we do after all have plenty of happy seals, porpoises and dolphins along the Yorkshire coast.
I thoroughly enjoyed the teacher training course and can't wait to share my love of SUP yoga with you next summer, looking forward to seeing you on the water!