Yoga itself offers many benefits to the body and mind, explaining its popularity. Increased flexibility, stronger muscles, increased body awareness, improved posture, are some of many! By getting involved in a spot of yoga, or better still SUPyoga you will become a stronger and more confident paddleboarder.
The term core is used a lot within SUP’ing and for good reason. Paddleboarding will indeed assist in making your core stronger as too will SUPyoga. A strong core (which includes the abs, glutes and lower back muscles) is important in so many ways from every day occurrences such as breathing, to improved balance and athletic performance. Our core supports us in every activity we do, and a strong core will help to prevent injury and back pain. Nearly all SUPyoga poses increase core strength and stability. Whether you’re standing, balancing, twisting or inverting, you use your core to keep you steady.
Whether you are Stand Up Paddle Boarding for fun or competitively, you should balance the demands of the sport with yoga poses that stretch and strengthen your shoulders and back, and don’t forget your lower body!
So come on…Let’s take Yoga to the water!
This yoga sequence will build core strength and balance to help your paddling. The key to any yoga practice is to breath deeply and evenly without holding your breath; these poses should be challenging but not painful. Its more important to have good form in the pose than to try and force yourself into the most advanced variation!
Start on all 4s with the boards handle under your navel. Inhale as you lift the breastbone and extend the right arm (Cat Pose) and exhale as you curl the spine and bring the arm behind (Cow Pose).
Repeat 5 times and then inhaling stretch the arm directly into the air (Kneeling Open Twist) before exhaling and diving the arm under your torso and placing the shoulder on the board. The hands meet into prayer as you open into a twist (Kneeling Prayer Twist) Try and keep your hips square and twist from the navel and above. Remain here for 5 breaths and then repeat on the left side.
From all 4s then step your right foot forwards and tuck your left toes. Keeping your fingers on the board press your left leg straight so you are in a lunge, checking the handle is still under your torso. Make sure your right knee is directly over the ankle, not forward of it. As you inhale extend the right arm and lift the breastbone forwards (Cat Lunge) and as you exhale curl the spine and bring the arm behind you drawing up into the navel (Cow Lunge) Keep the back leg engaged and draw up into your core on each exhale. Repeat 5 times and then change sides.
From the lunge, step back into a plank with your feet together and place your right forearm onto the board, stacking the feet and rocking onto the right into side plank (Side Plank #1). Making sure your shoulder is over your elbow, draw up under the right ribs, keeping the legs strong and engaging the core. Hold for 5 breaths. If this is too strong the feet can be separated to make balancing easier. To advance; on the exhales you can reach down and under the ribs and then back up as you inhale (Side Plank #2). Repeat to the left.
Lets finish with the boat! Sitting on the board’s handle bend the knees and rest your toes on the board, take the arms out in line with the shoulders. Sit up tall and find your seatbones, you can remain here or raise the toes – firstly up to knee heights so your shins are parallel to the board (again you can remain here if you choose) and finally straightening the legs (Boat Pose). Keep the back straight and lengthen the front of the body by lifting your chest. Hold for 5 breaths and then release – to challenge your core simply lower the back and legs down slowly so you are lying on the board with your fingers in the water for a nice chilled out final relaxation!
Come and get involved in SUPyoga…
Although the nights are drawing in and the weather is a little cooler, why not come and join one of the SUPfit Swimming Pool sessions – taking your yoga practice to a tropical climate in crystal clear waters!