BY DEBBY SIEGEL
PHOTOS BY boy vs girl photography
As fast as you can surf a wave into the shore (or fall off and get tugged by that strap around your ankle), I latched on to paddleboard yoga, aka SUP yoga. I’ve experienced countless forms of yoga — from kundalini to ashtanga, hatha to vinyasa flow, Bollywood and acro, even hot yoga entered my winter world for a brief nauseous moment this year.
However, this one has GOT to be, by far my favorite. Here’s why… WATER! Water is my endorphin boost. Anyone who knows me, knows my consumption is high and I’m literally insecure without a bottle more than half full in my general vicinity. In fact, you’ve likely stumbled upon a water bottle of mine around St. Louis as I tend to space them. But nonetheless, water is incredibly important to me, and really to all of us. It’s 2/3 of our bodies and 3/4 of the Earth’s surface.
So take the fitness / wellness modality of yoga and combine it with the balance required of staying on top of water aboard a flat surfboard like object (sans ankle strap, waves and salt water up my nose), and I’m hooked.
Here’s what I’ve learned from having taken five paddleboard yoga classes this season: In no other form of yoga will the surface provide you more feedback on your balance. The water under the paddleboard gives you that undulating resistance that defines your balance as well as your abs. Plus, the focus it requires is like none other. You CAN NOT do your shopping list or think about how you’re going to get kids to their playdates while moving into warrior two on a paddleboard. Try it. I dare you. Bring a towel if you do. And lastly, the sounds of water slapping the underside of the board while you float in savasana with your arms stretched out on the surface of the water create a state of relaxation you have not known since the womb. Seriously.
I invite you to use a paddleboard as your mat and try paddleboarding, paddleboard yoga or SUP yoga. In St. Louis, you can find sessions on MeetUp at SUP St. Louis or at supstlouis.com. Do it now, they have a few more classes this season. I hope to see you there; me and my water bottle…
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