I’ve always loved the ease with which I could go from surfing to standing on the beach, or from surfing to paddleboarding. Back in the day, I’d give up surfing for a month to go to the gym and get a six pack, so I thought it was only natural that I’d get back to my yoga practice. But as I started practicing more yoga poses, I quickly realized that I, as well as all of the yoga practitioners I had ever met, were either: 1) Using the same few yoga poses that we had always used, or 2) not practicing enough of the yoga poses we did use. It didn’t make sense that I could still be so fit after all these years and still not be able to do all
There are fans of SUP Yoga who travel to “grab” a session here or there during the summer, and I support that. But there are other yogis who travel to find a space that has the best yoga studio equipment, the best instructor, and most importantly has a space to share with other SUP Yoga instructors. The SUP Yoga studio in Calgary has it all.
Water-based exercise is one of those things that I used to try in the past, but failed miserably every time I tried. So I never really got into it. Then I figured out how to lose weight with no exercise, how to find a coach, and how to get into the best shape of my life. Now I’m getting into the best shape of my life, and I never stop learning new skills and ways to improve my physical fitness.
You may think that board yoga can only be practiced on the water, but the new trend of indoor SUP yoga allows yogis to stay on their boards year round.
Many gyms and yoga studios have started offering indoor SUP yoga classes: Standing plank yoga class, using a plank instead of a mat. But not every board is good. You need the Indo Yoga Board, which was developed just over a year ago by surfer Hunter Joslin.
The 1.80 m board has four bobs at the bottom, so people in the yoga studio feel the same instability as on the water and get the same cardiovascular workout. You can make it even more unstable by putting three airbags under the shelf.
Credit : Women’s forum / Indo Yoga Council
Elle magazine reports that Joslin developed the first Indo balance board in 1975; the yoga board is the eighth version of the original board and is already very popular.
But the Indo Balance Yoga Board is not the only one used for indoor SUP yoga. Some also use ocean yoga boards and other boards that float on a cushion of air to simulate the instability of a paddleboard.
Ocean Yoga Board / Credit : SupBoarderMag
Credit : FloorTime Studios
SUP yoga enthusiasts are eager to adopt this new method of indoor water sports. According to Yoga Journal, at least 125 locations in the U.S. and Canada already offer indoor SUP yoga classes, and another 85 are planning to start doing so next year.
Why practice yoga on a paddle board?
By practicing yoga on an unstable surface, yogis work many muscles that they wouldn’t normally use in a regular yoga class. In addition to strengthening the core of the body (which must be constantly practiced on the SUP board so as not to fall off), different muscles are constantly exercised as balance changes with posture.
It’s simple: Yogis have to work harder to keep their balance, let alone perfect the technique to perform even simple postures.
Indoor SUP yoga may not offer the same calm, scenic environment as SUP yoga on the water (or the same soft landing if you fall off the board), but it certainly offers many of the same training benefits.
What do you think, would you try indoor SUP classes or would you rather leave your board in the water?
Photo credits : NeonTommy
There are so many outdoor situations where you can practice SUP. It is only fair that we start exploring the options for indoor SUP yoga too. After all, going to the studio and practicing SUP yoga is already a lot more comfortable than standing in the freezing cold. So, why not make the studio your home and practice SUP yoga indoors?. Read more about the yoga board and let us know what you think.
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