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SUP Yoga

Making SUP yoga your own practise, based on your own experiences with tips and hints

When I’m in India for a long time, some of the trend just goes by me. So I had never heard of this new “Pokemon Hype” or  about these “clown mask stories” until I was back in Germany and it was all over.

It was similar with SUP Yoga, for most of you certainly an old hat, for me a new creation of yoga.

Well, this summer I’m finally back in Germany, live directly on the Schwielowsee, it’s hot and in the garden there are two SUP boards, so up on the board and paddle off.

I know yoga, I’ve been on a surfboard before, now I’m just bringing the two together, in my own way, without ever having attended a SUP yoga class before.

But the situation seems clear: the board wobbles and requires increased balance, concentration and body tension, i.e. exactly the properties that should be used in yoga anyway and now become inevitable, otherwise one falls into the water.

The larger the board, the easier it is to keep the balance, and you also have a little more space.

Wonderfully  exercises in the prone position work, where the body center of gravity is lowest and one looks directly at the smooth water surface, a beautiful pictorial metaphor right in front of one’s own eye. The smooth water surface reflects our calm mind, as well as every small wave triggered by some imbalance, which can be the figurative of a swirled thought.

Asanas in the abdominal position: cobra, (half) locust, bow, cobra.

Sitting poses also work well. Straight up and sitting in the middle, you can go into the front, side or back bend, practice the twisted seat wonderfully, practice Titili Asana and even the pigeon, as another beautiful hip opener, is possible.

With asanas in the supine position, you have the center of gravity again far down, the weight is distributed over the whole board and you can perceive the slight movements of the water quite meditatively. If you have your eyes open, you look directly into the wide sky, the clouds passing by like loose thoughts…

Shavasana on the SUP is much more relaxing!

Also Pawanmuktasana or exercises in which one or both legs are lifted go well. But when you come to Asanas, where you look head over towards the water, you need a lot of concentration, distraction is quite bad here! The bridge or the fish may still be ok, but it gets really shaky in the wheel – certainly one of the most advanced asanas,which I have practiced on a board myself.

On the other hand, the shoulder stand succeeds surprisingly well, although only a small area of the body has contact with the board and the center of gravity is higher up.

All standing exercises are really difficult. Tadasana still works wonderfully and also a small side bend  or folds or Utkatasana – just the asanas where both legs stand next to each other on the board.

All asanas, which are executed one-legged, have not yet succeeded without anchoring the board with other SUP boards.

The warriors also require the highest concentration, as well as all exercises in which one has more weight on one side of the board, such as Trikonasana.

But you can practice all asanas, after all, the fall into the water is not dangerous and even refreshing!

All Asanas with four body points on the board, such as the “downward facing dog” or “cat cow” on all fourth are great on the board. If these postures work well, you can go one step further and release one and then another contact point from the board, i.e. go into the one-legged dog or stretch out an arm and the opposite leg while being on all fourth.

Conclusion: SUP Yoga is a very nice trend for the summer, which you can practice alone. You are on the water and can cool down again and again. In addition, this yoga practice requires increased concentration, bodystrength and balance.

I especially like the metaphor of the water, can have a wonderful  pranayama practice and get in a great meditation on the sup: you are in a light swing, you only have the water around you and have to be completely present. Great! Even the stand-up paddling on the lake can easily become a meditation itself, if you calmly and evenly set one paddle stroke after the next and breathe deeply in and out.

Sup yoga, as well as normal yoga, is best not in the blazing midday sun, but in the morning and evening hours.

Namaste.