Yoga is an ancient physical, mental and spiritual practice that originated in India around the year 600 BCE. Yoga engages the entire body by combining postures, meditation, breathing exercises, and deep relaxation. Multiple forms of yoga have been practiced in India for thousands of years. This ancient mind-body discipline has recently gained massive popularity in North America and other western regions.
SUP (Paddle Board) Yoga is the art performing of yoga while stand up paddle surfing (SUP). This is usually practiced on calm water like that of a lake. The sport combines hatha yoga and vinyasa yoga asanas (poses), with surfing.
Yoga is known for its health benefits. It is a practice that improves emotional, mental, and physical wellness. For some, yoga is also considered the first step in spirituality and or finding a connection between the Self and the ‘Divine Spirit’.
*Please note that we do not wish to impose spiritual and or religious views on anyone. Spirituality is open to interpretation and can mean different things to different people.
WHY WE LOVE
YOGA & WELLBEING
There are so many reasons to love and celebrate yoga and SUP yoga. Not only does this mind-body practice reduces depression, help control hypertension, relieve back pain, and increases flexibility, it helps improve overall wellbeing. There are also specific yoga postures that positively affect joints and stress points of the body. Yoga manages to enhance the lubrication of these joints, ligaments, and tendons, thus making them flexible while improving your body’s overall functionality.
YOGA & EASY ACCESS
Yoga and SUP yoga are also easy to practice and don’t require a huge investment. Yoga can be practiced by almost anyone, at anytime, anywhere. It is simple and ideal for every age group as it involves slow and static movements. Yoga also has a minimal risk of muscle injury and does not require a huge calorie consumption.
YOGA IS DETOX AND KEEP YOU YOUNG
Not to mention, yoga can help you live longer! The practice detoxifies the body, strengthens muscles, and removes tension. Yoga’s breathing practices encourage practitioners to take bigger and deeper breaths which in turn boosts circulations and improves the body’s functions. Yoga can literally slow down one’s aging process by slowing oxidations and cell damage.
YOGA FOR BOTH MIND & BODY
Yoga and SUP yoga connect us to our bodies but also to nature and the world around us. What separates yoga from other activities is its depth. It is a profound practice that eliminates distraction, there is no outside force to conquer like rafting a river or climbing a mountain. You are the force and you are in complete control. This philosophy is both empowering and humbling and is deeply embedded in the yoga tradition. Yoga is a conscious and respectful practice that aims to balance the body and mind. Yoga allows us to exist as a human being for a moment and not a human doing, even if it’s only for a few brief moments.
SUP YOGA; CONNECT WITH WATER
SUP yoga is usually more arduous than ‘normal’ mat yoga due to it being on a paddleboard in the middle of water. It is an exercise that helps those who practice it conquer fears of falling while also working on balance and core strength.
DID YOU KNOW...
- In 1928, Franz Romer was the first person to cross the Atlantic Ocean. He left Lisbon, Portugal and travelled over 6,400 km to arrive in Puerto Rico.
- Hungary is the country with the most Olympic medals in kayaking.
- Kayaks are at least 4,000 years old!
- Kayaks paddle lower to the water and can go faster than canoes.
- Kayak translates to ‘hunter’s boat’ in Inuktitut.
- Inuit and Aleuts used driftwood or whalebone to make the kayak’s framework, and covered it with stretched skins.
- Kayaks were made watertight with whale fat.
- Kayaking burns more calories per hour than cycling 5.5 mph and the same as playing softball for one hour.
YOGA & THE NATURAL WORLD
Yoga is special in that it can be practised almost anywhere and anytime. Although, yoga is commonly practiced indoors, like most activities, we believe yoga is best enjoyed outside. Being in nature is key to the experience because yoga’s aim is to balance the body and mind by encouraging a flow of elemental energy. Yoga tried to bring you as close to yourself as possible while also harmonizing with nature. Opening yourself up to the environment as well as the overall universe is easier when one is outdoors in the wilderness. Yoga allows you to take in all aspects of nature whether you decide to practice beside a river, under a tree, or on a mountain top. It is a practice meant to align human nature with the force of nature. Practicing yoga allows you to focus on everything from small sounds, like that of a far-off bird, to continuous melodies, like that of rapids crashing against rocks.
Yoga is practice on the ground whereas SUP Yoga is practiced on the water. Doing yoga on a paddleboard give those who love the water a wonderful excuse to be near it!
Many aspects of yoga are about being in the moment and at one with nature and the universe. It is for this reason that so many asanas (yoga poses/positions) reflect animals and nature. Yoga puts your body into the shape of a tree, a pigeon, cobra, or even the Sun. It is a practice that allows you to explore the graceful wingspan of a bird, or connect your breath to the undulations of the body much like the cycle of tides or the ocean connects to the moon. Yoga and SUP Yoga provide practitioners with a sense of harmony, timelessness and connection to the universe.
SOME TIPS FROM OUR EXPERTS WHILE DOING YOGA
- Yoga must be learned under the guidance of an expert instructor. Keep in mind that although yoga can be practiced by everyone you must still take your physician’s opinion into account, especially if you suffer from heart ailments or any acute or chronic medical conditions that demands caution.
- Do not practice yoga after consuming hard alcohol or mind-altering drugs.
- Do not practice yoga in direct sunlight. Select comfortable locations for practicing both outdoors and indoors.
- Try to concentrate on each and every posture. Do not compare your posture with that of others, this will keep you from getting distracted by others in the room or around you. If you are in doubt about technique, ask your teacher.
- Proceed slowly and steadily by following the instructions precisely. Do not overdo it, if you feel that a posture is difficult, don’t push or overstrain yourself. Make sure to take breaks between sessions.
- The most important thing is to breathe!
TOP EQUIPMENT WHILE DOING YOGA
Yoga requires minimal equipment. Some people even prefer to do yoga in the nude! Although, the general public enjoys practicing yoga with clothes on, yoga clothing can be found in many stores and although a yoga mat is not necessary we recommend you use a mat when practicing. Yoga mats are more hygienic and can help you avoid injury. If you’re new to yoga or experience back and neck pain we also suggest you use a yoga block.
If you’re interested in practicing SUP Yoga, you’re going to need a bathing suit and access to paddleboard.
Make sure to have a water bottle filled with fresh water and a towel with you during your session in order to avoid dehydration and discomfort.