Maybe you have already familiar with SUP yoga, or perhaps it´s the first time, either way let us tell you a bit more about it. A few weeks ago on a Friday evening, the SIS team decided to get up from behind our desks, close the PC´s and treat ourselves to a SUP Yoga session to stretch a little, clear the mind and get ourselves ready for the weekend, why? because we are worth it!! Not all of us had done it before so expectations were high and we were all super excited!!
The origin of SUP yoga is not completely clear but more or less everyone agrees that it originated in the USA and was the union of practicing asanas (Hatha yoga postures) on top of a stand up paddleboard, not necessarily at sea, it can also be enjoyed on lakes, rivers or swimming pools. Living in Mallorca we couldn´t resist heading to the sea, a good excuse to wriggle our toes in the sand and enjoy a dip in the beautiful Mediterranean Sea.
So we donned our swimmies and best smiles and headed to Port de Soller where our friend Rodrigo from Soller SUP and our yoga teacher, Mia, were waiting for us. Mia exudes a sense of serenity and camaraderie and we were all keen to get started and try and reach the same level of peacefulness after a busy week at work…
Well by the look on everyone´s faces at the end of the session, together with the shared feeling of stillness and calm it´s fair to say that we all absolutely loved it!!! I have to point out that the stunning location only added to the occasion, Port de Soller is magical and as the sun began to set we climbed onto our boards and the sea suddenly became so still it was as if it was welcoming us to enjoy our SUP yoga experience.
The sensation really is very special, the paddleboards are actually very stable, much more than they initially appear. If you are already an experienced yogie, as I am, the perception of the postures change offering a new outlook, a new sensation, taking you out of your comfort zone and facing you with a new physical and mental challenge of adaptation and acceptance. For those of you that are new to yoga you are exposed to a whole host of new sensations, weightlessness, balance, discovering new muscles as well as an intense feeling of serenity and wellbeing. The teacher suggested the theme of the session to be “let go”, so we let the sea and the light breeze take all that unwanted energy and thoughts away and we were left with renewed and fresh vitality.
We really do live in paradise!!
If you are still left with any doubts, here are 8 good reasons to try SUP yoga:
- Improve your fitness level: SUP yoga increases your strength, flexibility, coordination and stamina, all needed to maintain balance. Just being on the board requires your core muscles and vertebrae to work at all times in order to keep your balance on top of the board.
- It makes you feel good: It provides you with a huge sense of tranquillity and harmony as you are surround by nature, the water and the views.
- Reduce your stress levels: practising this discipline reduces stress levels for all participants. Even those who have never done yoga before, trying this new format, you will start to work your neuroplasticity (creating new neuron connections) which also stimulates the activation of noradrenalin’s which magically results in participants finishing the session with a smile on their face!
- Improve your posture: Simply by getting up on the paddleboard we instinctively adopt the perfect anatomical posture. The instability of the water triggers the activation of the core muscles (abdomen, lumbar, pelvic, glutes and deep column muscles) as well as the balancing muscles. We end up adopting a posture that corrects our poor daily habits on dry land. When your feet are on the floor we tend to put more weight on one side of our body, pull our shoulders forward and put too much stress on our lumbar muscles. The more hours we spend upright on a paddleboard the better our general posture on terra firma.
- Burn those unwanted calories: The body can quickly lose weight and you will enjoy a good cardio workout, a paddleboard yoga session uses up much more calories than a regular yoga session on the floor.
- Be inspired: yes, and what better motivation to you need to take part in an activity than being inspired, it makes you feel alive, refreshed and very much present in your own existence.
- Ensures a good tan: what better way of sunbathing, get a golden tan without even trying! Please always remember to cover yourself in a high factor sun cream before doing a SUP yoga session to protect your skin.
- More adrenalin: If normal yoga is too tranquil for you then by practicing on the paddleboard adds an extra dimension, the risk of falling in is also an added incentive to keep your concentration and focus on all your movements.
If you want us to take you to try out this new experience, Aguas de Ibiza, in Ibiza or Epic Sana in the Algarve are our 2 partners offering SUP yoga. Or if you do come to Mallorca we can definitely recommend Soller SUP, and to try the fabulous Mia´s SUP yoga classes or contact her.
Some pioneering schools in Spain:
Pukas Surf in Barcelona
SUP dreamers in Cantabria (northern Spain)