The only prerequisites to SUP Yoga are: if you can stand up, if you can paddleboard, and if you can breathe, then you can do SUP Yoga. Everything else you attempt in a typical SUP Yoga class flows from how you approach these three tenets.
While standing up in itself seems to be the hardest part - once you get over this one step and learn to relax your body and ground through your feet - you'll amaze yourself what you can do on a paddleboard.
Some feel more comfortable signing up for a SUP 101 class beforehand. The good news is SUP is very easy to learn, and with proper guidance, you'll be underway in well under an hour.
Once you are comfortable on your paddleboard, trying out your favorite yoga poses feel totally natural. And these inherently balance-focused exercises work to get everyone comfortable - regardless if you practice yoga or not.
Breath is important because it helps keep you present and relaxed. A tense, fearful body will not have as enjoyable an experience as someone who is aware and tuned-in to their breath. Most of the apprehension stems from the fear of falling in. The most important lesson in SUP Yoga: It's totally okay to fall. It means you're trying. And it's great to try new things even if we're not performing at some hard-to-reach level.
Plus, being outside on a floating yoga mat refuels your connection with nature. SUP Yoga may be one of the best ways to exercise your body and mind. And here’s one more reason to give it a try - it’s a lot of fun!
About the author:
Mary Lou Cerami is a level 2 SUP instructor certified through the American Canoe Association (ACA). Mary Lou is on the collaborative team for SUP Yoga Certification with the ACA, and is available for instructor trainings in the Midwest. Mary Lou teaches SUP Yoga and Intro to SUP classes on Chicago’s Lake Michigan with Kayak Chicago. Her goal is to promote the link that paddling shares with yoga and its benefits. Learn more about Mary Lou Cerami at www.ChicagoSUPYoga.com.
To learn more about the new ACA SUP Yoga program, please visit www.americancanoe.org/SUPYoga.