A couple of weeks ago I took a SUP-Yoga lesson. In other words, yoga on a paddle-board, combinging the art of balancing on an oversized surfboard with breathing techniques designed to focus your mind while you contort your body into different strengthening and stretching poses. Now I'll be honest, while yoga continues to grow in popularity, I've never been a die hard fan, but I do love the balance it offers my body alongside the more extreme sports I enjoy, and one of the things that stops me from going to classes as often as I should, is the prospect of a hot, sweaty studio. So whenever there's an opportunity to practice outside - sign me up!
Led expertly by the gorgeous Kiristen from Vitamin Sea, who floats effortless through various poses and sequences as a demonstration of what you’re aiming to achieve, the class incorporates an adapted practice of traditional yoga moves allowing them to be performed on your floating platform. One of the things I really loved about the class was the fact that it made poses that I would like to think I have nailed on solid ground, new and challenging again - in the same way that paddle fit put a whole new spin on a boring old squat!
Of course there will be some that will make everything look a breeze....
It’s amazing how relaxing the sound of the ocean, lapping gently against the fiberglass board can be when your leg muscles are burning during what feels like a 20 minute lunge or warrier 1. Watching the sunset as you move through the poses, we felt empowered to hold our poses a little longer, twist a little further and stretch a little deeper. There truly is no prettier classroom in the world.
Kiristen is a fantastic teacher and breaks every movement down, offering multiple adaptations to suit all standards of yogi from beginners like me to people who can headstand all day long....
But don't feel down heartened if savasana is the only part of a class that doesn’t threaten to dunk you in the water! We all have to start somewhere!
There's time to play around at the end of the lesson if you're feeling inspired and what to give some of the more advanced moves a try!
Whatever your level you're bound to come back to the beach feeling revived, rejuvenated and feeling good! It's tough but really good fun! The class is an hour long and can be booked on the Vitamin Sea website.
A couple of tips if you're thinking of doing SUP yoga for the first time.
1. Even though the class itself is an hour long, allow 90 minutes from arriving at the beach to heading back home as you'll need time to get on the water, set yourself up and get comfortable before the class, as well as time to pack up / play at the end :)
2. Wear regular yoga / active wear or a bikini top and shorts
3. Don't forget sunscreen and sunglasses - even early in the morning and late in the afternoon, the suns rays reflect off the water and you need to ensure you're protected.
If you want to make sure your eyes are properly protected when you stare at the sunset, Kiristen is also part of the brains behind Peripheral sunglasses- stylish, quality and affordable there is nothing not to love about the awesome range of frames and lenses to suit every lifestyle and budget. What’s more, Peripheral donates up to 50% from the sale of every pair of sunnies to one of the many causes it supports – be that a local charity or a budding athlete – and you can chose who the money goes to when you get to the shopping cart. Genius! Right now you can grab a pair and save 10% just by popping “CARIBBEANSNOWFLAKE” in the promo code box - it's valid until August 15th. Happy shopping!