Last weekend was marked by an amazing time on the lake in SUP Yoga Teacher Training! Friday through Sunday, I joined 11 other yoga teachers for SUP yoga teacher training through the BIG SUP yoga program. It is so awesome to spent 3 days in the outdoors on the water, surrounded by other yogis with their varied yoga backgrounds.
What’s SUP Yoga?
SUP yoga is like regular yoga, only on a stand up paddleboard! That may seem a little gimmicky. Here’s what’s different from a yoga studio experience:
- You’re outdoors. You have the most amazing view across the waters of the lake, through the trees and over the clouds. The soothing sounds of the lake lap against the sides of your board, the wind whistles across the water, and people play or swim on the other side.
- SUP yoga is about balance. The yoga SUP board you stand on is relatively stable for a paddleboard, but in order to stay on you need to counterbalance your body weight to keep the whole board centered. When the board is off center, it tips and you fall in.
- Find the edge of your balance and play with it! You should fall in during SUP yoga. For one, the water feels great and helps cool you off from the sun. Also, there’s lower risk of injury when you fall in the water than on the land. It’s an awesome opportunity to play with the edge of your comfort level and see where you have room to grow.
SUP Yoga Teaching Takeaways
- Speak louder than you think you’ll need to! The wind and wide open space make it more challenging than usual for your voice to travel. We spent a whole morning working on vocal resonance and practicing projecting our voice across the water.
- Make it fun to fall in. When you get out on the SUP board, many people will think that falling in means they’ve failed in the pose. Encourage or cue an opportunity to go into the water, such as flip dog, especially on a hot day.
- A good anchoring system goes a long way! If the boards aren’t anchored well into the water, they will blog all over the place by the wind. This makes it very challenging to lead a class, especially if you have to keep telling your students to paddle.
- Teach to the class level. Many people experience the outdoors in an active way (vigorous paddling), but it’s nice to balance that with peaceful relaxing (pigeon or savasana). Cue to the energy level of the people that you are with.
To close out the weekend, Big SUP brought a memorable ceremony on the water complete with a rainbow unicorn float! It even has reins! Have you tried SUP yoga yet? If so, what’s your favorite pose? If not – your chariot awaits! Here are a few pics from the weekend, courtesy of Big SUP.