Last weekend was another beautiful week on Lake 288 with Big SUP. It was so windy, though! When the wind is this strong, it can put the class at risk. A lot can go wrong. Try a few of these handy tips to make SUP yoga on windy days a little more manageable.
Tips for SUP Yoga on Windy Days
- Partner Carry the Boards
SUP yoga boards are heavy! If it’s super windy, it may be too much for one person to carry. Partner carry the boards by having one person lift the front end and the other lift the back end.
- Carry the Board Into the Wind
Also, make sure to point the board into the wind when you carry it in and out of the water. When the wind hits the side of the board it creates resistance, which means you’ll have to work that much harder to get the board where it’s going. Be efficient with your energy and save it for when you’re on the water.
- Sit Don’t Stand When Paddling Against the Wind
At Big SUP, the floating yoga studio is across the lake from the pier where we enter and exit with the boards. It’s not a long paddle, and the paddle out gives students the chance to catch their balance on the board before starting the yoga class. On a windy day, it’s easier to paddle if you stay seated on the board. Your body effectively acts like a sail, so the more space you take up above the board the harder you will have to paddle if you are heading into the wind. This can work both ways, though. If the wind is against your back and you stand, it will blow you where you are going much more quickly.
- Move Anchors As Needed
Sometimes the wind is so strong that the anchors won’t stay in place. At Big SUP, they have the luxury of two lines of buoy anchors for students, and one buoy anchor in the front for the teacher. The force of the wind can create enough power to pull the anchor along the bottom of the lake, slowly moving the tethered boards. Keep an eye out for this, and if you need to move the anchors during class try to do it as gracefully as possible without disturbing the students. We had all of the students tethered to one line further out on the lake, and they gradually blew into the second line. Rather than moving their line and knocking off their balance, I pulled up the second line and moved it a little further back.
- Stay Low in Windy Poses
During really windy moments, bring the class lower on their boards with seated or reclining poses. These are still super challenging, and can help keep the wind from blowing the anchors back too much. When it’s this windy, standing balancing poses are really challenging and may be discouraging for some students. Wait until the wind dies down a bit before bringing them into standing poses or balancing inversions like headstand.
- Find Resting Points
At Big SUP, each class has a teaching assistant who paddles around taking pictures. That’s me today! On a regular paddleboard day, this is no big deal. In a really intense wind, though, it’s hard to steer the board and take pictures, and you have to fight the wind the whole time. If it’s possible, find a resting place for the windiest moments. There was a nearby floating platform that I could briefly pause at during really big gusts, and still take pictures of the students.
In spite of the wind, the class was super awesome. They had the opportunity to try plenty of standing balancing poses and inversions between gustier moments. The wind was more manageable because the teacher, Brittanie, just moved back from Amsterdam where she taught SUP yoga in the canal/lake under some very challenging and cold conditions. She had some really great tips like these to help make the class enjoyable for everyone. Looking forward to the next one!