February 22, 2018

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. — John Quincy Adams

As much as we love building wooden paddle boards, what really gets us excited is seeing customers out using our boards in new places and ways around the world. You may recall that a little over a year ago, we wrote a blog post about a grandmother named Lisa who had just purchased her first wood paddle board from us. She settled on the Rio-Grande as she wanted a wood SUP that would be efficient for fitness paddling yet stable enough for SUP Yoga on calm water. True to her word, she has stayed in touch sending along periodic updates of new SUP races that she has entered or water ways that she has explored. We couldn't help but share the latest update that she sent from her mid-morning SUP routine on her local lake.

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Knowing that there are others out there interested in exploring SUP Yoga, brand ambassador and Yoga instructor Angel Marya compiled a SUP yoga guide to help get others out on the water! Follow along as she describes what it takes for some of her favorite SUP Yoga poses.
Together We Rise

Urdhva mukha svanasana (or upward facing dog,) opens the chest and strengthens the whole body while aligning the spine and invigorating the kidneys and nervous system. From a table or plank pose, slowly drop your hips toward the board, pressing your palms down into the board and drop the shoulders down and back. From there, press your chest forward and reach the crown of your head up towards the sky.

CHATURANGA

Yoga provides a path to quieting the mind so that we can feel the innate stillness and joy of being alive | Keep it Slow & Steady.

One of the best poses to regain stillness and build strength on a SUP is Chaturanga. It strengthens and tones the wrists, arms, abdominal muscles, and lower back while also strengthening the muscles surrounding the spine, helping to improve posture. This simple pose will help you understand your balance and feel the board and water beneath you, grounding your body and mind to the poses it will soon encounter.

To experience this post, start in downward facing down as you extend forward into plank position, exhale, lowering your chest between your arms at a 90 degree angle, hovering just above the board.

For added strength, include in a series of push-ups prior to lowering your chest from your feet or knees.

Camel

The very center of your heart is where life begins. | Give your heart to the earth.

#Camelpose, or #Ustrasana, is a more advanced position both on land and on a paddleboard. However, the stance and balance are very similar and when performed correctly, nearly all the major muscles of our bodies are being stretched. On your knees, hip distance apart, place your hands on your hips as you would into your back pockets. Keeping your hips over your knees, inhale as you lift out of your lower back and start to bring your elbows closer together as you tuck your chin and extend back. With abs engaged, chest raised and spine long, slowly drop your hands to your heels lifting from the sternum. Don’t forget to breathe! To exit, slowly tuck your chin back towards your chest, walk your hands to your hips and engage the lower belly as you sit back to your knees, one hand to heart, the other to the board and collect your breathe. Take this pose at your own page and be mindful of how your back and knees feel as this can be intense.

WARRIOR 2

The goal of any #yoga pose is no different from the goal of spiritual life; to put you in touch with the larger universe or reality. | The spirit of a warrior resides within you.

#SunSalutationB and warriors are trickier on water than land. Core strength is key as you move into and out of these poses. From a down dog, coming into a lunge on the right leg first, start to slowly test your balance as you rise on an inhale into #warrior1 with back foot at a 40 degree angle, front knee at 90 and hips forward, elongate through your waste, hands to the sky. As you exhale, start to open up through your hips as you windmill your left arm back and around at shoulder height extending through your finger-tips.

A great modification as you work into this pose is to take a knee OR to widen the stance of your feet on either side of the board rails. Practice your way up to standing as you feel the strength radiate throughout your body!

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DON'T FORGET TO PLAY!

Playtime is an active form of learning for the body, mind and spirit. As your land practice develops and you learn more advanced poses, take your research to the water! While photos may make the poses look effortless, it takes a great deal of time and dedication to reach certain points of physical capacity. Be patient with yourself and allow your body to take you to new levels. Here it's also important to know remember the "starfish pose" aka make like a star as you flop into the water! It saves you from any injuries and makes falling that much more exciting :)


To see and learn more SUP Yoga techniques, follow Angel Marya on Instagram, or join her on an upcoming SUP Yoga retreat in beautiful Costa Rica where she will be teaching aspiring Yogis on the beaches of sunny Costa Rica.