Paddle Board Yoga
Do you love yoga but your routine has become a little stale, or do you simply want a new Yoga Experience? Give Paddle Board Yoga a Try! SUP Yoga is rising in popularity for many reasons, but most people enjoy for the added challenge and for the beautiful, peaceful nature scenery. You can’t beat doing something relaxing out on a serene lake bed or still ocean lagoon.
If you’re new to yoga or paddle boarding, I suggest starting on calm body of water with a relatively large, stable board. Anything over 10 feet should work well for most people. Remember: slow and steady is the key! Yoga is a meditative process: don’t rush yourself, and take extra care so you don’t fall in the water while practicing.
Before you start, Check out 5 Things to Know When Trying Paddle Board Yoga
Even if you’re not a yoga pro, you’ll be able to do the poses we’ve compiled here on land or on your SUP board. Take a minute between poses to gaze at your beautiful surroundings. Smile. Breathe in. Breath out.
12 Poses for Practicing Yoga on Your Stand Up Paddle Board
1. Easy Pose Sukhasana
An alternative to the harder Lotus Pose, the Easy Pose is a common pose for breathing exercises and meditation.
Sit facing the front of your board, sit up straight and cross your legs in front of you. Place your hands on your knees with your palms down. Look straight ahead and balance your weight evenly. Close your eyes and listen to the sound of your surroundings as you feel your board gently rocking beneath you.
2. Downward-Facing Dog Adho Mukha Svanasana
You’ll surely recognize this one as it’s one of the most recognized Yoga Poses. Downdog will energize and prime your entire body, and will build strength in your arms, shoulders and legs.
3. Child’s Pose Balasana
Another common beginner’s pose, you can use this as a resting position if you like. Designed to stretch your hips, thighs and ankles. You will feel stress and fatigue leaving your body as you preform this pose. Make sure your belly button is near the center of your board (usually above the handle). You can extend your arms in front of you or tuck them behind you. Keep your knees apart and allow your forehead to rest on your board’s deck pad.
4. Chair pose Utkatasana
Ideal for strengthening your feet and thigh muscles. Remember to keep your toes grounded. Start with your feet wide. You can make pose harder by adopting a narrower stance. Hold for 60 seconds and don’t fall over!
5. Plank Kumbhakasana
One of the mainstay poses of Yoga and is great for your entire body. Try this to strengthen your core. To make it a harder trying lifting one leg at a time. You can do the plank on your board with straight or bent elbows.
6. Crescent Lunge or High Lunge
Start in Downward-Facing Dog. Step your right foot forward between your hands while you exhale. Try to smoothly transition from the downdog pose to the Crescent Lunge pose – it’s tricky especially on a paddle board. Pick your knee up off the board to make the pose more challenging.
7. Cobra Bhujangasana
For the Cobra prose, like down on the board with your navel on the handle. Your hands should be beanth your shoulders and your elbows towards each other. Lift your head, chest, and shoulders as you exhale.
8. Warrior 2 Virabhadrasana II
The Warrior 2 pose will test your paddle board yoga prowess. Take slow as this pose will really test your balance. You can increase the arm strength in this pose by turning your palms and inner elbow to face the sky while drawing your shoulder blades down your back. Then, keeping the rotation of your arms, turn your palms downward using your wrists.
9. Supported Headstand
Bringing fresh blood into your brain will calm your whole body, and you’ll get to see the outdoor environment from a whole new perspective! When holding the headstand you should feel your core helping you keep balance – this so much fun on a paddle board!
10. Modified Half Camel Ustrasana
We like to modify the half camel pose on our sup boards, but you can perform the regular camel pose if you’d like. Again, the instability of the water will make this pose more challenging. You can start with your toes tucked in for greater balance. Get an amazing stretch by reaching out and touching the bottom of the feet with your hands and STRETCH!
11. Full Wheel Urdhva Dhanurasana
We love how the full wheel backbend pose makes us feel! You’ll stretch your upper and lower body while balancing on your paddle board. To deepen the pose, lift your heels away from the floor and push your tailbone toward the ceiling.
A great pose for meditation and relaxation – how can you not love it? Plus you get the added sensation of floating on the water. Let all your frustrations and worries drift away as you meditate in savasana. Relax your body and focus on your breath as you slowly exhale and inhale.
Bonus: Splits Hanumanasana
A difficult position to master, but even more fun on the water! Take this one step and breath at a time, and warm up your body with other poses before you attempt this pose.
What Paddle Board Should You Choose for Yoga?
While you can perform SUP Yoga on nearly any Paddle Board, look for ones with extra large, smooth traction pads. A wider, all-around board will be better for Yoga than a narrow race board.
We are huge fans of Inflatable Paddle Boards for yoga. Inflatable Boards feel like hard boards once inflated (seriously, they really do), and they are super portable. All of our GILI Inflatable Paddle Boards fit into a travel backpack that will fit in the back of your car or trunk!
Guided SUP Yoga Video:
Check out this 15 minute SUP Yoga Video for a walkthrough of even more poses to try! Once you try yoga on a paddle board you’ll realize why the sport is growing! What’s your favorite SUP Yoga pose?