The idyllic image of nature and water, SUP board and yoga - stand-up paddle yoga is the new trend sport. But what makes this sport so unique?
We asked SUP Yoga teacher Anika Haseloff from Lahari Yoga what makes yoga on the board so special for her. She gives us valuable tips and reveals the best yoga asanas for beginners.
ANNIKA, WHY DO YOU DO YOGA ON THE SUP?
Surrounded by nature, water and breathtaking scenery, you can dive even deeper into a very special state of harmony and relaxation with SUP Yoga. Especially for water sports and surfing enthusiasts, it offers a good alternative for those who don't have the sea in front of their door but long for the connection to the water.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES TO YOGA ON THE MAT?
Similar to a balance board, yoga on a moving surface like a SUP board requires balance and concentration. In addition, coordination and mobility are trained and the deep and pelvic floor muscles are strengthened. Breathing exercises in the fresh air, birdsong and sunsets allow deep relaxation and help to let go and get into a meditative state.
WHAT WATER ARE SUITABLE FOR SUP YOGA?
As long as the water is calm, yoga can be practiced on lakes, rivers, the sea, and in pools. You should always pay attention to waves, wind and currents. Small lakes or rivers are best, as they are better sheltered from the wind, have calm waves and usually no current.
DO I NEED PREVIOUS SKILLS TO DO SUP YOGA?
You don't need much previous experience for SUP Yoga. It is important that you get a feeling for balance on the board. – It often happens very quickly. The boards are very wide and stable and have a non-slip base. And if you do fall into the water, no problem - just cool off and have fun!
WHAT YOGA POSES CAN YOU DO ON A SUP?
There are hardly any limits on the board. What can be practiced on the mat is also possible on the board. In the SUP yoga classes, we always focus on the “easier” asanas, which can feel very different. I always offer different variations of the yoga poses for different levels. That means no matter whether you are a beginner or an advanced yogi and paddler - depending on the level, we practice a flowing yoga style.
WHAT YOGA POSES DO YOU RECOMMEND FOR BEGINNERS?
My favorite asanas for beginners are the downward-facing dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana), the plank (Chaturanga Dandasana), warrior 1 and 2 (Virabhadrasana), the deep squat (Malasana), and deep lunge (Anjaneyasana) and the wheel (Chakrasana). At the end of each hour there is the classic final relaxation "Shavasana". This feels even more relaxing on the water surrounded by nature and by small wave movements.
WHAT SHOULD I BRING TO A SUP YOGA LESSON?
As with yoga on the mat, it is important that you feel comfortable in your clothes and that you can move well in them. It doesn't matter whether it's yoga leggings, board shorts or a bikini. A little tip: Lycra fabrics are great, they dry quickly. The onion look is also always practical to avoid freezing in changeable weather and when relaxing at the end. Always have a small towel and a change of clothes with you in case you get wet and definitely bring sunscreen on hot and sunny days.
STAND-UP PADDLER TIP: THIS BOARD IS GOOD FOR BOARD YOGA:
The best inflatable board for SUP yoga is the Valwix SUP board, as it offers very high stability on the water with a large footprint. If you want a PERFECT SUP, we can definitely recommend the Valwix 12ft Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board. These boards have a particularly large base and therefore offer enough space for exercises.