The Stand Up Paddle Yoga Experience

Jackie Maher

It was a sizzling 101°F and the hot Arizona sun was beating down on my stand up paddleboard. In contrast, the water at Canyon Lake was a refreshing 79°F with the red rocky mountain cliffs that reflected off the glassy water. On a weekday in early May no one was out on the lake but a few fishing boats. On my way back from a long paddle from Horse Mesa Dam, I took great joy in seeing a Great Blue Heron as it sunbathed on a nearby rock. There were three bighorn sheep spying on me from the top of the cliffs. As I made my way near Blue Tank Cove, I made a drift anchor as I attached my paddle to my leash… I began my yoga practice.

Stand Up Paddle Yoga can enhance an individual’s yoga practice because the board responds to the movement of the yoga practitioner. For example, when executing Downward-Facing Dog on an unstable surface, an individual will suddenly notice if they are exerting too much force through one side of the body more then the other, because the board will react. The use of breath becomes visible on an unstable surface, if the board begins to rock from side to side, the yoga practitioner can stabilize the board with the use of their breath. In addition, bringing your yoga practice to the outdoors can rejuvenate the mind and soul. I was born and raised in Arizona, and bought my first stand up paddle board in 2008. I was amazed at how many other stand up paddle yogi’s there were around the world, how their practice was impacting communities. So, I created Namaste SUP, a free global community that brings stand up paddle yoga enthusiasts from around the world together. I invite you to take your practice to an unstable surface and find a stand up paddle yoga class near you.

http://namastesup.com/

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