SUP Yoga: the benefits of stand up paddle yoga are endless | Photo: Shutterstock

SUP Yoga is becoming an increasingly popular outdoor activity. The benefits of stand up paddle yoga are endless, and a few quick tips and sequences will help you become the ultimate SUP yogis and yoginis.

Combining yoga and stand up paddleboarding (SUP) is merging the best of two worlds. When you blend the mental and spiritual benefits of yoga with the natural and physical advantages of surfing, your body will react positively.

SUP Yoga is a relaxing experience, and it will improve your surfing, kiteboarding, windsurfing, and stand-up paddleboarding skills. If you're simply a yoga enthusiast, and never tried any water sport, you might get hooked forever.

The setup process is quite simple: instead of having a mat placed on a floor, you practice yoga on a stand-up paddleboard in a water environment. You can do it in the ocean, in a lake, pond, river or even in a pool.

The benefits of SUP Yoga are immense: it reduces stress, improves your core muscle function, balances your breathing, and cools down the mind.

All you need is an inflatable SUP board and a body of water. Sarah Hebert, a professional windsurfer and yogini, shared her tips for SUP Yoga beginners. Here's the first lesson:

1. Sit in the center of your SUP board in a comfortable position;
2. Put your hands on your knees;
3. Relax;
4. Close your eyes
5. Stay quiet for a few moments;
6. Try to connect mentally with your inner body and soul;
7. Watch your breath without controlling it;
8. Feel the air filling your body;
9. Relax your face;
10. Enjoy being here and now;

SUP Yoga: relax your mind and your body | Photo: Fanatic

Now you're ready for your first SUP Yoga poses:

1. Keep your eyes closed;
2. Bring your heart hand to your heart, and put your left hand on your belly;
3. Press your hands gently and feel your body;
4. Breathe with your nose only;
5. Start the conscious breathing: inhale, inflate your belly, and then bring the air to your lungs. When you exhale, deflate your lungs;
6. Repeat the breathing process as many times as you wish;
7. Put your hands back on your knees;
8. Slowly open your eyes;
9. Inhale to the sky
10. Exhale, look back, and keep your spine straight to the air;
11. Place your right hand on the board behind the buttocks, and the left hand on your right knee;
12. Take three deep breaths through your nose
13. Return to the center of the board
14. Repeat the same exercise on the left side;

SUP Yoga: Sarah Hébert does the Downward-Facing Dog | Photo: Fanatic

It's now time to move on to a few intermediate yoga exercises. Try the cow and cat poses:

1. Get on all fours
2. Straighten your back like a table;
3. Inhale, drop your belly and lift you chin up
4. Exhale, draw the belly to the spine and tuck the chin to the chest
5. Repeat the movements and keep the pace with a synchronized breathing;
6. Lie on your back, and enjoy Shavasana with your legs and arms spread;
7. Feel the surroundings - the sun on your skin, the wind in your hair, and the smell of nature;

Discover the best yoga poses for surfers, and take a look at our meditation guide for surfers.

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