DE Reports: SUP Yoga
I just love receiving an experience as a gift. A dear friend of mine gave me a SUP Yoga Introductory class from Clatsop Paddle for my birthday this month. I actually like saying SUP Yoga; the way it rolls off my tongue. I say it with a little extra emphasis on the SUP part. As a matter of fact, I thought SUP Yoga was a catch phrase, like shortened lingo for ‘what’s up yoga’ or something. It wasn’t until driving to the class that it hit me, SUP is an acronym for stand up paddleboard. Oh well, I still like saying it. And I like the practice even better!
I went into the class not knowing what to expect. I had never been on a paddle board before. I was fairly confident in my yoga ability though, and it was comforting to find that I had taken yoga from the instructor before (Michelle, over at the Hot Spot Yoga studio). I went into the class fully prepared. I had rented a wet suit and life jacket, I got the booties. I was fully outfitted for the cold I was sure to endure from falling into the lake multiple times as I tried to balance on the paddleboard. Turns out though, that the lake was warm, the day was hot, I didn’t need the life jacket as I can swim well enough, especially in a calm lake in an anchored position. The booties I didn’t even wear; I like to do yoga barefoot. But, what was really nifty, is the board itself. You can strap all your gear underneath the bungees on the board and make a day trip with all the gear you’ll ever need. I definitely need to do that someday!
I must have had a really nice board because it was easy to find my center of balance. I was able to keep my eyes closed throughout the yoga piece and I literally felt as if it was just me and the voice of my instructor on that lake. It was nice as we were all able to spread out on the lake with enough space to not hear each others deep breathing, or shifting from position to position. All my uncertainties of knowing nothing about paddleboarding vanished as well as the tensions in my body. I had never connected so deeply in a yoga session as I did that day on the lake. I was even able to get into the camel pose without pain (chiropractic and massage sessions have been doing me wonders!). I realized after the fact that I was basically in a meditative state the whole time, as my mind was clear and free of chatter. I was totally in the present. I felt so energized after the class and will definitely return.
I would recommend this to anybody who is a little familiar with yoga as one of my friends that attended the class felt that it was difficult for her to get into ‘the zone’ as she was not that familiar with the yoga poses, but she was comfortable on the board otherwise. My other friend that attended, enjoys yoga, but was fearful of her perceived lack of balance. Turns out, she was comfortable on the paddleboard too. No balance issues there! I’ll be back for more, next time with just the bare essentials, ready to go!