How SUP Yoga Can Give Your Practice a Boost There is nothing quite like finding yourself in beautiful surroundings. Whether you travel a lot, or are just lucky enough to live somewhere amazing, nature puts on some amazing shows and witnessing them can affect you in positive and unexpected ways. Stand Up Paddle or SUP yoga is inspired by these amazing places in nature and seeks to use them to enhance the experience of yoga. It also requires a good sense of balance and the ability to swim! What Is It? SUP yoga is yoga that is performed on a stand-up paddle board, which is like a long surf board. These boards are usually used for stand-up paddle boarding, which is a variation of traditional surfing that originated in Hawaii. In SUP yoga, the yoga poses are performed while standing or sitting on the paddle board in a quiet stretch of ocean, bay, or lake. This gives practitioners amazing views and all the benefits of the natural setting as well as a new and interesting way to enhance their yoga practice. What Are the Health Benefits? SUP yoga increases flexibility and strength in the same way as normal yoga, with the added benefits of greatly improving balance and core strength at the same time. Because of the unstable surface, core strength and stability are vital to this form of yoga, which guarantees a good workout. It is also fairly safe, as failure means a swim rather than some kind of injury. SUP yoga is also said to improve blood circulation and digestion, as well as lower stress and encourage greater relaxation. The ocean setting is vital here, with the famously healing and soothing effects of nature used in tandem with exercise to produce positive benefits and a greater appreciation for the natural world. Poses You Can Try During Your Session Posing during a SUP yoga session are restricted by the limited space and natural balance of the person on the board. Beginners may find themselves in the water often, unable to balance, while performing the poses but with time and practice they can get used to the unstable ground. Some poses that can be performed during SUP yoga include many of the normal poses you would perform in your everyday yoga practice. Child’s pose: Good for establishing balance, kneel and put your forehead on the board in front of your knees. Relax and enjoy the sway of the board. Downward Dog: Starting on your hands and knees, press up through your hands and feet and lift your tail bones towards the sky. Use the muscles of your thighs to pull your upper body back and stretch out your shoulders. Relax your neck. Warrior I: This pose requires a lot of balance and will probably end with you in the water several times. Stretch your feet apart, one turned out and the other at a forty-five-degree angle. Turn your body to face in the direction of your lead foot. Lunge forward, keeping your knee behind your toes and lift your arms over your head. SUP yoga is a trend that brings the beauty of the natural world and the benefits of being out in nature into the normal yoga practice. It can be difficult to learn to balance on the rocking boards, but the important thing to remember is to have fun with it, get straight back on your board when you do fall in, and enjoy both the movements and the amazing setting. Remember, don’t take yourself too seriously, because everyone falls in.