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What is SUP Yoga & How Does it Work?

Posted by Luke Green

It is hard to see a paddle board as being useful for anything but paddle boarding, I mean why would they call it that if it was made for anything else? With that being said, there is a great way of taking your yoga sessions to a new level, and that is doing yoga on a paddle board (AKA SUP yoga). While it may seem counterintuitive to practice yoga on a non-sturdy surface, SUP yoga provides you with a more challenging, yet more rewarding form of yoga that can improve your balance and concentration.

Woman in Downward Dog pose on a paddle board

How Does SUP Yoga Work?

SUP yoga may sound like an intimidating concept, but it is as straightforward as the name suggests. There are factors that you must be aware of when doing SUP yoga:

  • Location – make sure you have a quiet, sheltered area in which to do your SUP yoga. You do not want anyone interrupting your session by swimming, sailing or paddling around you, nor do you want the elements bashing you from all sides as you try to unwind. A secluded and neutral environment shall offer you the best opportunity to make the most of your session.
  • Getting to your spot – take your time and make your way to your ideal spot in a calm manner, you do not want to fall in before your session because you were paddling too fast and lost control, this is a relaxing activity so make sure your trip there and back is relaxing as well.
  • Falling in isn’t the end of the world – you are doing yoga on a board in the middle of a body of water, it is to be expected that you fall in every now and again. This does not mean that you have ruined your session, or that you are bad at SUP yoga, the open water can throw a lot at you so just roll with the punches (or falls), get back on your board and carry on from where you left off.
Women Sat On Red Paddle Co Activ 108 Paddle Boards Doing Yoga
Beyond that there are a few pieces of kit that you should also take into consideration:
  • Paddle board – the key component to this activity, choosing the right paddle board is essential to making sure you get the most out of SUP yoga. An inflatable paddle board is recommended as it offers some more give than your paddle boards made from epoxy, foam, or other materials. This provides users with some extra comfort while still delivering a flat and stable surface. One with a full length deck pad will also allow for greater comfort and a wider variety of positions to be achieved.
  • Paddle and Anchor – the paddle and anchor will be useful for making sure you can go where you want to go and stay where you want to stay. The anchor may not be the most essential of items, but the paddle is less of an optional piece of kit, so make sure you and your paddle are suited for each other and has a place to be stored or securely attached to while you yoga.
  • Clothes – if you are lucky enough to live in a warm environment then wear whatever clothes you want, though if you are in a chillier environment it may be wise to invest in some more protective gear. Maybe some waterproof leggings, a performance top or even a comfortable wetsuit, just make sure you are ready to deal with the weather and the water.
Now that you have the gear and understand all the factors that affect SUP yoga it is time to head out and start your routine. If you already have a yoga routine set up and want to try that out then by all means go for it, though here are some ideas in case you are struggling to think of what to do:
  • Downward dog - Place your hands and feet down on opposite ends of the board, then start to raise your body up till your legs and arms are straight and you are bent at the hip.
  • Arm rotations - sit on the board with your legs on either side in the water, place your hands together in front of your chest, then raise them up above your head, swing them down and out to the side, and then bring them back together in front of your chest again.
  • Mountain pose - simply stand up on the board with your legs shoulder width apart and place your hands together in front of your chest.
  • Squat pose - go from a mountain position and squat down till your pelvis is below your knees.
  • Savasana - lie down on the board with your head facing up, then place your hands and feet in the water.
Woman Doing Yoga table Top Pose with opposite arm and leg extended

Hopefully, if you came here wondering ‘what is SUP yoga?’ or ‘how does SUP Yoga work?’, you now know. If you’d love to give it a go but are still a little unsure, don’t hesitate to get in touch and we’ll do our best to help.

Red Paddle Co SUP Yoga Boards On Red Equipment

While you can absolutely give SUP yoga a go on any paddle board, some are definitely better suited than others. You can ask our experts for advice if yoga is just one of many activities you’ll be using your paddle board for and are looking for tailored recommendations, however, there are two Red paddle boards that we’d absolutely recommend for yoga and casual paddling.

Red Paddle Co 10’8″ ACTIV MSL Inflatable Paddle Board

Red Paddle Co 10’8″ ACTIV MSL Inflatable Paddle Board

A brilliant beginners board, the 10’8” Activ is the ideal SUP yoga platform. Being a thicker board means there is less chance of water washing over the board, meaning you can stay dry while you go through your session, while the wider width of this board provides you a sturdy base to work through your poses. The centre line built into the deckpad will help you find your balance quicker and offset handles mean you can lie on your board unrestricted. Suitable for normal paddling too, this board offers you the best of both worlds as is a brilliant choice for any SUP yoga enthusiasts.

Red Paddle Co 10’8″ RIDE MSL Inflatable Paddle Board

Red Paddle Co 10' 8

The all-rounder, designed to suit any situation, the 10’8” Ride is perfect for those wanting to explore everything that paddle boarding has to offer. This board can cater to any of your SUP needs, be it exploring, SUP yoga, or family activities, the 10’8” Ride has you covered. Our unique Flat Bungee Cargo System offers you a great way to store whatever you need on the front of your board, and the added thickness and rounded tail make this board extra stable, perfect for those getting into paddle boarding. If you are a beginner paddle boarder and want a board that will suit all your needs then the 10’8” Ride is for you.