SUP Yoga at UAF

I am centered. I am grounded. Engage the muscles, stay strong. Breeeeaaaathe. Feel the energy through the heart center. Feel the balance and- *wobblewobblewobble* SPLASH.

Stand-up paddleboard yoga, or SUP yoga for short, is a ridiculously fun way to spend a -35͒ F Sunday afternoon. The air is warm and tropical-humid in the Patty Pool and the water laps at the pool edges in a relaxing rhythm. If you are even somewhat yogatic-ly inclined, you have to try SUP yoga. I’m definitely a beginner yogi, but this workshop was totally do-able for me. Anyone who can embrace a yoga flow will truly appreciate the new dimension brought to yoga once you take solid ground away. Even though it is much more difficult to balance on a paddle board, you’ll feel more connected to your body for that hour and a half than you have all month long. And if you do get adventurous and decide to try a head stand or arm balance, falling into warm water is much more pleasant than falling on hard ground.

Our instructor had us stand up in the middle of the board and then jump into the water first thing, so that got us over any qualms about getting wet. From there, we spent some time getting used to how a few staple moves felt, like forward fold, downward dog, cat, and cow. From there we went into a vinyasa flow, a series of movements connected by the pattern of breathing in and out.


Down dogging.


Pigeon pose, opening those hips.

After warming up, we moved into some more challenging poses and did some backbends in camel and wheel. Then we went into what was by far the most relaxing savansa I have ever felt. Those few minutes of floating mediation felt like they lifted all the worries of the past week away. After we namaste-ed to seal the practice, we had play time! Partner poses proved to be very challenging, balancing two people on one board is the ultimate test of teamwork.

The SRC has sign-ups for more of these workshops throughout the year, so check it out if you’re interested. I’m glad I got a chance to try SUP yoga up here in Fairbanks, maybe next time it will be in some sunny cove in Hawaii!


A very skillful headstand.


Can't you just feel the relaxation?

(Photos courtesy of UAF DRAW)

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