Your Stand Up Paddle Board: The New Yoga Mat?

I have to admit at the onset, I don’t do yoga. I do engage in some stretching before I get on my paddle board but nothing that involves anything like a downward facing dog. So when I saw someone doing a variety of poses one day on a smooth surfaced lake, I waited until she had finished with their yoga poses and had paddled to shore to ask: “Is that stand up paddle board better for yoga than a mat?” Here’s what she had to say.

Me: “I don’t know that much about yoga so seeing you do all of those poses on a paddle board seems like you’d be taking it to the next level.”

She: “Yoga is amazing. For one, it increases flexibility, reduces stress, and increases balance. It gets you in tune with you in a way that no other workout I’ve tried has ever done.”

Me (wondering if you needed to start on a mat and move to the water): “Have you ever paddle boarded before, you know, before yoga?” She was clearly in good shape.

She: “This is only my second time on a paddle board and the first time I tried yoga on it. I did it on whim, just to see if it could be done.”

Me: “I watched you for about a half hour do all sorts of poses and never fell in. Not once. Either yoga’s a lot easier than it looks or you’re yanking my chain.”

She: “The yoga I did on land translated really well.”

Me: “How so?”

She: “Okay, yoga is about balance. On a board, on the water, you have to really focus on the balance. The board acts like an information center, adjusting to the part of whatever you are doing. If you are off-balance, you’re in the water.

“And it so calm. You’re not in some hot, sweaty studio trying to achieve inner peace with a bunch of other students. One the water, it just is.

“That calm allows me to focus on my breathing.”

Me: “Should I take a yoga class or two on land first?

She (loading her board onto the rack on her car): “Probably not a bad idea. You’re probably already used to getting out of the water when you fall in. Learning to take your balance to another level might benefit from a few lessons on breathing.”

Speaking of her board which she told me she had borrowed along with the car from as good friend. I should mention that the board was a little different than my touring board. It was flatter and not as long with a nice deck. These features made me wonder if a yoga board is specially designed for just yoga or could it be used for something else? Check out the next post where I take a look at one of the premiere yoga boards on the market.

Here’s a short video of how yoga is done on a paddle board.

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