Juliet D'cruz

How to Stay Healthy with SUP Yoga?

Are you looking for a fun way to enhance your health and fitness levels?

Staying ahead of your fitness goals can be a challenge during the best of times, but especially when we’re in the middle of a global pandemic. 

After being stuck indoors all day, the last thing you want to do is head over to the gym or the yoga studio to get your exercise in another confined and suffocating indoor space. Moreover, with community transmission being one of the major ways in which the coronavirus spreads from one person to another, sharing a confined, indoor space with strangers can be fraught with risk. 

But if you can’t hit the gym or attend your regular yoga classes, how will you get the exercise you need to stay fit and healthy? 

Well, one option is to combine your usual fitness regimen with an exciting and popular outdoor water-sport. 

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SUP Yoga – An Overview

Stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) is fast becoming one of the most well-known water sports in the world. Millions of people from many different parts of the world try SUP every year. 

SUP had its beginnings in the 1940s in Hawaii, when surf instructors would use a surfboard and a paddle to move around in the water to oversee their students’ progress. Soon, using a surfboard and a paddle to navigate the waves became a new sport in its own right. This new water sport was called stand-up paddleboarding. 

However, one of the major ways in which SUP is different from traditional surfing is the incredible versatility that it offers. Unlike a surfboard, an SUP paddleboard can be used for a wide variety of activities in the water, including exploration, wave-catching, fishing, and yoga. 

Health Benefits of SUP Yoga

SUP yoga is a type of outdoor exercise that combines two different types of workout – namely, stand-up paddleboarding and yoga. Both of these activities are excellent exercise options in their own right. If you combine them, you get the ultimate, low-impact, full-body exercise that helps build muscles, improve cardiovascular health, and enhance mental wellbeing. 

This exercise option simply requires you to perform your usual yoga poses while floating in the water on your paddleboard. The best thing about it is that you don’t need a ton of experience with either paddleboarding or yoga, in order to try this unique workout. All you need to get started are a high-quality SUP board, an adjustable paddle, and an ankle leash.

For the aforementioned reasons, SUP yoga is an easy and accessible workout that most people can try. Since it is practiced in the open air, on a body of water such as a lake or a river, social distancing is a lot easier and the risk of viral transmission much lower than with traditional yoga or other indoor exercises. So, if you’re planning to try your hand at SUP yoga, read on to know more about its primary health benefits. 

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  • Increased Circulation: Yoga involves a lot of stretching, pulling, and deep breathing exercises. All these movements help warm up the muscles and increase the blood flow in the body, thus leading to improved circulation. Better circulation also helps decrease the risk of cardiovascular issues, such as stroke and heart attack.  
  • Greater Balance and Flexibility: Yoga poses, such as the fallen triangle, the revolved sugarcane, and the camel flow require a lot of balance and flexibility. So imagine how much harder you will have to work, in order to maintain these poses on an unstable surface like water. Individually, both SUP and yoga require a great deal of balance and flexibility. Together, they can significantly improve your posture and mobility. 
  • Enhanced Core Strength: Your core muscles need to work overtime to keep you balanced on the water during a stand-up paddleboarding session. Yoga poses like the three-legged downward facing dog and the dolphin plank can greatly impact your core muscles and help keep your torso toned. The two activities together will fire up your core by putting immense pressure on the major muscle groups in that area. 
  • Low-Impact Workout: Traditional yoga and land-based sports like tennis and basketball can provide great exercise. However, they also bring with them the ever-present risk of injury, such as ankle sprains and ligament tears. SUP yoga is performed on the water, which means that there is little risk of injury even if you happen to fall off your board. It is a gentler form of exercise than most traditional workout options. 
  • Improved Mental Health: Yoga is well known for inducing relaxation and relieving stress. Performing yoga on a calm and open water body, such as a lake or a pond, can help you shed your worries and become one with nature. SUP yoga allows you to get out of your house and spend some time in the great outdoors. In the time of global lockdowns and curfews caused by the pandemic, this can have a hugely positive impact on your mental health.  

Final Thoughts 

To safely and comfortably enjoy the benefits of SUP yoga, you need to invest in some high-quality SUP gear, such as an inflatable PVC board and some quality adjustable paddles. To get the most health benefits out of this workout regimen, you should only purchase SUP equipment from a trusted and reliable manufacturer of water-sport gear.