As I continue to extend my yoga practice into new disciplines and new adventures, one activity that has remained at the top of my list is, Stand-Up Paddle-boarding or SUP.
Seven years ago, I started my journey into the SUP world. I strapped my new board to the top of my car and headed to my parents’ lake house in Manitowish Waters, WI. This was the perfect location for a first timer because the traffic on the lake is minimal and in the morning the water looks like glass because it is so calm.
Just minutes into my first ride, I was hooked! There is an instant connection with nature that is different from other water sports. I think because you’re standing, with the breeze in your face and only a thin board between you and the water, you can feel the elements more intimately, a real connection to nature.
I have since ventured out to multiple lakes over the years. I have taught SUP Yoga classes to beginners and practicing yogis alike. Sharing my love for this sport with clients, friends and family. I am no longer surprised when I witness the instant connection to nature that both children and adults make when they are on a paddleboard. It is truly magical.
I have paddled in the fog, not knowing exactly what might be 10 feet in front of me. I have had a beautiful loon surface and hit its head on my board before swimming away. I have slowly paddled beneath an eagle’s nest while watching a mother teach its new eaglet to fly. I have paddled effortlessly for hours across mirrored water that was filled with the reflection of the clouds above and I have paddled for short, intense periods while digging deep against the wind and the elements and getting the workout of a lifetime.
My children have learned to love both SUP and SUP yoga as well. Children don’t think of it as exercise or a “workout.” They consider it just another form of playing.
SUP offers an opportunity to disconnect from electronic media and constant social chatter and connect with nature, while getting a great, total body workout that is so pure in its intentions and benefits. If you are looking for a new activity this summer, consider SUP or SUP Yoga. It is a great way to connect to nature and social distance.
Lastly, SUP offers a good life lesson. Things can be challenging, we may lose our balance, but every time we lose our balance off the board we learn something new, we pick ourselves up and we paddle forward.