Ah, comfort zones. Yeah, I love them too. They’re downright cozy and feel oh so safe. If comfort zones are all that, why is it not just important, but paramount to get way the hell away from them?
If you’ve been doing yoga for a long time, you’ve developed a rhythm and relationship with the practice. You’ve built your confidence and worked hard for challenging poses such as Chaturanga and Crow. But it’s been more than a minute, and you’ve gotten very at ease with your practice. You’ve basically stopped challenging yourself, and therefore you’ve reached a plateau.
But you just wait. There’s a super fun way to reinvigorate your practice, and be outside…in the water!
If you haven’t yet tried stand up paddle board yoga (SUP), oh man, are you in for a humbling treat!
How SUP Yoga will propel your practice
There’s a myriad of benefits to trying out stand up paddle board yoga. Kati Potts, certified SUP yoga instructor for Aqua Flow Fit, outlined several of the benefits that even the most seasoned practitioner has to look forward to:
- Increased core strength. You’ll use all of your abdominal muscles to avoid falling off your board.
- Serious slowing down. You have no choice. It’s that, or into the water you’ll go.
- Focus. If you don’t concentrate, you’ll fall. If you do concentrate, you still might fall, but there is much less chance of it happening. Same is true in a yoga studio, but the exception is you won’t get completely soaked, and maybe lose a contact lens.
- Humility. This is big. A lot of chit-chat happens in the yoga room revolving around being humble, and always maintaining a beginner’s mind. Well, that’s super. Really, it is in theory. It’s too easy to lose sight of this when everything comes easy, and you’ve convinced yourself that your core is rock-solid, and your balance is triumphant. Okay, try balancing on a board that’s supported by water. Can you still balance? Okay, well then maybe you’re just that strong. Most of us will fall right over again, and again.
- Determination. It’s simply harder. Solid ground will always win over water in the stability category. Doing SUP yoga demands a much more determined, never-give-up mindset. And if you don’t have one right now, this might get you there.
- A deeper connection to nature. Sounds all hippy-dippy, right? Wrong. Being outside and at one with the elements can only bring you a more profound sense of awe for how incredible the world really is.
- Less distraction. No mirrors, no music other than the sound of birds, breeze, and water lapping, and no physical adjustments offer fewer distractions and more self-reliance.
Check out the SUP yoga options where you live. It’s a growing community, and becoming increasingly easier to find, even if you don’t live near water. It’s the chance to do something challenging, and so much fun awaits you! Send us your recommendations. We’d love to spread the good word about SUP yoga in your area. Enjoy, and don’t forget sunscreen.
By Lara Falberg
Founder at I Work Barefoot
Lara Falberg is not just a yoga sequencing and music addict. Mostly, but not entirely. She's an assistant editor and SEO consultant for Healing Lifestyles and has been teaching yoga for twelve years. Trained in Atlanta, now residing in Columbus Ohio. Her new website, iworkbarefoot.com, is a yoga teacher resource offering verbals cues, mini-sequences, class themes, and studio reviews. She wrote a novel, Yoga Train, about the yoga teacher training experience. Find it on Amazon for Kindle. You can follow Lara on Instagram(@iworkbarefoot), Facebook, and Twitter.
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