Escape to the Water: Paddle Board Yoga

There is something mesmerizing about water.   When I’m particularly stressed or just need a place to focus: I seek out water.  Almost immediately, the water seems to relax and soothe.  Water is my favourite  place to go to meditate.    When I watch water, my breath seems to naturally find its own pranayamic like rhythm.

I’m not the only one that finds water inspiring.  Water is an essential element in several religious practices.  In  Buddhism,  water represents purity, clarity and cleansing.    In Christian religions,  the baptized are blessed and born again after being immersed in water.   From the day we are born, water is a significant part of our lives.

Some interesting Facts about Water:

  • Our body is 75% water
  • Our brain is 75% to 80% water
  • Water is necessary to transport nutrients through our blood to our body
  • Drinking 500 ml of water a day can increase your metabolic rate by 30%
  • Approximately 70% of the earth is covered in water

Water represents life.  It’s energizing, provides clarity and soothes all at the same time.  It is probably one of the most magical and essential elements in this world.

So what better place to do yoga than by or on the water?  Yes, I said on.

In times of stress, yoga has always been my go to strategy.  I have done my yoga workouts in the strangest locations from inside a plane to a busy play centre.  However, my favourite place for yoga has always been the beach.

However, the yoga industry has taken it up a notch with paddle board yoga.

Paddle board yoga combines a series of yoga asana’s with paddle boarding.  In order to join paddle board yoga, two requirements are necessary:

1)   The ability to swim.  Most paddle boarding classes take place in the open water.  Especially in the beginning, you should except that you will fall off.

2)   Love of adventure:  paddle boarding although not necessarily difficult, will get your mind and body working in a completely new way.

Stand up Paddle boarding yoga seems to cater to both the adventurer and yoga enthusiast.

Paddle boarding is a full body work out.  It requires core strength for balance, and will build on your arm strength to paddle.   It is a workout, it will challenge you, but it will also inspire you.  Paddleboard yoga is an athlete pursuit on a beautiful relaxing oasis of water.

Advocates explain that the pursuit is almost magical and seems the most natural space to perform both the balance poses and meditate.

An introductory class, will begin with some sun salutations, review basic paddle boarding technique and that get you out on the water for a full class from the first salutation to Savasana.

Benefits of Paddle Board Yoga

  • Increase stability
  • Increase sense of balance
  • Excellent core workout
  • Stimulates creativity
  • Soothing setting: perfect for relaxation
  • Increase concentration
  • Excellent over all workout: strength training

Of course, now I want to try this class.  Luckily, this movement is spreading like wildfire and stand up paddle board yoga classes are now available across the country.  In Ontario,  one of the locations that offers this form of  yoga is Algonquin park.   There is actually a workshop offered this upcoming weekend.  However, as tempting as it is to try a class, I think my husband would be slightly angry if I cancelled our cottage weekend.  Oh well , I guess I will have to settle for yoga on the beach instead.

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