My recent obsession is learning how to Stand Up Paddle Surf (SUP). Originating in the Hawaiian Islands in the 1960’s paddle boarding has just recently made its way to the mainland. No waves needed, you can paddle on lakes, rivers, oceans or harbors. There are rental places popping up all around me offering lessons and paddleboard (which look like oversized surfboards) rentals. I’m dying to give this workout a try.
What really caught my interest and made me want to try this new sport out even more, was reading an article in The Seattle Times yesterday; In Seattle, floating yoga on a paddleboard. Now this sounded crazy, yet tempting. Personal trainer Vicki Wilson teaches a class made up of about a dozen women that engage in a series of asanas on the Puget Sound. Very different from the in-studio feel, the class is surrounded by enormous freight ships, train chugs and seagulls. Despite these distractions, the serene waters of the sound create harmony and ease during this practice.
Finding your footing and balance on the mat is one thing, but the waves and movement of the water create extra challenge for not only the body but also the mind. I’m sure poses on the board lend themselves to increased core strength balance. The mind is now confronted with new distractions to block out and anxiety about falling off the board.
Seattle is not the only place holding paddleboard yoga; classes are popping up in Florida, California, Hawaii and Washington. This is just another example of the reinvention of yoga and the hybrid of two therapeutic calming hobbies.