No really, what is SUP? It’s the best form of outdoor exercise I can think of, that’s what! If you are someone who loves to be active but also loves the water this is definitely for you. Stand up paddleboarding (SUP) is a sport originated in Hawaii and is an offshoot of surfing. Unlike tradition surfing where the goal is to catch and ride the wave, SUP uses a paddle to propel yourself through the water while staying relatively upright. SUP has been gaining a lot of popularity over the years and is an amazing workout.
I’ve been working for a SUP business here in the GTA for a few years now called Yogata. When I first tried SUP out I was a little nervous as most people usually are but I quickly learned the tips and tricks to becoming comfortable. It came as no surprise to me that it required pretty incredible balance. If you’re wobbling and rocking the board you will probably fall in a few times. Lucky for me and my yoga background I feel I have really great balance. Equally distributing your weight on the board is the most important part but any good SUP instructor will tell you that. They will also thoroughly go through seated, kneeling and standing forms of paddling as well as how to turn, stop and slow down properly.
It might look like a breeze gliding over the water, but is it ever a workout. Digging your paddle into waves and pushing yourself forward requires a lot of core and shoulder strength. I find it to be such an amazing form of exercise. You really aren’t paying attention to how hard you’re working because it is so much fun! Not only has SUP blown up the fitness game lately but SUPYoga has been just as popular. SUPYoga is what I started teaching and fell in love with. With SUPYoga the boards are anchored in the water so you don’t float away and you move through your practice as you float atop the water. The added challenge of waves and wind make it a little harder and all your smaller stabilizer muscles will get their butts kicked. It doesn’t have to constantly be a challenge, imagine taking a nice long savasana at the end of your practice floating under the sun with the sounds of nature all around you and your hands and feet in the water. It is pure bliss.
The best way to get started is to find a business near you. If you live near a lake or an ocean, chances are there will be people out on the SUP boards. It’s as easy as a google search. You can take first time lessons or you can rent boards and go out on your own. With the heat we have been experiencing here lately I can’t think of a better way of spending a hot summer day. Get in touch with your local businesses and get out on the water. If you live in the GTA come out to Yogata and take some lessons with us!
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