SUP is an abbreviation for Stand Up Paddling and is one of the fastest growing water sports in the world. SUP Yoga is yoga done on a SUP board and has fast become a very popular style of yoga.
Even though SUP yoga is a flourishing style of yoga there are some things that hinder many persons from trying it out. These persons miss out on the many benefits of combining yoga with stand up paddle boarding.
During my years as a SUP yoga teacher and teachers trainer I´ve come across lots of beliefs about SUP yoga. Most of them is not true and it makes me frustrated since SUP yoga has enormous benefits regardless of your age, gender and home town.
You don’t need palm trees and hot weather for SUP yoga.
Here are the 5 most common myths about SUP yoga I´ve bumped into so far:
1. IT ONLY WORKS IN PARADISE
SUP yoga is usually associated with warm weather and turquoise water. One of the reasons is that such images are most often shown on social media.
Being SUP yoga pioneer in Sweden I know all about the reasons not to do SUP yoga in Sweden. Cold, rain and black water. I also know how you can and should overcome those same reasons.
Sweden isn’t famous for it’s beaches and palm trees. Neither are most countries. The water isn´t turquoise and warm and you only have a few months every year where it´s warm enough to swim. Does that mean you should not practice SUP yoga?
You don’t need palm trees and hot weather for SUP yoga. It works perfectly as long as there´s no ice on the ocean or lake. All you need is a good wet suit. Or practice indoors.
Since I started teaching SUP yoga in Sweden and around Europe it has grown tremendously. More and more people find SUP yoga and realize the great benefits and the practice that you can’t get on a fixed yoga mat. So create your own paradise and go SUP yoga as long as there’s no ice on the water! If you need some extra warm up during the cold months, practice on an inflatable board. Then you´ll get that extra warm up before you start to paddle and practice your yoga poses.
2. YOU HAVE TO DO HEADSTAND OR SOME OTHER CRAZY POSE
SUP yoga has the ability to turn basic yoga poses into advanced poses. Just paddling in itself works your balance. Adding yoga poses to that is nothing like yoga on a fixed yoga mat.
Personally I don´t think headstand belong on a SUP. I never have and never will teach it. Headstand is one of the poses that injure most yoga practitioners in the world. It doesn´t belong on a floating SUP board due to the risk of injury. Stick to yoga poses you think is easy on your yoga mat. Try them out on a SUP and you´ll see. Easy becomes advanced. Basic will enhance the effectiveness of your practice and give you immediate rewards and lessons.
Basic three legged downward facing dog becomes a challenge on a floating yoga mat.
3. IT´S ONLY FOR BIKINI BABES
During all my years teaching and practicing SUP yoga I´ve basically used same clothes as I do in a yoga studio. Unless it’s cold and I wear a wet suit. And lets be real, how many wear a bikini at a yoga studio? Is it even comfortable?
Yoga is for every BODY, and that includes SUP yoga. Glamorous Instagram pictures of bikini babes on boards will attract lots of people to SUP yoga. That’s great. But it will also stop people from even consider it. Let those pictures inspire you if you want. But don’t let it stop you from trying out SUP yoga.
My wish is that more men would see the incredible benefits of SUP yoga. It gives you everything from enormous balance training and core strength to the power of presence. SUP yoga is the most perfect cross training for athletes and everyone else looking for a full body workout, including lots of fun. Just ask world champion SUP surfer Sean Poynter.
4. SUP YOGA IS EXPENSIVE
If you want to buy your own board it comes with a cost. Yes, it´s more expensive than a yoga mat. But it’s a one-time cost and if you choose a good board you can always sell it later.
Lots of places offer SUP yoga classes for a cost around 30 euros. That often includes all the equipment you need such as board, leash and paddle. Often you can rent a wet suit as well.
I recommend practicing SUP yoga under supervision of a SUP yoga teacher. Since SUP yoga is growing rapidly around the world it´s not difficult to find good classes. Try it out a few times and if you want to buy your own board a skilled yoga teacher should be able to give you information on which board will work specifically for you.
5. SUP YOGA IS JUST A TREND