Try It: SUP Yoga

We love a good outdoor yoga practice – the park, the beach, there’s really nothing like standing in tree pose with a sweet view of the mountains or sea. So when the opportunity came about to try SUP Yoga on the beautiful island of Gili Air in Indonesia, it was time to get our feet wet.

SUP Yoga is essentially yoga on a stand up paddle board in the water. Since the SUP board is large enough to act as a mat (and sturdy enough to support someone standing on it) it was only a matter of time before yogis started to discover the ways it challenged their practice.

The good thing about paddle-boarding is that the learning curve is relatively low. It doesn’t take much to figure out how to stand up on the board and paddle. There’s basic physics – the taller you are, the more your body acts as a sail. When the wind’s behind you, your body catches the wind and helps you move forward. When the wind’s in front of you, it becomes harder to paddle.

The intimate 90 mins session (just four of us) started with a warm-up stretch on the beach, working through a few sun salutations before hitting the water. We took the boards out for a paddle to get the heart pumping and then settled into an area to start moving as a group from pose to pose. We finished with a seated meditation and Savasana. It was pure bliss – imagine the hot sun warming your body, the smell of sea salt and your fingertips grazing the water as you float around on your board.