It’s not the summer yet, but I wanted to make sure I was prepared this year. You see, last year I had high hopes to squeeze in “SUPing”. No that’s not short for WASSUP and there will be no frogs with long tongues in this post. Stand up paddle boarding is where its at kids and hold onto your tree pose because pairing up yoga with the board is no easy feat. It takes confidence, concentration, core and meditation to do what some may call beginner yoga poses on the water.
I happened to be at a local store where I saw the flyer for Kostal Paddle offering indoor paddle board yoga at a few Jewish Community Centers (JCC) on Long Island. I immediately snapped a photo of the information on my phone and checked out their site and Facebook page when I got home. Within minutes I picked up the phone to reserve. This was my chance to prepare myself for a good active summer. As many of my readers know, I train and compete in triathlons and I am also doing my very first bicycle century (100 miles..wohoo!) this June. But I am also thirsty for something new and I have been practicing all types of yoga for over 20 years now. I had to get my feet wet with paddle board yoga.
JM from Kostal Paddle set me up for the class at the JCC in East Hills along with my buddy David who was equally as excited to bust a move on the board. Before the yoga began, we were properly introduced to the boards with the paddles. With no waves and no boat wakes insight, it was a smooth sailing mini lesson of being one with the board.
Then the class began as we slowed down our breath and concentrated on balance and core strength. It was key to not only stay centered in the middle of the board, but also mentally.
We slowly graduated to standing up on the board, doing a few vinyasa flows of plank, chaturanga, downward dog and upward dog. That felt good. When it was time to do tree pose, you knew this was not the same thing as studio mat yoga. I barely was able to get one foot to prop up against the other’s ankle.
Spinal balance pose was magnified by 10, as you had to calm the mind and truly focus on something ahead of you to lift opposite arm and leg up parallel to the floor.
Of course yoga on the water had to include boat pose or the sanskrit name navasana. Again, it took immense concentration to balance on the board as it freely swayed back and forth.
All in all, Kostal Paddle deserves kudos for bringing the program to the pool on Long Island a month before beach season begins. They will be bring the program outside to a neighborhood by you, as JM reminds us all that we are indeed on an island and surrounded by bodies of water. Now I just wait to see if Quicksilver comes out with a Paddle Board yoga line. Shaka namaste or hang loose and peace.