Paddle Healthy: Three Strengthening SUP Yoga Poses

Three Basic Yoga Poses To Strengthen Your SUP Muscles

Scoff at SUP yoga if you will, but there's something about taking your practice from land to water, mat to board, that's simply refreshing. And, while we're used to seeing lots of good looking women making SUP yoga look easy as cake, we have to admit that it's pretty darn challenging, especially if you don't practice regularly. So, in order to hone our SUP yoga skills, we caught up with Marci Kawar, a yogi with 20 years of experience, and co-owner of San Diego's Floating Yogis, to talk about some of her favorite SUP yoga poses that are also great for paddlers looking to increase strength. Regardless of what level you're at in your practice (or non-practice), performing these poses will help strengthen your SUP body, improve flexibility, and maybe even 'center' your mind. —Shari Coble

Plank

Photo: FloatingYogis.com

Photo: FloatingYogis.com

"This is a great pose to strengthen the arms and core. Plank is typically part of a vinyasa flow, but you can easily perform plank between paddling sets, too," Marci says. Hold your abs in throughout, maintaining the pose for 20 or 30 seconds—while maintaining correct form—increasing time as your strength increases.

 

Downward Dog

Photo: FloatingYogis.com

Photo: FloatingYogis.com

"Downward dog looks like a fairly basic pose, but it really helps strengthen the arms, abs, and legs," says Marci. "It offers a new perspective to paddlers, as they're seeing the water upside down, and also challenges them because they're trying to stay balanced while acknowledging that new perspective. This SUP yoga pose is more difficult than it looks because it's really challenging the mind and body to balance at the same time." Perform this pose for 30 seconds.

 

Boat

Photo: FloatingYogis.com

Photo: FloatingYogis.com

"More challenging than plank and downward dog, boat pose requires a lot of balance," Marci says. "You're balancing on your tailbone, so it's challenging on land, but to try to balance on the board is even more difficult." This pose is beneficial to standup paddlers, however, as it strengthens the core, hips, and thighs. Marci suggests to, "Work towards releasing your hands [from sides], and extending your arms and legs straight, [so your knees aren't bent]. If you're able to get into the full expression of the pose, you can challenge yourself by twisting at the waist in each direction." Work up to holding the pose for 30 seconds.

For more information, visit: FloatingYogis.com
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