Justine tried yoga on a stand-up paddle (sup)

Justine has been a yoga instructor for a few years and recently took up stand-up paddle boarding (SUP). She soon decided to combine the two since it gives her the opportunity to do yoga on the water in a variety of different places


Here are my recommended poses for you to try on a flat and calm body of water—you will love it!




Position 1- upward salute (urdhva hastasana)

As you inhale, bring your palms together above your head, arms outstretched alongside your ears and pointing towards the sky. Spread your shoulder blades apart. Allow your armpits to sink down as you keep raising your arms upwards. Lengthen the pose 75% towards the sky and 25% towards the back.

Benefits: combats fatigue, relieves back pain, eases low-level anxiety, and stretches the abs, armpits and shoulders.

Work on your balance with stand-up paddle boarding. 


Position 2 - standing half forward bend (ardha uttanasana)

As you inhale, raise your head and chest, keeping your back straight and flat. Bend your upper body forward as you continue stretching your back.

Benefits: stretches the hamstrings and calves, strengthens the back.

Balance training with stand-up paddle boarding 


Position 3 - standing forward bend (uttanasana)

Exhale as you lean forward from your hips. Tuck your abdominal muscles in and stretch your back. Root your feet, contracting your hamstrings to stretch them as much as possible. With every exhale, push your pelvic bones towards the sky as you extend your back to get a bigger stretch.

Benefits: increases flexibility and strengthens the back and hamstrings. Relieves stress and improves posture.



Position 4 - plank pose (kumbhakâsana dandâsana)

Align your shoulders, hips and ankles. Tighten your glutes and engage your abs. Bring your shoulders down away from your ears.

Benefits: builds strength in the postural/deep core muscles; the action is further strengthened from the instability from the water and the board. 


Position 5 - four-limbed staff pose (chaturanga dandasana)

From the plank pose, bend your elbows to 90°.

Benefits: see plank pose. Strengthens the triceps. 


Position 6 - upward-facing dog (urdhva mukha svanasana)

Set up the pose with your hands alongside your chest, elbows in, feet stretched out. Inhale, pressing your hands into the board as you raise your hips and chest off the board, contracting your thighs and bringing your coccyx towards your pubis. Bring your shoulders down and back, lengthen your neck as you look up.

Benefits: strengthens the spine, arms and wrists. Stretches the chest and abs, improves posture thanks to the SUP. 


Position 7 - downward-facing dog (adho mukha svanasana)

Start on your knees. Align your knees with your hips, placing your wrists directly under your shoulders. Exhale and push up on the board, arms stretched out as you raise your hips away from your ribs. Lengthen your spine. Press your heels down into the board, bring your shoulder blades together and look towards your navel. (your feet should be hip-width apart and parallel).

Benefits: stretches and strengthens the back and shoulders. Stretches the hamstrings. Relieves stress and headaches. 


Position 8 - high lunge (utthita ashwa sanchalanasana)

Bring your front foot under your knee, left foot stretched back behind you. Your hands should be at either side of your front foot. Press your palms or fingertips into the board as you straighten your upper body. Tighten your glutes and engage your abs.

Benefits: strengthens the legs and arms. Stretches the groin and relieves constipation. Balance training thanks to the SUP. 


Position 9 - warrior i pose (virabhadrasana i)

From the high lunge pose, inhale as you raise your arms to the sky. Your back foot should be almost parallel with your body, front foot facing forward. Engage your abs, contract your thighs and press your hips down as you stretch your arms towards the sky.

Benefits: strengthens the arms, shoulders, thighs, ankles and back. Stretches the hip flexors, builds stamina and improves balance with the SUP. 


Position 10 - warrior ii pose (virabhadrasana ii)

From the warrior I pose, open your arms, placing them parallel to the board and in the same direction as your legs. Bring your shoulders down away from your ears and engage your abs.

Benefits: strengthens the legs, ankles, groin, chest and shoulders. Stimulates digestion, builds stamina, and relieves back pain, carpal tunnel and sciatica. In addition to significant balance training thanks to the SUP. 


Position 11 - one-legged king pigeon pose (eka pada rajakapotasana)

From "downward-facing dog", bring one leg forward, with your knee bent, heel pointing towards the pubis. Straighten the other leg behind you, keeping your hips aligned with the board. Push your pubis towards the board and keep your spine straight. Bend the back knee and grab your foot or ankle with your hand on the same side to increase the stretch.

Benefits: stretches the hips, quads, spine, chest, shoulders and abs. Strengthens the back. 


Position 12 - chair pose (utkatasana)

From pose 1, exhale and bend your knees, leaning your upper body slightly forward. Stretch your arms above your head towards the sky. Keep your shoulders low, abs tucked in.

Benefits: strengthens the lower body, stretches the chest and shoulders. Relieves stress and tension, improves flat feet. Intense balance training on the SUP. 


Position 13 - seated forward bend (paschimottanasana)

Inhale, raise your arms towards the sky and stretch your upper body upwards. Exhale as you bring your upper body forward towards your legs, bending from the hips while keeping your back long.

Benefits: stretches the hamstrings and spine, relieves stress and headaches and lowers blood pressure. 


Position 14 - plough pose (halasana)

Lie down, knees bent, hands on the board or under your hips. Engage your abs, raise your hips and stretch out your legs. Inhale as you bring your legs over your head. Exhale, keeping your legs together as you bring your toes to touch the board.

Benefits: relieves stress, back pain and headaches. Stimulates digestion. Improves back and hamstring flexibility. Intense concentration and balance training on the SUP. 


Position 15 - supported headstand pose (salamba sirsasana)

This pose, which is usually done on the elbows, has been adapted for SUP. You'll place your hands on either side of your SUP. Exhale and slowly raise your feet off the board, knees bent. When you find your balance, you can gradually extend your legs towards the sky. Engage your core as much as possible.

Benefits: strengthens the core, arms and legs. Improves your balance even more on a SUP. 


Position 16 - upward bow pose (urdhva dhanurasana)

Lie on your back, knees bent, feet hip-width apart and heels under your knees. Place your hands flat on the board next to your ears, elbows in. Exhale as you push with your feet and hands. Contract your glutes to raise your hips. Push your chest towards the sky to increase the stretch.

Benefits: strengthens the thighs and glutes. Stretches the spine and chest. Re-energising. Stimulates digestion and thyroid and reduces stress. The SUP provides balance training. 


Position 17 - crow pose (bakasana)

Start with your hands on the board, elbows bent, knees on the board behind your arms. On the exhale, tip your body forward as you come into balance.

Benefits: tones the arms, strengthens the wrists, improves balance on the SUP. 


Position 18 - camel pose (ustrasana)

Keep your hips over your knees. Bend backwards, placing your hands on your heels or ankles. Engage your core and let your head relax back.

Benefits: strengthens the spine and stretches the thighs, hip flexors, chest and abs. Stimulates digestion and improves balance on the SUP. 


Position 19 - lotus pose (padmasana)

A relaxing pose that requires very little balance on the board but is enjoyable in a tranquil environment.

Benefits: stretches the hips, knees and ankles. Stimulates digestion and calms the mind for meditation. 

Practice before you go!

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