SUP yoga, as it sounds, is essentially about doing yoga on a paddleboard, ideally in calm water. The lake is your studio. The board is your yoga mat.
“SUP yoga really requires focused attention,” says instructor Amanda Stokes of Toronto Island SUP Inc. Although yoga always requires focus, with SUP yoga there is even more focus on balance and being aware of what is around you — of what, or who, might be coming toward you on their board, or of how close you are to natural elements like an overhanging tree, says Stokes.
With these distractions, you are still looking for “a still point amid the chaos,” explains Stokes. And doing the warrior pose, the crow, even a headstand on your board, makes for a special kind of challenge.
There are different theories about where SUP yoga comes from — some say California, others say Florida and Hawaii.
SUP yoga is really a natural progression from SUP, says Gudrun Hardes of WSUP Toronto. Some people like to race with the board; others just like to chill. When WSUP Toronto opened six years ago, the practice was just coming to Canada, says Hardes. Now it’s all over the world.
SUP yoga combines many good elements — being outside, doing yoga and joining together with like-minded participants. Although some postures are harder on water, some are actually easier and can feel really good, says Hardes. If you like headstands, for example, the potential to fall into water is likely less intimidating than the idea of hitting your head on hard ground.
Dip into pieces designed to perform on every level. A long-sleeve top and ankle-length leggings with built-in UPF go the distance to shield from sun exposure, while designs that herald pattern and colour-blocking help cut a striking silhouette. A compact backpack with multiple compartments makes it easy to contain dry goods, like chic shades.
Hanging upside down your thang? This gear alone will make you want to try this whimsical and playful practice.photo credit: Luis Albuquerque
Wishing you were somewhere tropical? Well, this long-sleeve is sure to make you feel like you are with its vibrant palm tree pattern. And due to its built-in Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF), you’ll stay shielded from the sun’s harsh rays.
Lolë top, $65 at lolewomen.com.
This SUP yogi shares everything you need to know about the sport.photo credit: Luis Albuquerque
These leggings are made from recycled materials which are not only eco-friendly but waterproof as well — so if you fall off your board, it’s really NBD.
Lolë leggings, $100 at lolewomen.com.
This 10-minute easy yoga routine will improve your digestion.photo credit: Luis Albuquerque
It’s important to give your twins some support — and what better way to do that than with a new sports bra. Its cut out detailing is everything, adding that extra bit of oomph to your outfit without jeopardizing comfort.
Lorna Jane sports bra, $75 at lornajane.ca.
10 signs your body (and your mind) wants to practice yoga.photo credit: Luis Albuquerque
If you’re into headstands than this headband is a necessity because hair in your face is a no-go when balancing upside down.
Goody headbands, $8 for set of 5 at goody.com.
6 of the most soothing yoga poses to help you sleep better.photo credit: Luis Albuquerque
No more squinting with these stylish shades! The sun may be bright but with sunnies on you’ll have a clean view of your surroundings and — more importantly — your board.
Fendi sunglasses, $740 at holtrenfrew.com.
8 ways yoga can transform your body and your health.photo credit: Luis Albuquerque
This is the perfect snack carrier for that Saturday morning yoga class with your gal pals.
MEC backpack, $38 at mec.ca.
Here’s why you should take your yoga practice outdoors.