Yoga takes expert concentration and balance. This is developed over a long period of time with lots of practice. Newbies should go to beginner’s classes, so that they may work on their strength, flexibility, and the balance required to do advanced yoga. Once a moderate amount of knowledge is collected on this very relaxing physical activity, there are a number of ways to practice and enjoy it.
Some believe yoga can only be done in a studio. The reality? It doesn’t have to be done on land at all. There’s a way to take it to the ocean. With practice and balance, it can be done on a stand up paddle board. The benefits are numerous when it comes to yoga.
They’re significantly increased when done on a paddleboard. Those who choose to practice yoga on water can expect to see greater increases in:
- Activated Muscles
- Technique Refinement
- And Relaxation!
Is It Difficult To Learn?
Only the truly gifted can master this art by themselves. Typically, the ones who catch on very early are the ones who also surf. Paddle board yoga has been around for almost as long as yoga has been in the United States. It was initially practiced in Hawaii.
Today, there are expert instructors on the coastline in the mainland. It’s easy to find those who teach it on the coast of California and Florida. Instruction will first be on balancing on the board without practicing a technique. Techniques will be slowly added later. Again, it is much easier to get the most out of this class if you have practice yoga on land before. Being a surfer doesn’t hurt either.
Not all yoga poses are possible on a stand up paddleboard. Yoga poses that are used include:
- Downward Facing Dog
- Cat Pose
- Corpse Pose
- Warrior Pose 1
- Child’s Pose
- Plank Pose
- Tree Pose
Lighter Poses Equals More About Relaxation
None of these poses are the most physically rigorous ones that can be found in yoga. Child’s pose and Plank pose are especially designed for relaxation. More muscles are activated because of the added balance necessary to produce them on an unstable surface. Part of what makes paddle board yoga so relaxing is the relaxing poses that it includes.
Poses that are extremely difficult, like Navasana, Warrior 111, and Vriksasana, are not done on a paddle board.
The Ocean Has A Powerful Effect On The Mind
It isn’t just the yoga that’s making you feel relaxed. The ocean has a powerful effect of relaxing and calming the mind. The sound the ocean makes has a calming effect on the mind like relaxation music has in a traditional yoga class. Colors actually have the capacity to change a person’s state of mind.
Orange has been proven to in-strike aggression. Red has been proven to increase attraction.
Blue has a strong calming effect on the mind. This is especially true for lighter shades of blue. If you’re doing paddleboard yoga in a clear ocean, that increases the relaxation properties of the activity.
Ionized air is present at the beach. This is strongly associated with the beneficial mood changes we feel when we’re there. These negative ions have a calming effect on the brain when they are breathed in.
These ions can be as strong as swallowing an anti-depressant for someone with clinical depression. The mood effect is dramatic and has been known about for a number of years. In 1932, scientist, Dr. Clarence Hall, noticed that his colleges experienced mood changes when exposed to different types of ions.
Both positive and negative ions have a strong capacity to affect mood.
The Rhythmic Sound
The clashing of waves is on a timed schedule like music. Music is created when certain notes are played at a certain time. Without time, music is just sounds. In a way, the crashing of the waves is like music. It allows us to deeply relax as we have a pleasant sound to focus on.
This decreases intrusive thoughts, which aids in mindfulness.
Why are endorphins released in exercise? We often notice a sore body when we work out after a long period of not doing so. When working out, we are damaging the muscles. The body will get pain signals that tell these muscles to repair. Anytime the body is in pain, endorphins are released.
While you may not feel pain after doing paddleboard yoga for a while, the body is still getting the repair signals that cause endorphins to be released.
The Cooling of The Body
While the beach is hot, the water isn’t. Your body is submerged in water as you get on the paddle board. The cooling down of the skin helps the body relax. This effect does not wear down once you are on the paddle board and practicing the moves that need to be done.
The effects of yoga and the effects of the ocean are combined when paddleboard yoga is practice. Even if you have had no instruction, stretching and doing deep breathing on a paddle board is similar to doing yoga on it. It will offer added benefits that cannot be reached by doing one activity alone. It is wise to make sure you are wearing plenty of sunscreen.
The reflection of light from the ocean is doubled when you are standing on top of it. Getting a major burn will definitely cancel out the relaxation effects of the sport.
If you don’t have a paddle board and are currently looking for a good one for yoga click here to see a list of SUP / Paddle Boards for yoga.
Concluding Thoughts – Paddleboard Yoga
It’s easy to try. It doesn’t have to be done in the ocean. Paddleboard yoga does not require the waves the ocean produces. A lot of areas offer classes in swimming pools. This can be found in some gyms and recreational buildings. It’s worth trying!
Those who engage in paddleboard yoga develop a love for it that keeps them practicing for a lifetime. There is no other way of doing yoga that offers this level of relaxation.
Combining yoga, sea, and sun creates a relaxation effect that is much stronger than any of these three alone.
Additional Information: Exercises to Improve Your Stand Up Paddle Boarding Ability