by Jess Updyke
Over the past couple of years one of the things that ranks very high on my must-do summer list is stand up paddle boarding (SUP). I regularly go for little jaunts around Galway Lake but I do enjoy going to Kayak Shak located in Saratoga Springs several times throughout the summer.
My favorite thing to do is rent a board for $20 for 3 hours and make my way over to Lake Local where I stop off quick to have a drink, maybe a quick bite if I made good timing, use the bathroom and make my way back to the Kayak Shak. Because I typically just stroll on the board and don’t ever try to break any records, it’s the perfectly timed for the three hour time block I paid for. It’s such a fun thing to do solo or with a group of friends.
Speaking of having fun with friends, this one time at band camp. Just kidding. Last summer, Jenny knew how much I enjoyed SUP so she asked if I wanted to go one Sunday morning with her and our friend Catherine. I show up raring to go and expecting it will be similar to my normal route but little did I know, she has us signed up to do SUP yoga! If you could have seen my reaction—which I am sure is not uncommon but totally panicked and was like YOU MUST BE KIDDING!! I was so stressed out because how could I possibly do yoga on a floating board. Seemed impossible to me.
But I pushed through the discomfort and here is what happened:
- It requires a totally different kind of focus, and not just when you’re doing the poses, but also when you’re transitioning between them.
- It seemed even more muscles were needed, I think because it’s a surface that is constantly in motion.
- There is something so peaceful and magical being out on the water and you do form that sense of peace.
- It’s so nice to be out in nature. The lily pads are so pretty. The only frustrating part is not having your phone to take pictures of the beauty.
- Because it’s all about balance, your senses are heightened and you have a new awareness of your breath, mind and body.
- It’s challenging but doable so you have such a sense of accomplishment when finished.
- There is a sense of freedom that comes with doing it on the water to an otherwise earth-bound practice. The worst that can possibly happen is you get wet which actually works out great when you’re hot and sweaty anyway.
- We definitely had some laughs and it was a great way to bond.
- You feel totally reinvigorated when finished.
Floating on water helps you relax but helps you with the MOST important aspect of yoga (and balancing on a paddle board): YOUR BREATH.
Want to try it for yourself? Click the button below to sign up!