What Is Paddleboard Yoga? – Benefits, Risks & How To Get Started…Fast!

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If you’re a yoga lover that likes to be near the water, then you may want to seriously consider a yoga paddleboard practice!

Paddleboard yoga is a unique blend of paddleboarding and yoga wrapped up all-in-one and this popular yoga session is designed to give you all the benefits of both yoga, while engaging your core on a new level because your board is wobbling on the water.

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Paddleboard Yoga Origins

Paddleboarding was originally developed in Hawaii, but it has become extremely mainstream since the early 2010’s and there has been a breakthrough increase in the number of people that are regularly paddleboarding because of the scientifically proven health benefits & weight loss opportunities that comes with the sport.

All you have to do is grab a paddleboard – paddle out into any body of water and start doing some basic yoga moves.

In this article I’ve listed all the benefits, risks and how to get started fast with paddleboard yoga.

So let’s start with the question that you’re probably thinking…

What Is The Appeal of Paddleboard Yoga?

The appeal of paddleboard yoga lies in the serene and picturesque settings that it offers. Imagine performing your yoga poses surrounded by the gentle lapping of water, the warmth of the sun on your skin, and the gentle rocking of your paddleboard beneath you. It’s an experience like no other.

And in my experience it makes it significantly easier to become present in your body while doing yoga because you have all these external things to focus on instead of practicing in a quiet studio.

And it has some amazing benefits…

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The Benefits of Paddleboard Yoga

Core Strength and BalanceOne of the primary benefits of SUP yoga is the incredible improvement it brings to your core strength and balance. The unstable platform of the paddleboard forces your muscles to engage more deeply, leading to a rock-solid core and better balance.
Mental SerenityThe soothing nature of water combined with the mindfulness of yoga creates a perfect environment for mental serenity. Paddleboard yoga allows you to connect with nature, relieve stress, and find inner peace.
Vitamin D and Fresh AirSpending time outdoors under the sun provides you with much-needed vitamin D. Additionally, breathing in the fresh, salty air can invigorate your senses and boost your overall well-being.
Engages New MusclesOne of the biggest benefits of paddleboad yoga is that when you are wobbling on the board you need to engage new muscles to keep stable. This will force you to work muscles that you didn’t know you had.
Relieves Stress & AnxietyThere is clear scientific evidence that yoga causes a reduction in stress, depression & anxiety. And if you regularly practice – you could also experience the same benefits.

So all of these benefits are really exciting and can definitely make your life better, but what are the risks of paddleboard yoga?

The Risks and Precautions

Falling into the WaterIt’s no secret that you might take an unexpected dip in the water during SUP yoga. However, with proper precautions and a sense of adventure, these occasional splashes become part of the fun. Just make sure that you’re in deeper water so that you can avoid hitting the floor if you fall in.
Sunburn and HydrationExposure to the sun can lead to sunburn, so don’t forget to apply sunscreen and wear a hat. Staying hydrated is equally important to ensure you’re energized and safe throughout your practice.
Wildlife EncountersDepending on your location, you may encounter wildlife while paddleboarding. Be mindful of your surroundings, respect marine life, and keep a safe distance.
Changing Weather ConditionsWhen you paddleboard you’re exposed to nature – and this means that the weather can change. The wind can cause choppy water and for this reason morning paddleboard yoga sessions are often more popular.

When it comes to managing risk with paddleboard yoga – the best advice that I ever received was this:

“If you’re a beginner then don’t try to do anything on the water that you wouldn’t try to do on land.”

If you take this advice to heart then don’t try to do handstands and inversions until you are feeling confident 🙂

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Getting Started with Paddleboard Yoga

Choosing the Right Board

Selecting the right paddleboard is crucial. Opt for a stable and wide board that suits your skill level, ensuring a comfortable platform for yoga poses.

You want to be on a paddleboard that is larger than 11″ and wider than 32 inches for maximum stability.

There are exceptions to this rule, but these are solid guidelines.

Here are some recommendations of my favorite paddleboards for yoga:

Tower Xtreme 8″ Thick Paddleboard

Where To Buy: Tower Paddleboards

Key Features:

– 10’4″ length (35 inch width)

– Weight capacity of 550lbs

– Includes paddleboard, paddle, pump and fun

– 3 year warranty

If you have an eagle eye then you might have noticed that this is a 10 foot 4 inch board which goes against my advice of getting a larger board. The reason why I recommend this SUP is because it is a double layered 8 inch SUP that is extremely rigid and wide.

And in simpler terms – this means that it is extremely stable! It has a large deck pad for great grip and in my experience this will be one of the easiest boards that you can use to get started fast with paddleboard yoga.

Plus – it’s great for heavier riders with a weight capacity of over 550 lbs.

Sea Gods Infinite Mantra Paddleboard

Where To Buy: Amazon

Key Features:
– Allows up to 285lbs in weight

– 11’0″ in size

– Comes with bag, leash, fin and paddle

– Lifetime warranty

This is another really good board for paddleboard yoga… And you know this because it was intentionally designed for yoga!

It is 11 foot long which is one the longer side to give you stability, it is 34 inches wide to make it extremely stable so that you can practice your poses, and it also comes with a beautiful vinyl design so that you’re really proud everytime that you pump it up.

This is a top-notch board that you can never go wrong with (and it includes a lifetime warranty so there’s no risk). I would strongly recommend this paddleboard.

Both of these boards are on the pricier side, but if you’re looking for a great SUP on a budget then this one might suit your needs.

ISLE Explorer 11’6″ SUP

Where To BuyAmazon

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Key Features:
– Allows up to 300lb in weight

– 11’6″ in size

– Comes with a kayak seat, footrest, backpack, leash, paddle and pump

– 2 Year warranty on materials

– 60 day return policy

ISLE paddleboards are a really top brand that regularly have cheaper prices assigned to their paddleboards. ISLE has always been one of my favorite companies and they will continue to be so for a long time.

This paddleboard is no exception! It’s 11 foot 6 inches long (super long) so that you can get all the stability that you could ever want from a yoga paddleboard. It is 34 inches wide for extra stability and finally 6 inches thick for a great experience on the water.

This is a really big board that will treat you well for years to come and I can highly recommend it.

Finally – if you’re someone that is interested in yoga but not necessarilly paddleboarding, then this could be a great option for you.

Solstice Floating Dock Platform

Where To Buy: Amazon

Key Features:

– 6 foot floating platform

– Can hold 4 to 6 adults on the deck surface

– Comes with pump, bag, tie downs and the dock platform

In case you haven’t realized it yet – this is a big floating dock. In my opinion this is the best possible surface for yoga but there are a few negatives.

You won’t get the benefits of owning a paddleboard with it (i.e. being able to explore on the water, lose weight from paddling and more), but you will have amazing stability and a surface to relax on with your friends and family.

If it was me – I would go with one of the paddleboard options but I wanted to give you all the information you need to make a wise decision.

Paddleboard Yoga: Important Safety Tips & Tricks

Make sure that you read through the following safety tips and tricks before you head out onto the water.

Other Essential Gear:

Aside from your paddleboard, invest in a proper paddle, a life jacket, and a leash to ensure safety on the water.

Here are all the accessories that you need to have an incredible paddleboard yoga experience:
The 23 Best Paddleboard Accessories That You Need In 2024

Finding the Perfect Location

Scout serene, calm waters for your practice. Lakes, rivers, or peaceful coastal areas are ideal spots for paddleboard yoga.

Here is an interactive guide to help you find paddleboard yoga locations near you:
Best Places To Go Paddleboarding Near Me – A Free Interactive Guide

Other Tips for Beginners

Start with Basic Poses

Beginners should focus on mastering basic yoga poses on land before taking them onto the water. This builds confidence and familiarity with the postures.

Here are some of the easiest paddleboard yoga poses to get you started:
15 Yoga Poses That You Can Do Right Now On Your Paddle Board (Step By Step Instructions With Images)

Learn to Paddle First

Before diving into yoga, become proficient at paddling your board. Paddling skills are essential for maneuvering and maintaining balance.

If you are looking for written instructions on how to stand and paddle then here’s a guide:
How To Stand On A Paddleboard: The Definitive Guide

Practice Balance on Calm Waters

When starting, choose days with calm water conditions. As you become more experienced, you can gradually tackle choppier waters.

A Sample Paddleboard Yoga Routine:

To get you started, here’s a simple SUP yoga routine you can try:

Move 1 – Mountain Pose:

paddleboard yoga

Begin with a strong foundation, feet hip-width apart, on your paddleboard.

Move 2 – Warrior I

paddleboard yoga

Transition into this pose, engaging your core for stability.

Reach high into the air and wobble with the board instead of fighting against it.

Shift your feet back together… Move onto your knees and stretch into…

Move 3 – Child’s Pose

paddleboard yoga

Hold this pose for a few breaths, and then place your hands on the board…

Raise your hips and move into…

Move 4 – Downward Dog

paddleboard yoga

Stretch and lengthen your body.

Repeat these moves in a sequence 2 – 3 times to get your body moving and the blood flowing and then finally move into…

Move 5 – Savasana

paddleboard yoga

End your practice with a peaceful floating meditation.

Conclusion

Paddleboard yoga combines the joy of stand-up paddleboarding with the serenity of yoga, offering a unique and rewarding experience. With its numerous physical and mental benefits, this practice is an excellent way to connect with nature, build strength, and find inner peace. So, grab your board, paddle out, and let the tranquil waters become your yoga mat. It’s time to embark on a journey of balance, serenity, and adventure!

Looking for insider guides to some amazing paddle boarding locations?
Check the Paddleboard Insiders Location Guides

Yoga Paddleboard FAQs

Is Paddleboard Yoga Suitable for Everyone?

Paddleboard yoga can be adapted to various skill levels, but basic water confidence and yoga knowledge are essential.

What Should I Wear for Paddleboard Yoga?

Opt for comfortable, moisture-wicking clothing, and don’t forget sun protection gear like hats and sunglasses.

Want a detailed guide on what to wear while doing paddleboard yoga?
Paddleboarding: What To Wear (A Definitive Guide)

How Do I Maintain My Paddleboard?

Rinse your board with fresh water after use, store it properly, and regularly inspect it for damage.

Here is everything that you need to know about maintainaining your paddleboard:

Can I Do Paddleboard Yoga in Cold Weather?

Yes, but wear appropriate wetsuits or layers to stay warm in cooler temperatures.

What Are Some Advanced Paddleboard Yoga Poses?

Advanced poses like headstands and handstands can be achieved with practice but require a higher skill level and comfort on the water.

Here are some more advanced paddleboard yoga poses for you to try:
15 Yoga Poses That You Can Do Right Now On Your Paddle Board (Step By Step Instructions With Images)
yoga paddleboard
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Jason Watson

My initial goal was to document my paddleboarding experiences with friends and family, but that has evolved into a commitment to share this sport with as many people as possible because of the health benefits & peace of mind it has given me. This sport is not only a great way to see the world, but it also helps us come closer to ourselves. Information gives us strength!


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