I’ve always been keen to try stand-up paddleboarding (SUP); but it was only recently that I heard about SUP yoga. Being a beginner yogi (comfortable with Sun Salutations and some of the standing positions; but less so with the pretzel-like and standing-on-your-head manoeuvres); the biggest thing I was concerned about was my ability to do Downward Dog without rolling over… into the water. Also, if I’m to be totally honest with you; my research of SUP yoga (punching the growing trend into Google) lead me to believe that a string bikini was mandatory…. something I mentioned to yoga instructor of 13 years Dani Ceccarelli. Who laughed (“There’s certainly no bikini models here!”). Phew: good start.
In fact, when I turn up to the SUP yoga class at 7am on a Sunday, this group of non-bikini models is very varied (men, women, younger, older, experienced and newbies) and exceptionally friendly and welcoming. The beginners get a quick demo about where to stand on the board (in the ‘sweet spot’ in the middle), how to paddle (scoop the water like a spoon) and what to do if you fall off (hold the paddle above the head so you don’t land on it); while the seasoned SUPers do a warm-up.
Time to get on the board!
As someone who is coordination-challenged (is that the politically-correct way to say it?); I was sure I was going to fall off. But — even in Downward Dog with one leg in the air — I managed to cling on… although I think we can safely put this down to the silky smooth waters of Ross River rather than any skill on my part. I actually found the exercises a lot more challenging on the upper body on the board than the yoga mat. The class is also conducted at The Strand, which would be a bit more taxing on those stabilising muscles and the sense of balance!
All-in-all a wonderful activity to do on a Sunday morning to wake-up, feel invigorated and savour the serenity… bliss.
Best part: Doing yoga surrounded by nature was beautiful. It’s also fantastic for people who want to challenge themselves and add a new dimension to their yoga practice, no matter what stage they’re at.
Worst part: As a beginner SUPer; learning how to turn tight corners; but this only took a couple of minutes to master. And a few tiny collisions (sorry!).
Tips: Wear clothes or bathers you’re comfortable in (I had my gym shorts and a singlet with bathers underneath and this worked well) and use sunglasses if you can (the glare from the water can be quite strong, but maybe stick with cheapies in case they go for a swim).
Cost: $40 for 1.5 hours or $30 if you have your own paddleboard (discounts available for four classes or more)
Where: Classes are either held on Ross River (near Weir State School) or on The Strand.
What to bring: Towel, mozzie spray if you’re at the river, a stinger suit if you’re at The Strand (between October and May), and don’t forget the sunscreen.
When: See here for the next classes.
Contact: Marvin on 0415 837 484 or [email protected]