Stand-up-paddle boarding is all the rage, especially if you live by the water. I have a stand up paddle board at our lake in Wisconsin and it proves to be a very theraputic form of exercise for me. I have also tried to do some yoga poses on my board, on my own, so when I found someone teaching classes during the winter, I was all about it. Clare Karp, from Float Your Mat Yoga, teaches year round SUP yoga outdoors when seasonally appropriate, and in indoor pools or on Bosu balls, like the class I took at Revolution Fitness.
Clare said something that stuck with me through class. "When practicing on the boards, if you do not stay connected to yourself in the moment, you are in the water." You are forced to stay focused on the matter at hand- not falling off of your board, and it truly is hard to let your mind wander! Another thing Clare mentioned is that the practice is more difficult on the Bosu balls than on an actual body of water, which I noticed right away. If you have exercised with a Bosu ball, you know that every little shake or quiver of your muscles feels exaggerated on the ball. So imagine a huge board on top to intensify this shake. It enabled me, in very basic yoga positions, to know exactly what that right arm is doing in 3 legged dog, or precisely what muscles are working in tree pose (a tough one on the board!). But on the water, it is a more fluid imbalance, and the practice on the Bosu balls can only make you stronger and more prepared for the water. Even if you aren't likely to be on the water on a SUP anytime soon, this method is great to make you more mindful in your regular yoga practice.
I was so excited to meet and learn from Clare and Float Your Mat Yoga, and heard so much interest from friends and readers when I told them I attended this class. She will be teaching in full force around Cincinnati in early May, after she welcomes a new addition to her family! You can find Clare teaching every Saturday at the Hubbard Family Swim Club in Blue Ash and at the newest Revolution Fitness location in Newtown (which is beautiful, I might add) for outdoor meditation paddles and outdoor SUP yoga classes. For Mt. Lookout Swim Club members, there will be SUP yoga classes on Sundays starting June 7th. Float Your Mat is always available for private session options, and they keep their website updated with all the different locations where classes can be found. The City Skinny is also excited to feature Clare's classes during upcoming fitness retreats! If you don't live in the area, scope out some places that offer this, on or off the water, and zone in on your yoga practice in a way that might be unique to you. It is fun, and can only help your practice grow!