GET ACTIVE: SUP yoga experience

Float Yoga & Paddleboard offers SUP yoga classes at Eastwood MetroPark - contributed

caption arrowCaption
Float Yoga & Paddleboard offers SUP yoga classes at Eastwood MetroPark - contributed

Nature + yoga + paddleboard equals an unforgettable experience for the body and soul.

“When I tried it the first time, I wasn’t expecting a positive experience – it seemed like a trend – but I left feeling so empowered,” Jaimie Wilke said. “To be out there doing yoga in the elements, on the water, is just so amazing.”

The impact was so great that Wilke now teaches stand-up paddleboard (SUP) yoga on the tranquil Blue Lake at Eastwood MetroPark. Float Yoga & Paddleboard offers beginner-friendly Vinyasa flow SUP classes as well as beginner stand-up paddleboard lessons.

Paddleboarding benefits include strengthening the core and improving balance, but the benefits of SUP yoga go beyond physical fitness.

“Evidence-based studies support that yoga, exercise and being immersed in nature all can intercept anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder,” said Jaimie Wilke. “The healing value of these activities can’t be dismissed.”

SUP yoga 101

Classes are kept small with a maximum of 10 people. Boards are supplied, so all you need is a positive attitude and workout clothes you don’t mind getting wet.

“I’ve had people tell me ‘I can’t do this, it’s scary, it’s way beyond my ability’ and later they are out there getting into full warrior 2 pose,” Wilke said.

Participants put on a PFD (personal flotation device) belt and paddle out together for a tranquil class among the blue herons. The peaceful yoga flow lasts for about an hour with Wilke offering instruction and encouragement.

“I really love the meditative aspect of the class but I’m very clear with my instructions, especially about foot placement and where the paddle should be,” she said. “Beginners are welcome and encouraged and I want them to feel comfortable.”

caption arrowCaption
SUP yoga is a peaceful fitness option - Contributed

SUP yoga is a peaceful fitness option - Contributed

caption arrowCaption
SUP yoga is a peaceful fitness option - Contributed

SUP yoga benefits

With longer, warmer days on the horizon, it won’t be long before Wilke will be back on the water offering a peaceful fitness option.

“If you are looking for an experience that empowers you, this will give you that,” Wilke said. “It’s also a great bonding experience for friends or family to do together.”

Beyond gaining confidence, the meditative element of the class offers the opportunity to leave refreshed and relaxed. Many also stay completely dry.

“A lot of people go out and do the whole yoga flow and never fall off their board,” Wilke said, smiling. “Others jump in to cool off.”

For more information or to register for a class, visit www.floatsupyoga.com. You can also follow @float_sup_yoga.com on Instagram.

About the Author