The two may seem like an unlikely pairing, but river sports and yoga have gained a great deal of ground over the years, particularly among SUP (Stand-Up Paddle board) enthusiasts. These days, it’s not hard to find SUP yoga classes and lessons. Whether it’s on a slow moving river, the clear waters of a lake or a sheltered bay, SUP yoga will lift your spirits to new heights, irrespective of experience level.
Using 10 to 12-foot-long boards, similar to a surf board, SUP yoga combines traditions from two different culture rooted in India and Hawaii. By bringing the two together, balance and muscle tone are vastly improved, and stress levels greatly reduced. For a chance to try this popular sport in the UK, Lagoon Watersports at Hove Lagoon, outside of Worthing, is a perfect location. The lagoon’s flat and sheltered waters make it ideal for learning to maintain posture, keep your balance and improve your SUP skills.
To begin, an instructor from Lagoon Watersports will teach you the basic yoga poses on dry land before venturing into the water on paddle boards. You are guaranteed a great workout owing to the less than solid surface, and although you will need to focus totally on balance, the enjoyment and challenge will be well worth it.
Lagoon Watersports is BSUPA accredited and its instructors have a strong passion for paddle boarding, which they are only too pleased to share. Their SUP yoga courses run from early June to early September and cost £17.50.
Further afield on the North coast of Cornwall, you’ll find Harlyn Surf School near Padstow. The history and scenery of this North Cornish coastal area combined with the protection from high winds and waves by the Trevose Head rock formation creates an ideal environment in which to learn this innovative sport. The beach at Harlyn Bay is reckoned to be one of the finest in Cornwall due to its relative safety and dog-friendliness. It’s a place to come and relax or be as active as you wish, much like the overall sport of SUP yoga.
In partnership with Hang Ten Yoga and Ride On Retreats, the Harlyn Surf School offers a variety of SUP yoga lessons, classes and tours. Vacation packages combining SUP instruction, meals, accommodation and even spa access are also available.