10 Poses You Should Be Doing on a SUP and HOW!

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The beautiful thing about SUP Yoga is that it challenges your practice and works your body in ways you won’t be able to on land. The instability of the board manipulates your body and pushes you into deeper stretches while allowing your joints to absorb the movement of the water. That being said, we would like to share with you our top 10 favorite poses to do on a SUP.

1. Downward facing dog

Down dog is a great pose to practice on a SUP. Even though you may be holding this pose, the board is constantly moving causing the muscles in your shoulders and legs to activate and respond to each wave adding an extra challenge.

2. Standing mountain pose

There is something humbling about standing tall on a SUP. Shoulders melting down, chest open, finger tips spread wide, and palms facing forward. Remember to keep a micro bend in the knees and continue to use your knees as shock absorbers.

3. Camel pose

Heart openers and back bends just feel natural and fluid on a SUP. Allowing the heart to open, the spine to bend, and the neck to relax into the shoulders makes for an energizing and healing pose. Nothing beats feeling the warmth of the sun on your chest as you open your heart.

4. Malasana

Hip openers are known for releasing emotional blockages, and Malasana is one of those magical hip openers that is beneficial to all levels of yogis. On a SUP remember to turn your feet out nice and wide, drop your glutes towards your heels, and utilize your rails.

5. Low crescent lunge

Splitting center with your weight and thrusting your pelvic floor towards the center of the board will stabilize your body and increase your ability to reach your arms out overhead. If you are feeling extra ambitious you can interlace the fingers in a steeple grip, charge the index fingers towards the sky, and add a baby back bend. Don’t forget to grip the deck pad with your front toes and press into the top of your back foot to keep you steady.

6. Boat pose

Talk about humility. Boat pose on a SUP is definitely humbling to say the least. Feel your sits bones connect with your board, lean back until you feel your core engage, lift the feet and chest, and do not forget to BREATHE!! Keep lifting the chest or the smallest wave will send you rolling onto your back.

7. Thread the needle

This pose feels absolutely delicious on a SUP. Once you thread the needle, allow the back of your hand to relax in the water making that subtle connection with the ocean. Breathe deeply and allow the water to push you into a deeper stretch. Option to bind for a more advanced practice.

8. Wheel pose

It is very important to fully warm up the spine before moving into wheel. You want to make sure you place the hands beneath the shoulders, press onto the crown of the head, and then LIFT FROM YOUR CENTER! Don’t worry, if your alignment is off you will feel it when you press onto the crown of your head and you will need to come down and reset the placement of your hands.

9. Headstand

Supported headstands are the way to go when practicing on a SUP. You always want to protect your neck, and on an unstable surface like a SUP the only way to do that is to create a solid foundation. Begin by grabbing opposite elbows, open the hands, interlace the fingers to create a basket for your head, place the crown of your head on the board, walk your feet in as far as you can, as you begin to pike and lift your legs using your core you will want to press into your forearms and shrug of your shoulders to relieve pressure from your neck. Remember, your forearms are your stabilizers! If you feel your body moving one direction, use your opposite forearm to push down on the board to balance your weight.

10. Savasana

Oh sweet surrender. The feeling of relaxing your feet and hands in the water, the lull of the sea rocking you into a blissful state, the sun warming the top of your body, the ocean breeze blowing over you, and the steady release of anxiety with each breath. Feel your body become one with the board as you slowly melt,  connecting with the movement of the water. Relaxation at it’s finest!!!

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