The sun has just risen, and there’s a quiet softness to the light and air as you roll out of bed and put on your morning coffee, tea, or lemon water. There’s something special about each breath you take as you ease into the day gently and deliberately, brush your teeth, wash your face, get dressed. The air outside has finally taken on the warmth of an endless summer with the subtle tint of dewy crispness at sunrise. It’s the perfect day for a yoga practice on the water.
There may be little ones running around, pets to feed, summer assignments to complete, or a workday to prepare for. But no task feels like a chore on this day, each moment feels as if you’re dancing with the Universe in moving meditation. You look out the window, breathe a silent breath of release, and allow yourself a few moments of dolce far niente before filling a water bottle and hopping in the car. There is something special about needing so little as you embark on an adventure.
You pass through a few stoplights, take a turn onto Eastwood, then South on Waynick Boulevard, and park in front of Blockade Runner. Stepping out of the car, you feel a light breeze brush through your hair and past your cheek. Upon looking up, the Nautical flags flying over the Intracoastal Waterway confirm idyllic conditions. Then there they are, 10 Yellow Glide boards all in a row and ready to go and realize you’ve arrived. As the sun and her radiant beams wash over you, a feeling of gratitude passes through.
It is days like these that we remember how lucky we are to be in the beautiful coastal landscape of Wilmington, NC, and Wrightsville Beach. And there’s no better way to take it in than with SUP Yoga.
Here are 3 reasons to take your practice onto the water this summer:
1. Find Fluidity Within Your Foundation. There’s nothing quite like a Stand up Paddleboard Yoga practice to make your legs tremble and your core sore from laughter. But finding your foundation on a floating yoga mat has a very different definition than on land. Often, some of the more accessible postures--such as warrior 1, devotional warrior, and tree pose--leave you “shaking in your suits” and grateful to return to your sticky mat the next day with a new understanding and appreciation for our foundation. SUPY has a way of cresting then crashing atop our habitual nature and clearing a path for developing a stronger foundation.
2. Challenge Your Perspective to Expand Your Possibilities. If you know me at all or have taken my class on any regular basis, then it’s likely you’ve heard me tell this story! For years, I worked tirelessly on building the understanding, strength, attention to breath, and mental stability to engage in Sirsasana A away from a wall. Day after day, month, after month, year after year, and instructor after instructor; I fell just short of attaining the confidence and connectedness to find the weightlessness and benefits that come along with this particular inversion. That is until I took my practice onto the water! Lo and behold—and I kid you not yogis–one of my very first times practicing yoga on a paddleboard, I fully floated (not kicked, never kick!) into a headstand. Since that day, I have had a strong, proud, and confident foundation in headstand.
Now, I am not making this up. In fact, there are a few very specific reasons I believe I finally took flight and they are this:
- Water is very forgiving. Like a really good friend, a trampoline, or a pile of fluffy pillows, I knew she would catch me if I fell.
- Yogis, I won’t beat around the bush. I had a full blown realization that I was just being lazy. Despite this, the moment I flipped my perspective on the board, everything shifted. I felt muscles firing that I’m sure I knew I had but that I’d definitely never noticed before. I felt a relationship to my breath that I only feel when I’m on or in the water, and I was completely present. Then, those muscles that I had never noticed working (because they simply hadn’t yet on land) continued to work for me and there I stayed, blissfully working hard for every last sweet breath of Sirsasana.
- I didn’t take it too seriously. For the first time since I embarked on my pursuit, I forgot that it was a goal and simply decided to begin. The water, elements, board, and teacher infused a fresh sense of play into my practice. I was able to trust and let go.
3. Connect with the Elements. All you have to do is look around to see how grateful we are to live in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. But to FEEL it, you must get on the water. This town we live in presents the unique opportunity to experience any manner of movement in, on, and around the water, and we mustn’t take it for granted. So join us for 90 minutes of pure bliss. You won’t regret it. In fact, you’re bound to surf away with a lightheartedness, salty skin, and new appreciation for your practice. See you on your floating mat!
In love, light, float, and flight,