Thursday, December 29, 2011

SUP Yoga Interview with Lauren Peterson

Q: Where did SUP originate?
A: Some believe SUP Yoga originated in Florida. SUP Yoga really did not start taking off until around 2009, it was about this time that YouTube videos of SUP Yoga started appearing on the web.

Q: Why do you think it has become such a widespread trend, so rapidly?
A: SUP Yoga, is unique and offers something for everyone. Yoga is therapeutic, as well as a work out. When you put those two characteristics together with water and nature it adds another dimension to Yoga.

Q: What postures do you find especially difficult to perform on a SUP board compared to on a mat?
A: Any of the one legged standing postures can be quite difficult on a stand up paddle board. Asana’s like: Vrksasana: Tree pose, Virabhadrasana III: Warrior III, Utthita Hasta Padangus
tasana: Extended Hand-To-Big-Toe Pose, or Natarajasana: Lord of the Dance Pose. Standing on one leg can be challenging, standing on one leg on a board on the water, adds another set of difficulties.. Although difficult and challenging nothing is impossible.

Q: Do you find that SUP yoga forces you to focus on internal sensations more?
A: There are no mirrors in SUP Yoga for individuals to check their alignment; instead they have to use their internal organs to sense when they have reached that point of correct alignment. It is amazing how connected the yoga practitioner is to their board as well. The board identifies if the weight of the yogi is too heavy during weight transference or not enough.


Q: Is SUP yoga practiced on the open ocean or mostly in bays?
A: SUP Yoga can be practiced in the open ocean as well as in bays. Classes are mostly held in bays because there are less chance for certain variables to interfere with the class. These variables include, wind, current, tide, waves, marine life, etc. To help with these variables, some sup yoga classes offer an anchor to keep the board stationary, as well as keep the class together. It depends on the level of difficulty you want for your yoga practice. The great thing about sup yoga is that every class is different; the conditions are never the same. It really strengthens your yoga practice, and makes you learn to let go.

Q: Are some SUP boards easier to practice on than others?
There are yoga mats that are easier to practice on than others, as is the same with boards. Anything less than 10’ can be challenging, for sup yoga its best to stick with boards 10’ or more in length. Width no less than 28.5”. Any board around 30” is more ideal for width. Thickness: Nothing less than 4.25”. Anything with a lot of volume is always great as well, anything less than 142.3 L could be a little bit of a challenge.

Those dimensions are great for boards used for sup yoga classes, especially for beginning to intermediate sup yogis. As you get more comfortable with doing yoga on a stand up paddle, it can be fun to change the board used, with more challenging dimensions. This can change the muscles you engage and your focus during your sup yoga practice as well.

Q: Is SUP Yoga seasonal, or can SUP Yoga be practiced year round?
A: Sup Yoga can be practiced indoors as well, for those places in the winter where the water freezes and outdoor activity might decrease. There are two options: Place two Bosu domes under the board, or Indo Board offers the Indo Board IndoFLO Gigante' Cushion that works well too under the board. Both of
these give the feeling of being on the water, and can enhance or prepare you for sup yoga when the snow and ice melt and spring arrives.

Q: Is there a SUP yoga hub?
A: Florida seems to be the most popular location right now for SUP Yoga, with California in a close second.

Q: What do you think the future of SUP yoga holds?
A: Our hope is that SUP Yoga begins to pop up in more places around the world. Yoga is becoming more and more integrated into the school curriculum; we would like to see SUP Yoga get into the schools as well.

If you’d like to learn more about SUP Yoga, or find a sup yoga class near you, or a sup yoga retreat check out our website at

Written by Brooke Kettering

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