A Summer of SUP Yoga

Paul Ainsworth
Written by Paul Ainsworth

So, You Want To Try SUP Yoga?

As I write this, the sky is a beautiful, cloudless blue at the end of my workday, and I feel very lucky that I was able to teach my Sunday SUP Yoga class when the air was warm and the water was still. These are idyllic moments to practice SUP Yoga, which in my mind is the perfect balance of holistic development, exercise, and the restorative benefits of nature.

Maybe you’ve read some of my previous articles on SUP Yoga or seen social media posts about the practice and are wondering…

Where do I start?

How can I get on a board & practice some Downward Dogs or a few Warrior Poses?

Or perhaps you feel more adventurous and want that picture of your SUP Yoga Headstand?

Teach Yourself

If you are an experienced paddleboarder and yogi, you might decide to teach yourself some SUP Yoga. If so, my first advice would be to research a few basic flows on the internet. Write them down on a piece of cardboard with a sharpie – I’m a big fan of using a cereal box as my lesson plan.

Then, find some still water where you can practice without floating away, or if the water is slow-moving, use an anchor to keep your board in one place. You can then work through your plan and build up your yoga practice. This was my starting point, as five years ago, there were very few SUP Yoga classes available.

Attend A Class

For most of us, the ideal starting point is to find a SUP Yoga class with an experienced teacher who will guide you through their class. For example, I teach SUP Yoga at a lake in Lincoln. You could Google SUP Yoga, use the directory on this website, or find training providers with an alumni directory, like SUPTA, with whom I trained.

Such a class will provide boards that are most suitable for SUP Yoga, as they are slightly wider and more stable. Usually, there will be an anchoring system to prevent you from floating away, along with other safety precautions. The advice given will help you transition your yoga practice to the board, including modifications that you might miss, which will enhance your practice.

Most SUP Yoga classes are pay-as-you-go, which means you can attend them over the summer. I find that, just like in my dry-land yoga classes, I get more out of a session when I have gotten to know the instructor over a few classes.

Festival SUP Yoga

Another great option is to attend a SUP Yoga class at one of the many summer festivals. Whether the festival focuses on music, like Latitude, adventure and travel, like Wilderness, or is a women’s gathering, like Camper Van Retreats, you can find many opportunities to try SUP Yoga as part of your festival experience. Boards will be provided, and experienced instructors will guide you through the class.

Sometimes, when we are on holiday with like-minded people, we can be braver about trying something new. There may also be times during a festival when you find yourself with some free time, and chilling out on a paddleboard could be just what you’re looking for.

So, don’t forget your swimwear & rash vest, and book your spot.

You might return home with a new favourite hobby!

Why not make this the summer you take your yoga practice onto a paddleboard?

You may find, as I do, that it is one of the most magical forms of exercise you can do & decide to make it part of your summer routine.


Main – Photo by Daniel Frank on Unsplash