Props can assist in alignment, and accessibility. Depending on how they are used, they can also make an asana more challenging. During my land practice, I use props regularly. Why should my sup yoga practice be any different? I created a blog entry to share how I incorporate my paddle board equipment into my yoga practice. I substituted my yoga strap for my leash and my bolster for my Personal Flotation Device (PFD).
Safety is number 1. It is important to follow all policies and laws required by your state and or the location in which you are practicing sup yoga. If a PDF and/or leash is required to be attached to your board at all times please adhere to those safety guidelines or laws set in place. For example: It might be beneficial to have two PFDs on your board if you plan to use one as a prop. It is also important to know the conditions in which you are going to be practicing sup yoga. Know before you go, and when in doubt don’t go out.
LEASH = Substitute for Yoga Strap
When choosing a leash for your sup yoga practice my recommendation would be to use a shortboard leash. If you are using a SUP or Longboard designed leash the length can be a little on the long side, and on some of the asana's you may have to double up to assist with shortening your leash length. In all the photos and videos for this blog I used a longboard leash from Stay Covered.
Pose 1: SEATED SIDE BEND POSE (PARSVA SUKHASANA)
Benefits: This pose stretches the neck, shoulders, back, and obliques. Also, helps to relax the mind and relieves stress.
Pose 2: REVOLVED EASY POSE (PARIVRTTA SUKHASANA)
Benefits: This pose stretches the upper back, upper chest, spine, hips, neck and shoulders. Also, Eases sciatica, backache. (Both 1 + 2 Pose are demonstrated in the video below)
Pose 3: HEAD TO KNEE POSE (JANU SIRSASANA)
Benefits: Great stretch for the hamstring on the extended leg and the inner thigh and hip on the bent leg.
Pose 4: VARIATION OF SPHINX POSE (NIRAVALASANA)
Benefits: This pose stretches muscles of the spine, as well as chest, shoulders, abdominals , neck and arms. The one leg variation is a great stretch for the quadriceps.
Pose 5: RECLINING BIG TOE POSE (SUPTA PADANGUSTHASANA)
Benefits: This pose stretches the hips, thighs, hamstrings, and calves while strengthening the muscles around the knees. In the video, I also demonstrate the restorative variation with my leash to relieve neck tension. Please use caution, when using the leash around the foot and neck. Practice ahimsa, and listen to your body as well as your surroundings. The second variation is not recommended in deep water or windy conditions.
Pose 6: FIGURE FOUR OR SUPINE PIGEON VARIATION (SUPTA KAPOTASANA
Benefits: This pose stretches the hamstrings, quadriceps and the outer hips.
Personal Flotation Device (PFD) = Substitute for Bolster
As mentioned above: If a PDF and/or leash is required to be attached to your board at all times please adhere to those safety guidelines or laws set in place. For example: It might be beneficial to have two PFDs on your board if you plan to use one as a prop. PFD is a great prop for a restorative or yin practice on your board.
Pose 1: SPHINX (SUPPORTED SALAMBA BHUJANGASANA)
Benefits: This gentle supported backbend is a great pose to help stretch spine and reduce stress stored in the shoulders.
Pose 2: CHILDS POSE ( BALASANA)
Benefits: This pose gently stretches the spine, thighs, hips and ankles while reducing stress and calming the mind.
Pose 3: SIDE LYING POSE ( PARSVA SAVASANA)
BENEFITS: This pose stretches the whole side body while calming the central nervous system.
Pose 4: FISH POSE (MATSYASANA)
Benefits: This pose stretches the front body, as well as strengthens the upper back muscles and increased back flexibility.
Pose 5: CORPSE POSE (SAVASANA)
Benefits: This final resting pose calms the central nervous system, while reducing fatigue, and anxiety. Using the bolster behind the knees, if a great modification to help with those who may have tight lower backs.
Thank you for reading my blog.
Leash: Stay Covered Longboard Leash
Leggings and Bra top: Wolven
T-shirt: Karma Collective