The latest fitness craze, yoga on a stand-up paddleboard (SUP), sounded like one of the best ideas to hit humanity since prehistoric man tried using pieces of wood to slide across the snow and ice some 20,000 years ago. It seemed appropriate then to try the sport for the first time in a place known for its ski history, the Olympic Village of Lake Placid, New York.
The idea of combining two of my top three favorite things; yoga and playing on the water, to help get ready for my third favorite thing, skiing, was very appealing. I was anxious to try my first SUP yoga class. Fortunately for me, a local yoga instructor is also a stand-up paddleboard fan and offers SUP yoga lessons and clinics, so I gave it a shot.
The Adirondack morning air was cool but the water warm when we carried our boards to the water’s edge. After a few minutes of learning to use the long paddle to maneuver the large board while at the same time standing and maintaining balance, I was ready to try some yoga. The first few poses went very well and my initial assessment was, “This is surprisingly easy.” After some poses utilizing a low center of balance such as downward facing dog, Chaturanga, and cobra, it was time tackle the standing poses. Even the standing poses such as crow proved relatively easy so I grew bolder. Ultimately, I was humbled by triangle pose and took a refreshing tumble into Mirror Lake.
It is no surprise classes integrating yoga and stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) are catching on across the country. The combination of yoga poses practiced on a giant surfboard combines the challenge of balance and focus with the relaxing effects of water and nature. For me, a born and raised Jersey Girl, the familiar rocking of the board under my body was an unusual Adirondack treat. Now my board is a floating yoga mat from which to enjoy the rejuvenating Adirondacks.
Photographs provided by Mim Franz.