Meet Jennifer - The Indytute's go to expert on everything paddleboarding. You can often spot Jen and her pup Clyde, gliding effortlessly along the Regent's Canal. Read all about finding balance, mindfulness (and your core) at Jen's paddleboarding yoga class.
Chances are you wouldn’t have to go far to find your nearest yoga class. Whether at your local leisure centre, church hall or swish yoga studio, you can step onto a mat and start stretching your way to serenity. But wait – did you forget to turn your phone off? Or did you leave your phone in the changing room? How easily we get distracted, even when we’ve made the effort to get to class. I’ve been teaching yoga for eight years and it can be a challenge to hold the attention of the class. You can see it in their eyes, when attention starts to wander. Or hear it in the breath, when the rhythm becomes ragged. Or... you can just ‘sense it’… like when they stop to check their mobile phone messages!
Ah, but SUP Yoga, now that’s a different story. Taking your yoga practice onto a paddleboard requires total concentration. Letting your mind wander doesn’t just mean missing a sequence, it might be taking a dip.
Let's start at the beginning. Gaining confidence, learning about balance, adjusting expectations and all the while – breathing, moving, being at one with the elements. We start to get a rhythm going, moving, flowing and we start to use the instability of the board to improve our alignment – who knew Dandayamana Bharmanasana (balancing table pose) could be such a challenge? When your yoga teacher tells you to "engage your core", you now know what they mean!
And as our time on board draws to an end, we’ll have a play around on some of the more advanced postures – you might find that in fact some postures are more accessible on a board than off as the board can offer a bit of give and take where the floor is less forgiving. And finally the best part of any yoga class, on or off the water, Savasana. Lie back, feel the sun on your face, maybe let the back of your hands and feet float in the water and relax with the gentle rocking of the board.