A First Time Experience With Stand Up Paddle Board Yoga
by Laura Olinger
The first time I tried SUP yoga, I couldn’t imagine how I’d be able to take my yoga practice onto the water, but I was up for an adventure. I wasn’t disappointed; I was met with a challenging but fun experience. I was a little nervous, I’d only been on a paddle board once before and it took all my concentration to stay standing. In this practice, we started by paddling out into the middle of a pond and slowly worked our way into Sun Salutations. The slower flow, and the added challenge to balance, allowed me to experience more mindfulness in my practice for the simple reason that I had to, or else I would fall in the water. I was conscious of pressing evenly through both feet, and felt the power of being grounded while still floating on the water.
SUP yoga can bring a lot to your practice. It allows you to train outside and soak up some Vitamin D, gives you the opportunity to notice any imbalances in your practice (i.e. if you tend to shift more weight to one side of your body), encourages you to focus on your foundations – hands, feet, core (lots of core!), and it’s simply fun! It can be the breath of fresh air, literally, you need if you feel stagnant or stale in your practice. In Savasana, I let my hands fall out into the cool pond while my board drifted – it was the most relaxed I’ve ever felt in that pose.
It can also be physically refreshing if, like me, you fall into cold water when you attempt Wheel a little too enthusiastically.
While many people wait to go on vacation to experience SUP yoga, there are opportunities to practice locally. If you’re a member at neighboring Lakeside, you might have noticed the Paddleboard Fitness classes that meet there. Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill in Harrodsburg also offers several sessions throughout the summer. If you’re feeling independent, you can rent a board from Canoe Kentucky in Frankfort and flow on your own. As SUP and SUPY become more popular, I anticipate more opportunities in the Louisville area.
by Becca Washer
As a Forecastle first-timer, I was relieved to find that I was quite prepared thanks to poses and skills learned at 502PY. While it was melt-your-face-off hot out there, we’re all pretty used to that at 502PY! Here are some things that made it a little bit of an easier weekend:
1. Being Used to the Heat – Seriously, it was hot. Triple-digit heat indexes are more brutal than a hot yoga class, but my body did seem to handle the heat remarkably well. I am used to sweat and how to stay comfortable when soaked to the bone during a double-header 502PY session. Sports bras, yoga tanks, and the well known french braid-yoga bun were the high fashion of the weekend. As an added bonus, for those of you who have completed Teacher Training or Hands on Assisting, you know what it is like to compound sweat on top of sweat.
2. Tadasna – I dance like a college girl who’s had one too many at the bar. Hands-up all the time. My mountain pose dancing game is strong, next time we’re in a Friday Flow together you’ll see.
3. Forward Folds – All the standing, dancing, and backpack wearing can start to take its toll on your lower back, I found the occasional forward fold to help release any pressure building up at the base of my spine. Best done where you butt is not directly in front of someone…but to each their own!
4. Utkatasana (Chair Pose) – While Forecastle is one of the cleanest events I’ve been to, every girl knows the chair pose squat is helpful in a porta-potty.
5. Waterfall – While this pose probably got me quite a few stares, I can guarantee it was nowhere near the strangest thing people saw at the Waterfront. When your feet are swollen from walking (dancing) all day, find a clear spot, lay down, put your makeshift block (water bottle) under your hips and send your feet to the sky. Your feet and back will thank you. Or at least it will give those passing by a good chuckle.
6. Drinking Water – I used to live on coffee and diet coke, then came my love of hot yoga and something had to give. My body requires a steady stream of hydration to make up for all the sweat lost on my mat each week, and Forecastle just upped the ante. Provided with free water fill-up stations, there was no reason to go dehydrated, my wallet and body thank you Forecastle and Kynect!
7. Community – Thanks to my 502PY connections, I not only received the opportunity to attend Forecastle (thanks, Kristen and LIBA!), but I was never without a friendly face. From the people I worked with, to those I met randomly in crowds and lines, the community of 502PY was deep and wide in the Forecastle sea.
A day at Forecastle was just like a practice filled day at the studio but with a little more heat, a lot more sun, and (of course) some bourbon.