Fear of SUP? nothing to be afraid of unless you are the wicked witch

Last week I was substitute teaching yoga for a dear globetrotting friend of mine.  There were about 10 students in the class, sun was shining in the studio and all seemed in balance.  Or was it.  Just a few moments into our Sun B series, I noticed 3 people, literally losing balance and wavering on their mat. Mercury in retrograde you say?  Or are we trying so hard to be in control, that we stiffen up and force our balance.

That is what fascinates me about SUP yoga.  And perhaps golf 🙂  The harder you try to hold your pose, the more unstable your feel.  With golf, the harder I swing – the shorter distance my ball goes.  In any case, breathing and calling upon the true flow (aka vinyasa ) of yoga, you are able to ride the wave.   That wave maybe as simple as a SUP board on the water, or that wave maybe as complex as the ups and downs of life.  If you do take to water, there isn’t much to be afraid of.  Unless of course your are the wicked witch and fear of melting if you get a little wet

Fear not and find out what it is all about.  Here is a sweet little article about SUP

Source: Fix.com


SUP runners #NationalRunningDay

In preparation for the St. Croix Fat Cat, I’ve been running, padddling and o yeah- a little bit of that bike thing.  SUPrunCross-training is a challenge.  run_path I’ve come up with this simple 5 step routine for the next few weeks:

1. Run 5 – 6 miles, averaging about 9 min miles

2.  SUP yoga warm up:

a. Cat/Cow

b. One-legged down dog

c. A combination SUN B series using your paddle

d.  Looking for more warm up tips, try this from Backcountry

3.  Paddle sprint 1 mile, averaging about 13 min mile

3. Biking. WELL, this I need to work on.  8 miles in 35 min gives me a 2-3 min/mile average.

4. Yoga cool down, repeating step 2 on land.


I find all my muscles that have been in balance with strengthening and lengthening tighten up.  In particular, the hamstrings, calves and lower back are shortened.    That’s why I feel adding 2 parts yoga into your tri-fitness routines help keep your muscles in balance.



Some of my favorite poses: One legged down dog

Easy you say. That’s just fine. Start by positioning your down dog in a comfortable position on your board. Using the bar as your guide, star with your naval just above the board. If you see that the nose of your board is dipping into the water, you may want to adjust backward. Alternatively, if you see the tail of your board taking a drink, you may want to inch forward.

1 leg upInhale, raising up on your tippy toes. Aim your heals back down into the board and press your chest towards your thighs as you exhale.

Inhale, raise your right leg up to the sky as if to dip your toe right into the sunshine, keeping your hips level to the board. Exhale and band your right leg at the knee, letting your heel drop toward your backside and opening your hip just slightly. Feel the stretch, the length and the buoyancy that your board provides in this fluid stretch. Repeat on the other side!

If you question your stability on the board, slow it down. Even go back to your down dog and just try to ‘rock the boat’, side to side on your board. Chances are, you can’t even tip your board if you tried in this position. Grow your confidence from this footing, find your position just for you on the board and let the water be your flow in this vinyasa.

Paddle power: 5 steps to bring strength from the paddle

I’m not going to lie. Every time I get my board and my butt in the water, I second guess which direction my paddle is supposed to go. So much so, I’ve memorized only that the logo MUST face forward. This means I have let the power of the paddle go untouched.

My typical SUP session is not to see how fast and how strong I paddle out in the water. I’ve been focused on letting go of the land and everything that it encompasses – work, stress, time commitments and well, mosquitos pretty soon. This season, it is my intention to pay a little bit more attention to the paddle. Perhaps even incorporating it more into my on water practice.   Over the next few weeks, I will be centering around these 5 components –paddle101


  1. The proper hold (SEE picture thanks to www.standup-paddle.org):
  2. Stroke – stroke : Dip the paddle only  below surface, starting at the bow of the board and only reaching back to where my back foot is planted.
  3. Sun A paddle – Include my paddle in the Sun A series
  4. Speed – the plank exercise equivalent for paddling. Paddle fast for 10 count then slow. Repeat 5 x’s unless you run out of lake.
  5. Twist & rinse with a paddle before you go home.


Paddling not only will get you places, but it does accentuate the practice for the upper body. Be kind, listen to your body, watch your board and react accordingly.