5 Beginner SUP Yoga Poses to Help Balance and Strength
The idea of yoga, let alone SUP yoga can be very daunting to some. Where do you start? What poses do you learn first to aid you on your journey? We want to facilitate you in actually getting to know the basic poses in yoga to help build your foundation for performing more stable and impressive movements and poses.
If you want to get into SUP yoga, there are specific yoga SUP boards for sale that have soft tops that impersonate a comfy yoga mat. If you don’t want to perform SUP yoga but would still like to learn some essential skills to help build your paddling strength and more importantly, your balance, then read on.
With over 300 different positions in the Asana or (physical) yoga, it has been quite difficult to narrow it down to just a handful. However, we believe these will set you off on the right path. Perform each pose for 8-10 breaths to start with, take it slow and steady, and remember, quality is better than quantity.
So here are five top picks for to start off with, but don’t worry about getting them perfect to begin with, always listen to your body and modify as and when needed.
The base of all standing poses, the Mountain pose is so much more than just standing; it will allow you to feel what is below your feet and root your body.
Begin by connecting your feet and press down all ten toes and spread them apart. Use your quadriceps to lift the kneecaps and pull through the inner thigh. Pull the abdominals in and up while lifting your chest and push the tops of your shoulders down. You should begin to feel your shoulder blades come towards each other; keep palms flat against the body. Try to imagine being pulled up by a string from the crown of your head to the ceiling. Breathe deeply in your stomach, hold for 8-10 seconds.
Downward facing dog
Used in most yoga practise, it strengthens while stretching the entire body. Just performing this one move once a day will enhance your movement and strength.
Go down on all fours; wrists should be under your shoulders and knees underneath your hips. Feet remain flat, lift your hips up off the floor and pull them up at the back towards your heels.
Keep the knees slightly bent if your hamstrings are a little tight (they will soften with time); straighten out your legs and keep your hips back. Use your hands to ‘walk’ forward for more length and stretch as needed.
Press your palms firmly into your grounding while rotating your inner elbows towards each other; pull in your abdominal muscles and keep legs engaged to move your torso towards the thigh, and again, hold 8-10 breaths. Drop to your knees and rest.
Learn to balance on your hands while using your whole bodyweight for support; planks are a fantastic way to strengthen abdominals. Use your breath to help hold this challenging pose for as long as you can.
Begin on all fours, tuck under your toes while lifting your legs off the ground. Keep sliding your heels back until you feel as if you are in one straight line from the head to the feet. Keep your abdominals tight and pull your shoulders down and away from the head. Hold for 8-10 breaths (or as many as you can handle)
One of the finest and well-known of the poses, the tree is a fantastic standing pose for beginners as it helps focus, clarity and balance.
Stand in the Mountain pose, place the right foot on your left inner thigh, put your hands together in prayer; look at a spot in front of you that will hold your gaze. Hold for 8-10 breaths and make sure you do not lean into the standing leg as this can damage the knee.
As with any exercise, a good resting pose is super important for releasing all that tension. This pose is not just for beginners but for practitioners of all levels. We are sure you will keep using this one! It is ideal for when you are perhaps fatigued at work or before bed to help work out the kinks, mentally and physically.
Begin on all fours; put your knees and feet together, sit on your heels and start to stretch the arms forward. Slowly lower your forehead to the ground and simply let your body release. Hold for as long as you like.
We hope that you have found this yoga pose guide useful. Do you think there are any others that we should add in that will help make SUP yoga more enjoyable? Let us know on our social media channels.