It's been remarkably hot here lately, and even though I'm used to doing yoga in a heated room, the 90-degree temps and humidity are starting to get to me. To combat the heat, I decided to check out a new three-class yoga series offered by my studio called Yoga and Paddleboarding. All I needed was some comfy clothes I didn't mind getting wet, and they offered a paddleboard I could borrow.
For the first class, I was a little disappointed that we only did yoga on the beach using a paddleboard as our mat, and we didn't make it into the water (until after the class ended to cool off). But it was important to focus on balancing poses to strengthen and center the body, so that we'd feel more stable on the board. For the second class, we started with about 20 minutes of dry land practice again, but then we paddled ourselves about 40 feet from the shore. The instructor showed us how to move slowly on our boards so we'd be able to practice some basic yoga moves like Downward Facing Dog, Upward Facing Dog, and Pigeon without falling into the water.
I'm not going to lie to you. This new type of yoga was really challenging for me (even though I've been doing yoga over 10 years), but that's what made it fun. I definitely ended up plummeting into the water more than a few times, but I wasn't too upset because it helped me stay cool. As soon as I'd fall, I'd climb right back up on the board and try it again. The whole class was doing lots of giggling in that second class, but in the final class, we had become more confident on the board and were able to do a short session without getting wet.
It's amazing to be outside doing yoga, and to look down and see water below you and land in the horizon. The moving waves add a unique challenge when it comes to balancing, so you end up using your core and leg muscles much more than you would in a regular yoga class. The next two days, I was really sore from paddling out and from using my muscles to keep my body stable. Paddleboard Yoga was such a unique experience, and the perfect way to reap the benefits of yoga in the Summer heat.
Source: Flickr User lululemon athletica