SUP (Stand Up Paddleboard) yoga is the latest fitness and wellbeing trend to hit Scotland’s shores, with several new classes launching across the country, here’s why you should try it out.
Should you be finding your regular yoga classes becoming a little predictable, then switching from a yoga mat to a paddleboard might just be the thing that helps reinvigorate your routine and takes you to the next level of yoga mastery.
SUP Yoga is a new type of fitness fusion which involves practising yoga on a paddleboard while floating on water. Though it’s already popular in places like Hawaii and Australia, classes are now becoming more widely available across Scotland.
Yoga teacher Michaella Robb, who works with Sattva Wellness in Angus, discovered the new way to practice yoga while visiting Cambodia to complete her yoga training.
The young Scot then decided to try launching her own class back home in Scotland, once she had travelled to Australia’s Gold Coast to learn how to become an instructor.
She explains: “I first did SUP yoga in Cambodia, while I was doing my yoga teaching training and that’s when I really first came to terms with being out on the water linked in with yoga and discovered the peacefulness that you get from being out on the water and I could really see the benefits of it and that’s when I applied to go do my SUP Yoga training in Australia.”
She describes it as a “gentle practice of yoga” which is “in tune with the surroundings around you”, in this case the water and the air elements, that “links in with your body and your breathing” and allows you to “flow with the movement of the water”.
Advocates of SUP yoga say benefits include stress relief, increased strength and flexibility, improved balance and cardiovascular conditioning. Michaella herself believes that there are many additional benefits to SUP yoga that you might not get in a regular yoga class, she explained: “You of course get your usual benefits from doing yoga including increased balance and concentration.
“Concentration especially, because as your doing your yoga positions on the board, you’ve really got to be there and really concentrate on what you’re doing and where your body is at. This also helps you become more aware of your general limitations as well, because you have to control yourself a lot more to keep your balance.
“Alongside that you’re really increasing your core strength trying to stay stable on the board, you also need to use your core a lot to paddle to the destination on the loch.”
After receiving a large response to her original ads, Michaella took her first class on Clunie Loch, in Perthshire, this month, and was surprised to see how popular it was, she said: “There was a big interest and even now, there’s people who have seen the post and want to know about future classes. I did it alongside Matt (Gambles) at Paddle Surf Scotland, who rents out the boards and equipment, and he was a huge help getting the project going.”
At a cost of £40, the classes don’t break the bank and Michaella already has plans to squeeze in a few more before the summer ends.
“The first weekend was really just to get a taster to find out people’s responses to the class, and thankfully people were really positive about it, so we’ll try and get in one or two more classes before it gets too cold, then hopefully next summer we can get more regular classes going.”
Michaella is not the only Scot to offer classes with Tribe Yoga in Edinburgh running their own classes from Cramond Beach.