SUP Yoga

Ever since I first heard about Stand Up Paddle board yoga, I’ve wanted to do it. In fact, the one time I was on a paddle board (during our Vermont vacation last summer) I tried a few poses.

My current Facebook profile picture is from that one time I was on a stand up paddle board over a year ago. I think that says something about how I felt about the experience…


You might remember that my shin is bothering me. Or, probably you forgot. I don’t like to talk about my ailments.

Anyway, whenever I am sidelined from running, I start looking for other things to do. Lately, I’ve been checking out all the yoga studios in town, which led me to the Opal Yoga website where I discovered a SUP yoga class. SUP yoga in Charlottesville!

I was so excited!

I registered for the Thursday morning class at Chris Greene Lake.

The morning of the class, I showed up early, because that’s just what I do.

Catherine, of Mango Yoga Adventures, was easy to find. She was the only one there with 3 paddle boards on the grass in front of her car.


I liked her right away. She was very down-to-earth and friendly and didn’t seem at all disappointed when I told her that I was far from an expert yogi.

She told me that she had done a full moon paddle at Beaver Creek last month and that she’s planning to do another one this month. I can’t even imagine how amazing that must be. I may have to sign up for that.

There was only one other lady registered for the Thursday morning class, so as soon as she arrived, and Catherine had explained some paddle boarding basics and safety, we headed out onto the lake.

1173648_183245161857720_679087523_nThe sun was out if full force, and it was HOT. The humidity wasn’t too bad, though. We paddled around for a while before stopping for the yoga session.

There were little tiny jellyfish EVERYWHERE. None of us had ever seen freshwater jellyfish before. They were about the size of a quarter and they were just undulating away beneath the surface of the very green water.

Before we started, Catherine mentioned that we were at the mercy of the wind and currents and that we might drift away from each other. She said if that happened, to just paddle back to the group.

998490_183245175191052_129952827_nBefore she said that, it wasn’t something that I’d thought about. Sure enough, though, as we were doing our sun salutations, I found myself slowly drifting into the trees along the shoreline.

I also found it strange to not be able to face the instructor. I am a visual person. I’m used to just watching and copying the yoga instructor. But today, the lake determined which direction I was facing, and it seemed to always be away from Catherine. It added a fun new dimension to have to follow verbal cues. It also made me painfully aware of how much I don’t know. Warrior I, or Warrior II. Which is which?

1174763_183245205191049_1932243202_n1173864_183245265191043_1551166070_nI love being outside.

Shavasana on a paddle board was amazing! I realized as I was lying there with my hands dangling lazily in the water beside my board, listening to the bird calls, that I have NEVER done Shavasana outside. Stillness is not something that comes naturally to me, but it is something that I could definitely use more of in my life.

We all jumped in the water to cool off before we paddled back to the shore.

I left feeling happy and grateful and calm. All of those wonderful yoga-ey feelings amplified by being not only outside, but outside AND on the water!

1176224_183245188524384_912308989_nSUP yoga is awesome.

Catherine takes pictures of each of her sessions and posts them on her Facebook page, which is such a wonderful perk! I am certainly grateful she does this. Blog posts are infinitely better with pictures 🙂


Author: healthyincville

Nemophilist Trail runner Introvert Animal-loving vegetarian * My ideal city would be car-free. I love my cats.

11 thoughts on “SUP Yoga”

    1. Thanks 🙂 I’ve always loved the water, and for some reason Stand Up Paddle boarding does feel natural to me. I had my wobbly moments, though. The instructor was just nice enough to not post any awkward pics!

  1. That looks like so much fun! I really want to try Stand Up Paddle boarding in general. Those mini jelly fish would have been good incentive not to fall off. Is the board wobbly when you are doing the various Warrior poses?

    1. None of us got stung by the jellyfish, and there were so many that I’m sure we came in contact with them. Balance is definitely an issue, but it’s not as wobbly as you’d think. If you move slowly it’s unlikely that you’d fall.

  2. I agree about the yoga feelings+nature+water=awesome. I broke my wrist on the ice (skating lessons with my daughter), so had to miss on more time out there, but I hope to do more next year! Blossom

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