Let me first explain that I am an avid surfer and when I read about SUP Yoga in a magazine I knew I had to try it. I have been paddle boarding before in South Jersey’s back bays, to Florida’s oceans, and have even paddle boarded in Kauai, Hawaii. But I did not know of anywhere close where I could try paddle boarding yoga until now.
Anjali power yoga has yoga studios all over South Jersey and in Philadelphia. Stef Desatnick, who has been teaching yoga for two years saw a picture of SUP Yoga online and wanted to do it immediately.
“I saw a picture of it and was like I am going to have a business for SUP Yoga and now I do,” said Stef Desatnick, SUP Yoga instructor.
The classes are an hour long, cost $40 and meet at the 81st marina in Stone Harbor, NJ. You should wear a bathing suit that you feel comfortable moving in and bring a beach towel and flip flops for after the class.
For the beginning portion of the class you paddle around the basin and get use to the paddleboard. Then once you get comfortable the entire class paddles out in the channel where you battle the wind, heat, and current. The key is to make sure you begin paddling against the current so that when you return you have an easy paddle back.
After about a half hour of paddling you return back to the basin to do the yoga portion of the class. I considered myself an intermediate to advance yoga goer who surfs so I was thinking I would not be that challenged, however, I was wrong.
Performing yoga moves on the water, which is an unstable surface while fighting against the wind, heat and current is VERY difficult. Trying to master the smooth transitions from one yoga move into the next move with out wobbling and falling off your board was hard. A few of the other class members fell in fairly quickly and I felt that as I neared the end of the class I would be one of the few that did not fall in. Once again I was wrong.
During the warrior flow I over did my warrior three stance and fell right in the water! Thankfully the water was warm. After my brief swim I slid back on my board and right back into the yoga flow.
At the end of class everyone agreed they had a great time but were challenged not only physically but mentally as well.
“The hardest thing was conquering your fear and your mind. Once your get over that it is awesome,” said Kate McCormick, from Haddonfield, New Jersey.
“The toughest thing for me was keeping my balance and not compromising the poses,” said Regina Ricci,” from Gloucester Township.
“Trying to find your balance was the hardest thing but once you find your balance its just like regular yoga but in water,” said Natalie Feola, from Gloucester Township.
I have to say that I am definitely impressed by SUP Yoga and will definitely go again! Next time during the warrior three pose I WILL NOT fall in! If you want to try SUP Yoga for yourself you have until the end of September otherwise you will have to wait until next summer.