The World of SUP Yoga

Page 1

Just Press surf: A New Era In Boat Technology & Surf Innovations

The world of SUP yoga Community, passion, progression


Sept-Oct 2015

Featuring kelly slater pro pack | Drew Danielo | 2016 Centurion Ri237


T H E WO R L D O F S U P YO G A : Community | Passion | Progression

Chicago S.U.P Yoga offers a two-hour Full Moon SUP Yoga Meditation and Flow event at Kayak Chicago’s Montrose beach location and it is an open event for all levels. Mary Lou Cerami, an ACA L2 SUP Instructor and RYT has a unique style among SUP Yoga teachers, she strongly emphasizes the connection between paddleboarding and yoga. Having taught SUP Yoga for the past six years, Mary Lou teaches how we can all dive deep into our inner being if we simply allow ourselves to flow as one with the water. When the body is relaxed, paddleboarding itself becomes effortless and watching the full moon ascend into the sky after “Savasana” floating relaxation at the end is indescribable!


Sep 2015 |

L A U R E N PETERSON L i q u i d a n d AsanaUnity  Photos by Greg Peterson

The word Yoga is derived from Sanskrit and is translated to mean yoke or union. The union of Yoga and Water seems a natural progression. Yoga cultivates peace and harmony within the body and mind while water is a vital component for the body. Water not only hydrates the body but is a great source of health and wellness. Stand up Paddle Yoga has been sweeping across the globe for the last couple of years. S.U.P YOGA provides all the benefits of Water and Yoga together, while increasing stability, flexibility, and core strength. Practicing Yoga on a stand up paddleboard increases awareness of weight transfer. For example, when doing Downward-Facing Dog on a stand up paddle board, an individual will suddenly notice if they are exerting too much force through one side of the body, because the board will react. S.U.P YOGA can enhance an individual’s yoga practice, because unlike a mat the board responds to the movement of the yoga practitioner. Bringing yoga onto the water rejuvenates the mind and soul. | Sep 2015


I was born and raised in Arizona and started stand up paddling in 2008. My goal was to paddle every river and lake. I would paddle from one side of the lake to the other, in some cases these distances were expansive, so I would stop and stretch. I started bringing my yoga practice onto the water as a break from paddling. Later, I had a friend who was a photographer who needed to take pictures of something innovative for a school project. I thought stand up paddle yoga would be an ideal photographic concept. During the photoshoot, a man who was observing asked if I offered any classes on the water. He had never seen stand up paddle yoga before. After, I received my 200hr yoga certification I began offering free stand up paddle yoga classes at different lakes in Arizona. I began wondering if anyone else was experimenting with this new form of movement? I searched the internet for Sup Yoga businesses and ran across others who had the same idea. I decided to create a social media global community that would facilitate networking and provide a resource for those of us combining our paddling and yoga practices. NamasteSUP was created on facebook with a total of twelve family and friends in 2008. The site now has over 5,000 members. Certifications for teaching began to be posted on the internet and I was fortunate to meet , Richelle Melde who hired me to teach SUP Yoga classes for her fitness gym. I was certified in Stand Up Paddling in California through Surftech SUPcore Academy with Noelle Kozak and Suzanne Yeo. SUP yoga not only had become popular in Arizona, but it had become a global phenomenon.


Sep 2015 |

I am not aware of any history or record of the inception of S.U.P Yoga. There are many people who have chronicled their love of water and yoga and followed their dharma, who pioneered SUP Yoga. The connection of water to yoga is simple discovery. Although SUP Yoga has recently come into existence, yoga has been around for centuries. According to Shayne Bance, “Earliest archaeological evidence of Yoga’s existence could be found in stone seals which depict figures of Yoga Poses. The stone seals place Yoga’s existence around 3000 B.C. Scholars, however, have a reason to believe that Yoga existed long before that and traced its beginnings in Stone Age Shamanism.” A common misconception is that stand up paddling hasn’t been around for very long, when in actuality human beings have been standing up on vessels all over the world. Marina Andriola states, “Fishermen all over the world have been standing solo in their small vessels for thousands of years. The first standup paddle surfers to surf for the sheer joy of flying down the line on a board are believed to be Hawaiian. Ancient Hawaiian islanders survived with nature, not because of nature. They called themselves keiki o ka’aina, literally “children of the land”. She also brings up a good point that for years “gondoliers have been using long paddles to move their vessels through crowded canals.” It was only a matter of time before yogi’s would begin using stand up paddle boards as their mats.

Like any other popular modality, it takes education and passing that knowledge onto others to keep it alive. Stand Up Paddle Yoga certifications and retreats are becoming more popular. The great thing about Stand Up Paddle Yoga is it can be offered any time of the year, anywhere in the world, and there are no age restrictions. S.U.P Yoga is available for all ages, and all levels. Stand Up Paddle Yoga classes are offered on lakes, pools, rivers, and in the ocean. In 2011, after receiving my master’s degree in Physical Education I found most of my students loved yoga, and loved board sports. Unfortunately, due to budget cuts and liability I couldn’t take my classes on a field trip to the lake. So instead I created a land based SUP Yoga curriculum. I took the stand up paddle boards and placed them on BOSU’s to give them the simulation of being on water, and taught students a stand up paddle yoga unit. My students loved it!!!!! I have had the pleasure of presenting my curriculum at the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD) conference in Arizona and Hawaii. More and more board companies are incorporating land sup yoga in gyms. For example, Indo board has created the Indo Yoga Board, which is much easier to transport and store in gyms than large stand up paddle boards. Businesses are now offering not only sup yoga classes but also, sup Pilates, sup fitness, sup kickboxing, and more. The future is only limited by our ingenuity. | Sep 2015


d a s h a m a r



 Photos by Mick Curley 28

Sep 2015 |






f you’re like most people, you probably lead a very full and busy life. Between work, family, and keeping up with a social life, there is often very little time left over for ‘self care’ and ‘me time.’ That is one of the greatest benefits of practicing yoga and sup yoga. It offers a short mini escape from life to a realm of complete serenity, peace and happiness and the effects can linger on for days after. The health and fitness benefits are also incredible, as you are building core strength, balance and flexibility that can help you in all aspects of your life. I lead yoga and sup yoga retreats, events and teacher trainings around the world to beautiful destinations like the Gili Islands, Indonesia, Maldives, Hawaii, Costa Rica, Mexico and Miami Beach. I choose the most pristine and beautiful destinations that will leave my students fully recharged after our time together. Like a computer, we all need to log out, reboot and recharge our battery to operate at our fullest potential. These retreat experiences are more then a vacation, since you will be learning, growing and looking within to know yourself more, and generally you will meet and connect deeply with the others in the group, resulting in a new network of life long friends from around the world. For those who are interested in embarking upon a new career path, I certify yoga teachers at both 200 and 500 hour levels worldwide. And the SUP Yoga certification, yoga alliance approved, is a full 4 day immersion into this new style of yoga on paddle boards complete with water safety, sup yoga techniques and teaching sequencing, meditation, how to lead one on one sessions, business workshop and much more. As it grows in popularity globally, there is an increasing demand for instructors, so for those seeking a new challenge, a new adventure and possibly a new career, this could be the perfect fit. You can find out more about upcoming yoga teacher trainings and retreats on our website at: | Sep 2015


“Like a computer, we all need to log out, reboot and recharge our battery to operate at our fullest potential.”

our fullest potential.” reboot and recharge our battery to operate at “Like a computer, we all need to log out,


Sep 2015 | | Sep 2015


Slow Down

a n d B r e at h e BY


Athletes are always looking for an edge on their opponent, to go faster, get stronger and bring the goal of winning closer. With many of the world’s top athletes using cutting edge technology, world class trainers and superior equipment to continue to raise the bar in competition. One ancient discipline is also gaining popularity with these athletes. Yoga, mostly know to the general population as “stretching” has become a go to discipline for a multitude of reasons. From the increased flexibility to injury prevention, Yoga also adds a much overlooked part to training, breathwork. In Yoga, Pranayama or Yogic Breathing is as essential to the Yoga practice as the Asanas, (poses). The reason breath is so important in Yoga is because it is the guide, it lets us know where we are in our practice. When the breath gets erratic we have gone too far in a pose or if we stop breathing our balance, strength and flexibility suffers. It also allows us to stay in the present moment, we focus on our exhale and inhales and less about what the mind is telling us.

 Morgan Hoesterey


Sep 2015 |

With Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) races lasting anywhere between 1 - 3 hours and some even longer, mental strength is a huge part of training. This is where Yoga comes into play, it is the gym for our mind. Whether we take a meditation class or a Vinyasa class, our breath is always the focus. It keeps our mind from wandering to the grocery list or the person next to us but in the present moment. When we put our bodies in uncomfortable places our mind is the first thing to tells us we can’t, we aren’t that flexible, but when our breath is engaged and is working, we work through the discomfort and begin to reap the real benefits of the practice. This off the water mind training is vital when things do not go according to plan. Even though SUP races last for hours sometimes things happen at the start and it is up to us to not let it ruin our race. With the practice of Yoga and Pranayama we prepare our mind to deal with discomfort and stay present. SUP racing is no different than a difficult pose, whether it is a botched start or cramping half way through the race if we resort to our mental training we will bring ourselves back to the moment. The breath work will help cleanse the mind, bring air into the body to help the cramping and ultimately get our performance level back up. Once our mental focus returns, our efficiency will follow and that person in front of us will slowly become an obtainable goal. If you are wondering about Yoga and if it is for you, try a class at studio and see the benefits for yourself. Because the things we learn in the studio are not just for training or racing but also for helping with everyday life. And the physical practice may also change your opinion of what Yoga really is.

 Brian Meyer

 Deb Stipa


 Mike Muir San Clemente Ocean Fest San | Sep 2015



vice versa, it’s the same as in life too! How did you get into Acro Yoga? I grew up in a large family and always played team sports (college basketball) so instantly I was drawn to Acro Yoga and working with others. I also love learning and challenging myself. I saw it as a new challenge and learning experience.


TA S H F I T  Photos by Lori Griffith

After a series of losses, including the death of her father and an end to her marriage, Tasha Hermann found herself slipping away into depression. Guided by her strong faith in God, which led her to yoga, she knows that “without a doubt I wouldn’t be doing yoga unless God had pulled me through my heartache and depression. Life happens. Depression sucks, but God has always been there for me.” Relocating to Florida, Tash learned to surf and paddleboard around the same time she began power yoga. Waiting for a set of waves to roll in she began playing around with headstands and balances in the ocean. Fast forward a few years and Tash is the only instructor currently teaching yoga in the open ocean. She is continually pushing the boundaries of what can be achieved on a paddleboard and now offers Acro Yoga classes for individuals and groups in south Florida. What exactly is Acro Yoga? Acro yoga is the mixing of yoga and acrobatics together. It requires more than just yourself to do a pose, it takes teamwork, communication and trust. The cool thing about Acro yoga is that as you learn to support others, you end up allowing yourself to be supported. This is a fundamental of trust: take control by letting go. One must give to receive and

Are there any special benefits of doing Acro versus traditional yoga? The benefit of bonding with others and building trust is primary. Also, you get to do poses in acro yoga that you can’t do in a more traditional practice. Acro yoga can be inspiring to others, an opportunity for healing and it teaches you to step out of your comfort zone. Do you recommend practicing on land before attempting poses in the water? It really doesn’t matter if you’re doing yoga on land or sea, just do it! I recommend taking a fundamentals class to learn proper alignment, or even take a private SUP yoga lesson where you can learn modifications and board safety. As for equipment the great thing about yoga is that you can do it anytime, anywhere, no equipment needed! For SUP yoga, it’s smart to have a wider board with some volume to it. Length helps but I don’t like how most people, especially females, end up buying boards that are to big and heavy for them to carry, so they end up not using them at all. In the coming months Tash will be launching a line of yoga pants. For information on TashFit yoga retreats, guest teaching or lessons follow her on Instagram @Tashyoga or Facebook: TashFit.



that we have specifically designed for paddle yoga - our Mermaid line of boards. We made these boards slightly wider, with a yoga-mat-sized deck pad, and a cool bamboo overlay to give it a yoga studio feel. We also just released our inflatable ‘Mermair’ board and people are raving about it. Instead of having to rent or ship a board while traveling, you can now easily take your paddle yoga practice with you wherever you go. Our ultimate goal is to develop Bliss Paddle Yoga into a health, wellness and lifestyle company. We started with a vision to bring health and happiness to people firstly with paddling, then paddle yoga. Today we organize retreats in California and around the world and offer our customers yoga on land, yoga on paddleboards, increasingly combined with healthy food and nutrition. Our mantra and ultimate goal is to help people ‘Look Inward to Sea’ and that’s exactly what our instructors love to do.

We started off with a dream and a couple of paddle boards and today we operate out of three locations in Southern California - including San Diego, Laguna Beach, and Newport Beach. To this day we have brought about 12,000 people out on the water from beginners to advanced paddlers and yogis, and we have trained over 300 paddle yoga teachers from all over the world. We also had the opportunity to lead paddle yoga classes at the Wanderlust Yoga Festival in Australia last year. We started teaching paddle yoga about four years ago feeling that paddling and yoga would be naturally complementary. There is something about flowing and practicing pranayama (yogic breathing) on the water, which is challenging, empowering, and relaxing all at the same time. Maybe the fact that we are made up of 70% water has something to do with it. Practicing yoga on a paddleboard necessitates slowing down your practice and becoming more focused you can actually enhance your land based yoga practice. As part of our brand, we partner with inspiring and like-minded people. We have trained and sponsor some very well known yogis, including Laura Sykora, Kathryn Budig, and Robin Martin to name a few. They actually use some of the paddleboards

 Photos by Paddle Bliss | Sep 2015


j e n n b o d n a r p



 Photos by Tyler Marshall 36

Sep 2015 |







Texas is not known for it’s strong representation of the four seasons. It’s either blistering hot or bone-chilling cold, as per Texas standards. When Tyler Marshall, Founder of DFW Surf and Boarders Magazine, approached me about doing SUP Yoga classes at the indoor, temperature-controlled pools last winter it seemed like a genius idea! In fact, as temperatures warmed up and the lakes became flooded and inaccessible after torrential spring rains, the pool still remains a great place to introduce SUP Yoga to gym-goers. So we started up SUP Yoga classes at all the Life Time Fitness centers around the metroplex. Life Time Fitness has been the perfect spot for both indoor and outdoor pools for their members and a fitting location for those not willing to take the plunge in open water. | Sep 2015


Since 2013, Life Time Fitness has been offering SUP Yoga classes in the pool at many of their locations across the nation. Tonya Brueggemeyer, National Assistant Program Manager and Yoga Coordinator says “I love to offer SUP Yoga to my LifePower community at Life Time because it pushes our students outside of their comfort zone. It brings the outside elements into our students practice in a way that’s innovative and challenging.” Brueggemeyer adds, “It pushes the student to let go of the fear of falling and to try again, which is a life lesson in and of itself.” While the classes can be challenging and exciting, more than anything, it’s good old fashion fun! It’s basically a pool party for grown-ups. Recently, Rachel Farber planned a SUP Yoga birthday party along with her husband and 10 of their friends. “I threw myself a SUP Yoga birthday party this year to celebrate my health, life, and friends! Jenn rocked our class and we laughed and laughed at ourselves. And when you can’t laugh at your self, the fun is over!” It’s amazing to see people putting themselves out there, being vulnerable and most of all, having a good time. At some point in our lives being active becomes a chore. The key to longevity and good health is to find activities you enjoy and people to enjoy them with. As we end the hour and meditate with one another there is a strong playful bond within the group. SUP yoga is accessible to many populations, not just seasoned yogis. I could see this trend catching on and growing into a popular activity amongst friends, families and employers. SUP yoga is a great team builder, bachelorette party or even an regular fitness class available year round. They say you should create a life you don’t need a vacation from.


Sep 2015 |

SUP yoga is an exotic and exhilarating trip that will put you and your family back in your backyard! I have been able to find more time with family because my kids enjoy running and jumping on the same inflatable board that I use to practice yoga. I could see this trend catching on and growing into a popular activity amongst friends, families and employers. SUP yoga is a great team builder, bachelorette party and a regular fitness class available year round.

 Danny Braught | Sep 2015




Boats cut their engines off and watch the tall blonde who is leading a group of paddlers. “Clean up the catch, feather the blade, bottom arm straight.” The ten paddlers rotate positions, each getting a chance to lead the train and have their stroke observed and analyzed. This is the beginning of the FloYo® SUP Yoga teacher training with Jessie Benson and the goal of the 20 hour SUP yoga teacher training is to create instructors who are able to safely and effectively teach brand new paddlers the best paddle technique to maximize performance and minimize risk of injury. FloYo Founder, Jessie Benson is passionate about ensuring that every FloYo certified instructor has proficient paddle skills and is able to teach a first time paddler proper technique and form. Jessie says, “It is our goal to get every student that comes out for a FloYo class to fall in love with the sport of SUP. If they don’t receive proper instruction their first time on the water, we have missed an opportunity to educate a new paddler, someone who is very likely to fall in love with this sport!” FloYo doesn’t see their classes as a way to simply take their students yoga practice to the water. They view each class as an opportunity to introduce 8-12 people to a new sport, to show them how fun it is to be active on the water and how working out on the water can add a whole new dimension to their yoga practice.

 Julie Hove Anderson 40

Sep 2015 |

Every FloYo class begins with at least fifteen minutes of paddling to review technique and work on form. This group paddle is also a great way to get the class warm and ready to flow through the 8-block FloYo class format and serves as a wonderful opportunity for FloYo instructors to get to know their students and their comfort level on the water. Once the boards are anchored students are asked to take notice of their surroundings including the sounds of the water, the fish jumping and birds singing in the background. Once students find their way into their first downward facing dog on the boards they know they have made it to the right class. And as an added bonus, after their final savasana they will paddle back to home base feeling confident in their paddle technique and itching to get back on the water! To learn more about the FloYo® teacher trainings, classes and workshops visit

“When I practice yoga on a Yolo board I challenge myself to live up to the motto and getting fully present by flowing on the board allows me to find myself and my possibility! That’s what doing FloYo on a Yolo board feels like, a rush of excitement, of stepping out of my comfort zone and into the best version of me because you only live once so you have to live to the fullest!”

 Amy Leigh Photography | Sep 2015


BAMBOO SEA TURTLE ~ 12’ + 10’6”


Sep 2015 |

What’s Your Yolo Moment? #MakeItCount



Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.