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Exploring the Yin Principle with Paddle Board Yoga

Yogi doing headstand on paddleboard From a physical standpoint, SUP yoga is an excellent way to increase core stabilization, train balance, and target the smaller muscles that may be neglected or overlooked in strength training or fast-paced power yoga. Because the paddle board is an unstable surface, it is necessary to slow down, focus intently, and move carefully into and out of each posture.   

A studio practice offers regularity and consistency, both of which allow the practitioner to become confident and steady in a yoga practice. However, repetition can also allow the practice to become stagnant or stale. SUP yoga incorporates new challenge, which brings the yogi back to a novice state of mind. Even the most simple postures, adapted to water, find new layers of depth to explore. On the water, the only mirror is one’s reflection. The only music is the symphony of water lapping, bird cries, and the steady rhythm of the breath.

Yogic wisdom recognizes that both the external universe and the internal universe are composed of the five elements: earth, air, fire, water, and ether (space). In yoga practice, we connect with earth as it supports our bodies, the air that travels into and out of our lungs, a fire that ignites within our bodies, building heat through the postures, and ether as we explore the sense of our body in space. The water element may be explored through fluidity of practice, or steady yin postures - but what better way to incorporate this element than by practicing on water?

The water element is the receptive, fluid, female aspect of nature, associated with the yin principle. Water is also the lifeblood of the human species and planet. The earth is covered with water, the blood that flows in our veins is made of it, and the womb from which we emerge is filled with it. Without it, the human body quickly withers and dies. A natural clarity and peace comes from drawing near to water, whether river, lake, or ocean. SUP yoga offers a unique opportunity to integrate and balance all five elements in a cohesive practice- uniting earth, air, fire, water, and ether.

Practicing yoga on the water invites excitement, playfulness, and fun to our yoga practice. Enjoying a deep relaxation with the sun warming the body is a delightful experience that should not be missed. SUP yoga is, simply put, an experience of bliss.

--Advertorial sponsored by Stoked Yogi 

Stoked Yogi LogoStoked Yogi is the world’s leading provider of education in stand up paddle board yoga, and we are proud to have a global network of the most passionate and talented water loving yoga teachers. Our mission is to empower and inspire people to pursue their dreams by facilitating transformative experiences on and off the water! Through floating yoga, fitness, certifications and retreats, we encourage and equip students to go beyond their perceived limits and make a splash doing it. Everything is possible, with patience and practice. We live by the mantra: Set Your Intention, Breathe It To Life.

Stoked Yogi will offer several workshops during Lovelight Festival: