MH: What is Standup Paddle Yoga? How is it different from any other type of yoga?
GG: Standup Paddle (SUP) Yoga is yoga that is practiced on a standup paddleboard. Instead of practicing in a studio, the flows and poses are done on standup paddleboards out on the water! I favor Vinyasa yoga, and depending on what I am seeking on any given day I switch between gentle flows for something more spiritual and relaxing, and Power Vinyasa while cross training for other water sports.
The water adds another dimension to a standard yoga routine. The standup paddleboard creates a relatively unstable surface, which requires more core strength for balance. As a result, I often modify certain poses, and save the balancing series for the beach. The board and paddle can also add a unique twist to the practice. For example, the paddle can be used in half moon pose or during a modified side plank; a foot can be hooked around the rail for added stability.
How did you get started with SUP yoga?
I love the ocean and my life revolves around it, so naturally I gravitated towards SUP Yoga. To be able to combine Stand Up Paddle Boarding and yoga, two practices that I love, is really special to me. SUP yoga has also really complimented my other ocean sports and has helped me during competitions. When I am competing in SUP races, I have so much adrenaline pumping and the distance paddling can really do a number on my body. SUP Yoga helps me to relax, brings my awareness back to the present and restores my body. It completely rejuvenates my mind, body, and spirit.