There’s a new craze happening in yoga: SUP. If you’ve never heard of it, SUP stands for Stand Up Paddleboarding. So this, as you might have guessed by now, is a yoga class balanced on the water on a paddleboard. Hardcore!
I tried a class at Bembridge on the Isle of Wight with Tackt-Isle Adventures and yoga teacher Emma. Classes take place early in the morning or late in the evening when the water is at its stillest, but this also means that you’re out on the water when the light is incredibly beautiful, making the whole thing a pretty wonderful experience.
I say that - “wonderful” - but don’t be fooled into thinking this is just a relaxing hour of stretching. It’s hard work. Before the yoga class starts, you spend around 45 minutes learning how to use the paddleboard by negotiating your way around the harbour, first on your knees and then once you are confident enough, standing up. If you’ve ever seen someone doing SUP, you’ll have noticed that it looks totally effortless, but I can assure you that it is not! The act of balancing means you really use your core muscles and legs, plus all that paddling gives you a great aerobic workout and tones the arms.
Once we’d paddled to a peaceful part of the harbour, the teacher tethered everyone together in a line, so there’s no chance of you drifting off during your downward dog. We started with some fairly basic yoga, which wasn’t at all basic once you were balancing on water (I found standing up particularly difficult) but as the class progressed tried more advanced moves, including headstands. The class lasted an hour, so with the paddleboarding as well, this was brilliant value for money.
I’m planning to do another SUP Yoga class soon, and next time I will be prepared for my legs aching for three days afterwards! If I lived by the sea and could do a class every week, I’d be a happy (and incredibly well toned!) lady.
Classes are £20 per person, which includes hire of the paddleboard, paddle, wetsuit and lifejacket. www.tackt-isle.co.uk
By Hannah Rochell