WEEKLY WORKOUT: Yoga On The Water

Stand-Up Paddleboarding is being taken to a new level.

“The worst that’s gonna happen is you fall in and get wet,” says Ann York, a Yoga instructor.

And that is a very real possibility, considering this is just the second time we’ve been on a paddleboard.

“As you know, standing up and paddling on a board is a challenge enough for your balance.”

Then, someone got the bright idea to combine it with yoga, on the paddleboard, on the water.

“It’s sweeping across the nation,” says Katie Gilbert, the owner of No Coast Stand-Up.  “When ann approached me, she was the first instructor that really had a vision.”

Katie and Ann seem to be the perfect fit.  Together, they’re bringing Stand-Up Paddleboard Yoga to central Iowa.

“I’ll teach people who have never been on a board before how to be on the board, how to move with the board,” says Katie.  “We’ll do a warm up paddle and then it gets handed over to Ann to run her Yoga session.”

Ann promises this is a sport for beginners of both, “We can really take it a step at a time.”

The first step – finding your center of gravity on the board.

“We can then take it to a hands and knees position, so you’re very stable on all fours,” explains Ann.

To our surprise, we’re then able to move into a Downward Dog and other Yoga positions, without getting wet.

“The movements have to be very slow, very controlled so that you are able to adapt and move with the board, move with the water,” says Ann.  “We talk about flow in Yoga, so being on the water really helps you to get that feeling of flow.”

The motion of the water amplifies the need for balance, forcing you to recruit each muscle, especially those that make up the core.  We may not be able to do a headstand on the board, like Katie’s son, Colton.  But Katie and Ann say that’s okay.

“You’re on your own journey and wherever you are is exactly where you should be,” says Ann.

Katie echoes the sentiment, “You do your best and you just come out for the experience.”

It’s an experience that is as much mental and emotional as it is physical.

“And the beauty is at the end, when you do your final relaxation, lying there on the board, floating in the water is just fantastic,” says Ann.  “It’s such a wonderful feeling.” 

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