Standup paddle boarding (SUP) is a fantastic full body workout which integrates all the important muscle groups. However, before you begin with it, you can improve your balance, strength and flexibility by learning a few yoga poses. The following are the 5 poses which you can use, as a warm-up to the SUP to feel efficient, powerful and confident.
1) Side Plank Pose: This pose helps develop the strength and stability in the whole body. To begin with, start with the plank pose keeping the feet together. Rotate to the right foot’s outer edge while shifting the weight onto the right arm. Then, place the left hand on the left hip and focus on lifting this left hip. When steady and stable, the left arm needs to be raised into the sky and one should gaze at the left thumb. This process needs to be repeated on the other side. To simplify this challenge, the right knee & the shin can be rested on the mat. To get released from the pose, one needs to return the gaze to the ground, and release the left hand while bringing it back to the plank pose.
2) Dolphin Pose: For proper paddling, integration of glutes, abdominals, thighs, arms, shoulders and arms is required. With dolphin, one can build great strength in the upper back and the shoulders, while working in parallel on the lower legs. To begin with, lower the forearms on the floor, and keep the elbows underneath the shoulders while extending the fingertips. Tuck the toes, lift the knees and press the pelvis in the upward direction. While the knees stay bent, one needs to broaden the blades of the shoulder and then straighten the legs. The neck should be kept long for 5-10 breaths. To get released from the pose, knees need to be brought together to the ground and then be rested in the child’s pose
3) Warrior III Pose: This pose improves the balance and stability and integrates the muscles in the legs, arms and core. To begin with this, one needs to start with the mountain pose. Firstly, both the arms need to be stretched to the sky. Then the right leg should be lifted, such that the thigh goes parallel to the earth. The biceps while being kept in-line with the ears, forward leaning should be done and the right leg needs to be stretched in the opposite direction. One needs to hold on for 5-10 breaths in this pose and then release and attempt it on the other side.
4) Eagle Pose: This pose stretches the upper back and the shoulders and strengthens the ankles, hips, thighs and calves. In order to begin with this pose, one needs to start with the mountain pose. Then while bending the knee, the right leg needs to cross the left one. The right toes can either lightly rest on the ground or can rest on the left calf. Later, the arms need to be expanded and the right bicep needs to cross the left, from beneath. One needs to bend the elbows and wrap the forearms in such a way that the right palm goes behind the left forearm, while the left and the right palms touch each other. The elbows need to be lifted till the shoulder height and the fingertips should point the sky. One needs to hold on to this position for 5-10 breaths and later repeat the same on the other side.
5) Cow Face Pose: This pose helps the body with the stretching of shoulders, hips, thighs, ankles, triceps, armpits and chest. To begin with, one needs to make the staff pose, with the legs extended in front while being seated. Then, both the knees need to be bent and the sole of the foot be placed on the floor. The left foot needs to come from underneath the right knee and it needs to slide to the outer side of the right hip. The right knee should be stacked on the left one while bringing the right foot towards the outer side of the left hip. The weight needs to be adjusted for even distribution. Later on, one needs to stretch the left arm into the sky and bend it at the elbow. The right arms needs to be extended from the side with a bent elbow such that the right and the left palms hold each other. One needs to hold on to this position for 5-10 minutes and then switch the sides.
In order to learn these techniques properly, one can take help of a teacher who would have undergone the SUP Yoga Teacher Training. Due to the SUP Yoga Teacher Training, the teacher can understand the different difficulties of different people and can guide accordingly.