Everyone’s heard of taking your yoga practice to your SUP board by now, right? It gets you outdoors for your fitness, connected to the natural environment, challenges your balance in new ways, and makes the yoga practice even more enjoyable. But why let the yogis have all the fun?! It only makes sense that the next fitness program to take to your paddleboard is Pilates. Especially if you feel like your core is ready for the next level; Pilates on a paddleboard will definitely up the ante.
Besides the obvious addition of paddling in and out of the water, which helps warm up your muscles for your workout, when you take the practice of Pilates out on a paddleboard, you increase the challenge simply by being on the water. Whether you’re on the ocean, a lake, or even in a swimming pool, you’ll notice that the board doesn’t exactly stay put! If you thought Pilates was challenging enough on land, wait till you try it on the rolling sea! Although it’s ideal to practice in calm waters, the ocean will always present you with a sneaky wave here and there, on top of the wake created by any passing boats. So you are forced to recruit your core stabilizer muscles: inner and outer thighs, upper and lower abdominals, gluteus medius, and the lower trapezius, to name a few. With that, you get a more challenging workout as your balance is almost constantly being thrown off by the ocean.
Furthermore, a focused mind is more important than ever to be able to maintain your form as the waves roll under you. Don’t let the beauty of nature or the cute animals you see distract you-you can be awestruck after your practice! Remember in Pilates: quality trumps quantity, so keep your mind on your movement and your breath to make each movement matter.
The best part of SUP Pilates, you’d be surprised, is falling in! It washes the sweat and the ego right off for those of you who expect perfection 100% of the time. How refreshing! 😉 But seriously, if you get too hot, take a dip and jump back into your practice. You can even challenge yourself to get back on the board as quickly and as gracefully as possible.
Even with all of the focus and the form and the sweating and the stabilizing you’re doing in your SUP Pilates practice, Mother Nature is also doing her magic on you, and you will feel happier, relaxed, and stress-free by the end of your practice. Meditation or savasana will be well deserved! Nothing beats the fulfilling sense of accomplishment as you bask in the bliss of exercising in nature.
Where’s your favorite place to SUP?