July 2013

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live on the move WASSUP? SUP Yoga! By Ann Imig If it seems like people practice yoga everywhere lately, that's only because people practice yoga everywhere lately. You can take disco yoga with strobe lights and a live DJ, aerial yoga dangling from rafters like a silkworm, and even try balancing-onyour-head-on-a-paddleboard yoga in the middle of Lake Wingra. I met Wingra Boats owner, Tyler Leeper, and yoga instructor, Suki Warda, for my evening foray into Standing Up Paddleboard (SUP) yoga. For SUP yoga, each yogi kneels or stands on their own paddleboard—picture a long, wide surfboard— and gondoliers themselves to the middle of the lake. Then, everyone drops anchor and follows the instructor through Where to go a series of poses. Or falls off their In addition to the weekly Friday evening board while trying. classes through Wingra After a quick tutorial from Boats, Harbor Athletic Leeper about how to ride the SUP Club will also offer SUP board, we headed out. Despite beyoga workshops in ing a decent swimmer and experiJuly and August. enced yogi, I pictured myself wobbling, capsizing, and black and blue by the end of the night. I set one simple goal: Stay on the board. With a nervous flutter in my gut, I knelt on my board, and Leeper gave me a push Warda gave clear, slow instructions with off the dock. plenty of modifications. As we progressed One by one I watched my classmates rise through a flow of poses that would be fafrom kneeling to standing. I took a deep miliar territory to any experienced yogi, breath and found my footing on the "sweet but easy to follow for newbies, the more spot" center of my board. A piece of advice confident I became. from Warda proved key—keep your hips To my surprise, some poses even came loose and bend your knees. A class almost more easily on the water—I got more fully entirely of novices, we gathered with relainto my wheel than usual (backbend) and tive ease on the still water and began our another attendee mentioned that she got yoga flow. into camel pose for the first time (a kneeling backbend). I also noticed different muscles working harder than usual. By the end I was so fatigued I couldn't lift into a standing pose I usually do with relative ease. And about that simple goal; not only did I stay on my board during the hour-long flow, I nailed a freaking tripod-headstand and left feeling triumphant. Whassup, yoga, whasSUP? The workout: In addition to the upper-body action of paddling, SUP yoga provides a full workout—moderate cardio, core work and strengthtraining. 14 BRAVA Magazine Is it for me? Veteran yogis looking for challenge will love SUP (as will experienced SUP-ers new to yoga) but it's easily accommodated for beginners to both. Life jackets will give confidence to weaker swimmers. July 2013 What to wear: I recommend yoga pants and a swimsuit—or an outfit you don't mind getting wet in. The more you play on your board, and the more you challenge yourself, the more likely you'll get soaked. The nature bonus: While sticking poses like side-plank on a SUP board felt beyond thrilling, the scenic setting on the lake was also enthralling, and created a uniquely serene yoga environment. Photo by Meagan Parrish The Dish on SUP Yoga

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