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My New Favorite Workout: Stand-Up Paddle Yoga


My dear friend Susie and I are neither yoga masters nor surfer chicks, but we do love the ocean and adventure. Plus, we're not afraid to laugh at ourselves. We've enjoyed laughing with and at one another over wine and cheese, but we recently decided to try something that might actually be good for our bodies, our spirits, and our appetite for the absurd:  Stand-up paddle yoga.

That's right! I, a woman who could trip over an invisible pebble on a sidewalk, decided to combine core, cardio, focus, and about six other skills I lack. The Island Surf & Sail team outfitted us with boards and our instructor sent us out to paddle out in the bay for 15 minutes to get our blood pumping. We bobbled a bit, but once we anchored and got into class, it was extraordinary!

There we were in the middle of the water, under a perfect sunny sky, far from ringing cellphones and demanding kids, but it was no time to day dream. We're always told to be mindful and deliberate in both yoga and Pilates moves, but I've never understaff what that really means--until now. You figure out the definition of "mindfulness" pretty fast when the alternative outcome is falling into the water and having to drag yourself back on top of a massive surfboard.

I've found the pace and repetition of yoga to be boring in the past, but after an hour on the water, I didn't want to leave. I know firsthand how hard it is to make exercise a priority and a time to forget about your to-do list, but I did it today. I'm sure my moves weren't the most graceful, but I'm genuinely thankful for the experience.

I'm not trying to figure out how many calories I burned or my resting heart rate. In fact, I ate a giant breakfast when we were finished. The point I'm trying to make is that today I loved my morning exercise, and loving what you do is the best way to make a real commitment. So namaste and cowabunga everyone!


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