Why SUP Yoga?
The above picture was taken in the summer of 2014 right after I had received my SUP Yoga certification. The grin says it all. I felt SO good and SO proud of myself for getting to this place in life. I had been teaching “regular yoga on land” for the past year and discovered SUP Yoga online one day. I instantly thought, “I HAVE to do this. Yoga, which is already challenging, on a board, IN THE WATER?! Sign me up!” Most would think the opposite – “man, that looks hard, I don’t want to do that.” Or “I can’t do that.”
My dear friends, have more faith in yourself. Is it challenging? Yes. Does that mean it’s impossible? Absolutely not. Will you fall? Probably. Will you die if you fall? Of course not. Water is very forgiving and cooling. We tend to make things a bigger deal than they are. No one cares if you fall. Just us. We put way too much pressure on ourselves in life. And it clearly shows when we’re looking to try something new such as SUP Yoga. Where else does this show up in your life? What have you been hesitating to try just because you were afraid to fail or thought you needed to be perfect at it first before even trying it. How would that even work?? We all gotta be beginners and suck at something for awhile before really “getting it.” The faster we can be aware of this and accept it, the less hesitations, limits, and boundaries we’ll put on ourselves.
The day I was practice teaching during my certification, I FELL OFF my board AND my anchor came unhooked, but I just kept instructing from the water while trying to swim back and re-attach myself to the anchor. I was embarrassed for a few seconds, but had to just let it go and go with the flow. It clearly was not the end of the world.
What I love so much about SUP Yoga is that it provides this full package and life lessons of learning to fall (fail) and get right back up and try again, to not take ourselves so seriously, to challenge ourselves and go outside our comfort zones, to show up vulnerable and brave, and to be amongst nature WHILE gaining physical and mental strength, balance, and flexibility. I mean, that’s a one-stop shop right there! And getting some Vitamin D and fresh air in the process?! Heck yeah!
I encourage you to focus more on all of your mini successes, even if you’re wobbling while doing them, rather than beating yourself up for that one time you fall. We don’t have time to worry about that one time. Maybe it’s a lot of times! You’re probably having more fun than those of us trying to control ourselves the entire time. Talk about pressure!
And history tells us that the most challenging things in life will reap the greatest rewards. Doing one thing a day that scares us or at least every once in awhile breeds new breath into our life. Our eyes open a little wider, we see the world and others a little differently, we’re more aware of what scares us and why and how to move past it, we have that funny story to tell, and we remember that we’re stronger than we think we are.
I’ve been teaching SUP Yoga for 7 summers now and have taught more beginners than one would imagine. Beginners at SUP and yoga and they decided to just go for it. You can, too. It might be that thing you do once and tell your friends about every once in awhile, or maybe it’s something you return to as it might speak to you in some way.
Oh, and remember to breathe, y’all. It’s the force that guides us every day. Yes, think of it like Star Wars if that helps. Use the force to guide you and all will be well.