Yoga for Athletes

Summer Challenge: 3 SUP Yoga Starter Poses

Take your practice to the water. Kathryn Budig has these three simple poses to get your feet wet with standup paddleboard yoga.

Soak up some more summer. Kathryn Budig has these three simple yoga postures to get your feet wet with standup paddleboard yoga. Plus, join us for a SUP workshop at YJ LIVE! San Diego June 24-27, led by Stoked Yogi founder Amelia Travis.

Warm summer days are still here, but before you know it, fall will arrive in full glory. I’m soaking up as much summer goodness as I can before I blink and it all slips away. That means time at the beach and on my beloved standup paddleboard. My paddleboard (by Bliss Paddle Boards) is specifically built for yoga (notice it has a skid-free pad built into the top and is wider than an average board), but any board will do. All you need is a sense of adventure—and no fears of falling in! Try these three simple yoga postures to get your feet wet in this fabulous world of SUP yoga.

Nowhere to SUP? Try an Indoor SUP Yoga Class

3 Poses To Try on a Standup Paddleboard

SUP Yoga Starter Pose: Child’s Pose

Kathryn Budig SUP Yoga child's pose

That’s right! Let’s keep it super simple. Most people new to paddleboarding start by paddling out on their knees. You can paddle with your hips on your heels or stand up on your knees on your journey to standing. Paddle out to deeper water, using your anchor if you have one, and stay on your knees. Keep your knees hip-width apart for this version of Child’s Pose for a more stable foundation. Extend your arms out in front of you as you bow your torso forward. You can hold onto your oar or simply place it in front of your hands. Take a few calming breaths here—listen to the water, enjoy the motion of the water, and allow yourself to calm down.

SEE ALSO Your Perfect SUP Yoga Outfit

SUP Yoga Starter Pose: Downward-Facing Dog

Kathryn Budig SUP Yoga Downward Dog

It only makes sense to get your bearings on the water by attempting one of the most common yoga postures, Downward-Facing Dog. This classic pose has a wide base, making it great for balance on the paddleboard. Begin on all fours and walk your hands a few inches forward of your shoulders. Hug your arms to the midline, externally rotating them and firing up your adductors for extra stability to counter the motion of the water, curl your toes under and slowly press your legs and hips back into the full pose. Make sure to keep your feet hip-width apart for a solid foundation. Press evenly underneath all of your knuckles and try to stay for 5–8 full breaths.

SEE ALSO 3 Yoga Poses Perfect for Standup Paddleboarders

SUP Yoga Challenge: Vinyasa

Kathryn Budig SUP Yoga vinyasa

From your Downward-Facing Dog, slowly shift your weight forward to Plank Pose. From here, you can flip your feet and drop your hips. Or if you want a challenge (aka let’s go for it!), take a vinyasa. Add a Chaturanga and then shift into your Upward-Facing Dog Pose. Notice I’m holding onto my oar in the picture—this actually helped me root down to lift my chest higher and roll my shoulder heads back. Keep your legs active—quads engaged, outer ankles drawing in, and all 10 toes pressing down into the board. From here, either press back to your Downward-Facing Dog or return to a Child’s Pose.

SEE ALSO 4 Poses To Try on Your SUP

About Kathryn Budig

Kathryn Budig

Kathryn Budig is the yoga teacher behind AIM TRUE, a regular writer for Yoga Journal, and a presenter at Yoga Journal LIVE! Catch up with her on kathrynbudig.com and:

 Twitter: @kathrynbudig
 Instagram: @kathrynbudig
 Facebook: @kathrynbudigyoga