Yoga Stand Up Paddle Board Shape
Yoga SUPs in general are larger and boxier than the largest all-around SUPs though they are smaller than most tandem or multipurpose SUPs. As you might expect, along with their larger size comes greater drag and a loss of speed and manueverability when compared with more nimble all-around and touring SUP shapes. Of course, it’s exactly their broad dimensions that also make them great for what their designated purpose SUP yoga and on the water fitness.
Yoga Studio vs. The Open Water
Make no mistake, paddle board yoga is more challenging than yoga in the studio, even for advanced practitioners. The presence of water underneath your yoga board forces your body to make tons of micro-adjustments to maintain balance that wouldn’t be necessary on land. This challenges your stabilizer muscles which in turn strengthens practice once you get back to the studio.
It’s normal to take a step back from the most challenging poses you could achieve in the studio and focus on the fundamentals while on the water. A larger and wider deckspace found on a dedicated yoga SUP provides more than enough room for you to complete your flows without having to focus too much on falling in. Not only is there more space for you to move around on the paddle board, the increased dimensions improve the SUP’s overall stability. That means you can concentrate on your poses, breathing and mental state as you practice. That’s not to say doing yoga on a yoga SUP is as easy as doing it on land, but it’s certainly easier than trying the same poses on a narrow touring SUP.
If you’re a dedicated yogi and looking for a stand up paddle board to become part of your practice, also keep an eye out for SUPs with a good deckpad. You’ll notice most SUPs come with a deckpad of some sort. However, all deckpads are not created equally. They differ from brand to brand and board to board. Look for a deckpad that provides full coverage from head to toe during corpse pose. Make sure any grab handles are offset from the central line of the board and cushioned so you don’t have to lay on them or if you do, they’re still comfortable.