I am not a yoga or sea person myself. That might sound strange coming from someone who has been a vegetarian for over 30 years and lives on an island obviously surrounded by water.
SUP Yoga, combining Yoga & the Sea, is possibly the worst fit for someone like me. Yet the majority of islanders love the sea!
So what is SUP Yoga. Whilst somewhat novel in Malta, Stand-Up Paddle boarding (SUP) started on the beaches in Hawaii in the 1960s. The board is large and broad and at some time someone got the bright idea to use it as a floating yoga mat. Bazinga, SUP Yoga was invented.
Mari Collyer, a traditional Hatha Yoga Instructor who is also a certified SUP Yoga instructor and founder of Yoga with Mari and SUP Yoga Mellieha, makes it all look easy. It’s much like a normal yoga class on a board, with a different (nicer) setting. There obviously will be some acclimatisation to the fact that you are on a board. Practising on a paddle board actually helps you improve on your balance, focus and core strength. The board reveals whether or not you are truly present and in the moment. The risk of falling in the sea keeps the mind focused . The surroundings, scenery and sounds allow for a sense of mindfulness, especially in the sunrise and sunset sessions, when the scenery and location is stunning.
Practising yoga and fitness on water can be both fun and a novel experience. SUP Yoga brings a little fun and playfulness to a very spiritual and ancient practice. There again, the constant moving of the board/mat on the water will help fire-up muscles that aren’t used in every day life.
Some key things to keep in mind before.
- Whilst hats and sunglasses might seem a good idea, they have a tendency to fall off.
- Drink and hydrate well before going out on the board.
- Get ready to get wet! It’s part of the fun.
- Add some playfulness with your sense of mindfulness
- Protect yourself well against the sun.
Where can you practice SUP Yoga
You can contact Mari Collyer on her facebook page below. This year’s season is opening on the 1st of May, with a full day public holiday event with SUP Yoga Mellieha at the Mellieha Bay hotel. Sessions will continue throughout the season.
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