Asana: Lotus Pose
Sanskrit name: Padmasana
Level: Beginner Friendly
Que’s - To insure a great posture in a meditation pose like Lotus, simply sit on your SUP lovin’-booty, and flex your abs. Your muscles will tighten around your spine, naturally aligning you into proper form. Keep your shoulders, breath and mind relaxed and your heart shining open. Close your eyes and focus in on your breath. If your thoughts keeps wandering off, that’s okay! It’s a practice, no pressure. Just keep bringing your attention back to your breath and sensations. Be extra compassionate with yourself.
Variations: The original lotus pose usually calls for feet facing upward on the top of your thighs, versus downward underneath your thighs . “Indian position” is just as beneficial. Make sure to do whatever is most comfortable for you!
Why I love this pose: Lotus pose is one of the most important asanas in my opinion. The reason why is because I personally use yoga for more than a workout. If all my students left with was buns of steel and washboard abs i wouldn't be doing my job.
The word yoga means to “yoke” or unite. Not only uniting us with ourselves and each other but also uniting our minds, bodies and souls. Connecting with the earth, the sun, the moon, the ocean and every star and planet in the universe. From a spiritual perspective we are all connected! Yoga is an opportunity to release the distractions that separate us from “unity” and our connection to everything.
It’s a very safe feeling knowing that you belong in unison to everything in existence. In addition to that, it’s scary to think many of us are not in control of our minds to the point where we can be in unison to the present moment. There is beauty all around us but we have to stop and slow down to appreciate it!
When I'm floating on my SUP, occasionally I’ll hone in on the birds singing, or I’ll focus on flowing along with the waves, explore the seafloor, and soak in the sunshine and sea breeze against my skin. There’s great gratitude in my heart for the moments that make us feel a sense of “oneness”. Like that one perfect moment, when you're in the present moment. Thats where you can find magic.
Spiritual Intention: Sometimes the harsh realities in life can literally knock us right off our feet. This pose provides an opportunity to surrender and realize that “ I can do nothing, but the power within me can!” We spend our whole lives resisting to the idea of surrendering. We see it as weakness or giving up. Then suddenly we hit a point where we realize that the moment of “letting go” is not when life is over.… It is when life really begins.
Asana: Half Pigeon Pose
Sanskrit: Ardha Kapotasana
Level: Beginner friendly
Benefits: Hip Opener, Heart opener, Surrender.
Que’s: (Starting from downward facing dog)
Inhale, draw your left foot back towards the sky. Exhale, Bring that foot forward placing it near your right hand, and your knee near your left hand.
Adjust by straightening your back leg and lowering your hips onto the board.
To go deeper into the hips, bow forward drawing your chest to your shin, arms stretched forward overhead. Surrender and take a few breaths here. Take a micro-mini nap if you will!
Release by stacking your hands underneath your shoulders, drawing your foot back and hips high into downward facing dog. To balance out, repeat with the right side.
Spiritual Intention: Expand into the present moment, sense everything you are feeling and what is happening. Breathe through any tension. Breathe, Witness, and let go as each moment unfolds.
Asana: Upward Facing Dog Pose
Sanskrit: Urdhva Mukha Svanasana
Level: Beginner Friendly
Benefits: heart and hip opener/spine flexer
#1 Rule-No forcing!!! Never, ever, ever!!! If it hurts, back up out of the asana. Yoga should not hurt. Maybe sometimes it can be slightly uncomfortable but it shouldn't be painful. So if you need to, release! Remember to listen to your own body’s limits and boundaries. Please keep in mind that where you are at in your practice is exactly where you need to be. Your SUP board is a “Judgment Free Zone”! It’s your practice, it’s your body, it’s your board, go your own pace.
Que’s: (Starting from Plank Pose aka “push-up position” in the center of the board.)
Inhale, Flip the top of your feet onto the board so they are resting “tops down”, “bottoms up”. Exhale, release your elbows slowly drawing your body lower to the board. Inhale, Open your chest forward, relaxing your shoulders and shining your heart to the sun. Take a few breaths here. Exhale release Drawing your hips up and chest towards your thighs back into downward facing dog.
Spiritual Intention: Blessed are the flexible, they shall never be bent out of shape. Calm determination in this pose or in anything in life will light your way towards success. Stay with the moment, don't wish your journey away. Breathe and go with the flow.