Open up your heart, and free your mind, with this beautiful "heart & hip opening" SUP Yoga Session. These refreshing well-rounded poses will open up a lot of things so you can push through your edge and flow into your greatness with gratitude.
With each breath you can open your heart up more while challenging and strengthening your entire core’s being.
This yoga sequence which calls for chest opening, hip opening, restorative backbends and twists also invites in a spiritual awareness while moving deeper into each pose.
This practice can be a huge nudge for the soul to find inner strength, compassion, forgiveness and even surrender to any grief and loss that has been energetically stored within the body.
This opportunity provides restful healing and release of deep trauma, fatigue and pain while restoring the central nervous system from physical and emotional stress.
Bringing your focus to the lines and shapes that you're creating with your body throughout your practice is a super fun way to correct your form and create straight alignment for a stronger foundation.
These deeply rooted basics are all about creating solid foundations!
Have fun by creating shapes and space within your body so you can move more freely and authentically.
Pay attention to the sensations, movement, colors, feeling, shapes, thoughts and emotions that may arise.
Are you creating a diamond shape? Triangle? Half moon? Straight line? Curved like an archers Bow? A star? Don't be afraid to get curious about the shapes your body resemble.
These shapes are called MUDRAS in Yoga and they are mindful intentions that tend to our postures, self-expression, inner child and creative nature.
These asanas will help you to be more open and present in a fun loving way so you can begin to heal and restore your inner peace and vitality.
The only way to truly open up and heal your heart is to live courageously by tapping into your inner child and into your hearts power.
BOW POSE: DHANURASANA
Laying on your belly in the center of your SUP, rest your chin to the board. Bend your knees and reach around to grab the outer tops of feet and heels. Roll your shoulders open and kick back to lift your chest and stretch out your front body.
Slowly release and lie on you belly, cheek to board.
Notice how this posture resembles the shape of an archers bow. Aim your focus into whatever tension you're ready to push through. Open up more, breath deeper with each inhale.
Go slow with your body abilities. Feel free to repeat in small increments.
REVOLVING CAMEL: PARIVRTTA USTRASANA
Stand on your knees and lengthen through your spine and neck (avoiding compression of the spine and vertebrae). Bring your hands slowly to the back of your hips, palms facing in, fingers pointed down. Lift your chest lengthening tall through your spine, carefully supporting the neck, arch back.
Breath deeply here for a moment.
IF you are comfortable with going deeper ( a no forcing rule applies!) slowly reach your hands to clasp onto the top of your heels.
Take a breath, deep inhale, reach your right hand high to the sky twisting the front of your body to the left, keeping the left hand clasped to your heel.
Gaze up or down. Repeat on the opposite side to balance out: left hand to the sky, right hand to heel, twisting open to the right.
Take a moment and breath here. Release off to the side slowly.
I guess that bending into camel pose could kind of make your body resemble a camel’s hump, but on another point, when the camel sits down it does so by bending its knees inward and folding its legs beneath the body. (They must be pretty flexible! )
When the camel is ready to get back up it will do the same thing : bend its knees before standing up.
In the setup for camel pose you do the same thing…stand on your knees before bending backwards.
Then you do the same at the end of the posture too, just like the camel…which brings me to my next point that with their flexibility they could possibly make good yoga practitioners.
And considering that they usually go such long periods of time without water makes me think they’d be psyched to float their yoga practice too! ( Mind Blown! )
This intermediate level flow is designed to challenge you while inviting in a grateful heart. We call this “pushing your edge” in yoga, although with SUP yoga you might go easy on pushing the edge too far otherwise you'll fall into the water.
If this happens, it’s totally fine and I promise you won’t die! Although, its always wise to check in with your doctor before “pushing your edge” on a stand up paddle board. ( I bet you’re wondering “um..Is she serious?)
Either way this yummy hip and chest opening flow will get your blood pumping and bring a warm smile to your face in no time!
Regrouping into Mountain pose : aka TADASANA
Standing at the center of your board, legs zipped up together, tailbone sucked, shoulders relaxed. Inhale, reach your hands to the sky until prayer hands meet in the middle. Exhale step your left foot back about 3 or 4 feet ( 5 feet for supermodels with long legs). Align your feet about hip width distance and hips squared off to the front of your board and stable.
Take a moment here, on the next inhale shift both feet so they are facing sideways on your board (in either direction.)
Make sure that your feet are aligned and parallel to each other creating a wide stance.
Stretch arms out to the sides lengthening through the torso and opening up the chest and hips. (resembling the shape of a star *)
Exhale, hinge forward at the hips until hands reach the sides of the feet and the head hangs heavy towards the board for Standing Straddle Pose aka PARIVRTTA PADOTTANASANA.
Take a moment in this pose to take a few breaths and enjoy the view and twist your perspective. Turning the view upside down is especially fun during a SUP yoga sesh!
If your hamstrings will allow it, and you'd like to go deeper into the pose, shift your feet a few more inches apart until your head reaches the surface. Interlace fingers and use forearms and hands to support your head.
Little did I know in the beginning of my yoga journey that this pose would eventually lead me into a headstand with plenty of practice and patience. The transformational key of going your own pace is essential for building onto the basic skills... which in time will lead to more advanced practice. Building up the strength to challenge yourself with an open heart takes time, but that’s the beauty and real secret to transforming anything in life.
May you enjoy your SUP Yoga practice, live with a strong and open heart and inspire others to do the same.
Feel free to hop on board by sharing your own #SupYoga photos with me @kellinicoleyoga or with the epic team @airheadSUP. Also make sure to share this article with any friends or family who also crave zenful adventure.