balance body exercise female

Increase Your Flexibility with SUP Yoga Exercises

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Once you’ve got to grips with the basics of paddleboarding (which shouldn’t take too long), you’ll be able to make the most of SUP’s versatility. As well as surfing and fishing, you can use your paddleboard for yoga – one of the best ways to improve your mental health and reduce stress.

photo of woman doing yoga
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Stand up paddleboarding and yoga are two of the best exercises for improving your flexibility (as well as balance). So, just imagine how good they can be when you put them together! In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the exercises that will best benefit your balance as you find inner peace on your paddleboard. Let’s go! 

Easy Pose


mindful woman performing seated twist pose near tree
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If you’re new to paddleboarding, yoga, or both together, try not to do too much too soon. The best way to start is with poses which are ideal for beginners. One such pose is sukhasana, also known simply as the Easy Pose. Rather than stretching muscles and increasing flexibility and balance, this one focuses on getting to grips with the yogic breathing technique. Sit cross legged at the front of your board and look straight ahead. Close your eyes and immerse yourself in the surroundings with your hands on your knees. This is an alternative to the more difficult and ‘classic’ Lotus Pose.

Downward Dog

Adho Mukha Svanasana

Another easy one for beginners, the Downward-facing dog is another of the most recognisable yoga poses. Start with something called the table-top pose.

women practicing yoga
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That’s being on your hands and knees, with the knees a hip width apart. Your shoulders should be directly above you hands. From there, raise your hips until your legs are fully extended and your body is in a V shape. The downward dog builds arm, shoulder, and leg strength – as well as alleviating stress and high blood pressure. 

Plank Pose


Not an easy pose to maintain for a long time, but the plank can built up strength throughout your whole body. You can do the plank from the downward dog position – you just need to switch your weight forward until your shoulders are directly above your wrists.

unrecognizable woman showing three legged downward facing dog pose
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The plank is good for upperbody, spine and core strength. Building core strength will mean that you can paddle harder and faster during regular SUP, so this is a good one if you’re planning to do SUP touring or racing.

Boat Pose


The boat is called so as it looks almost like a small rowing boat bobbing on the water. This pose is ideal for toning abs and strengthening your lower back.

slim barefoot woman performing boat pose on dock
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Keep your back straight and raise it to be 45 degrees from your board. Then, do the same with the legs. From the side, your body will look like a V shape – almost like an reversed downward dog. The final touch is stretching out your hands and arms past your knees. 

Mountain Pose


Tadasana, or the mountain pose, is the starting point for most standing yoga poses. The mountain pose is one of the top ways to improve your balance on the SUP. Stand by the hand well with your big toes together, but the heels slightly apart.

Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay

Stand with your spine tall, throw your shoulders back, and look straight ahead. The mountain pose improves posture and strengthens your knees and ankles.

Crescent Lunge


The crescent lunge is another pose that can be reached from downward facing dog. Bend your right knee to 90 degrees while extending your left out behind you.

slender woman standing in crescent lunge with prayer hands
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This is one of the more challenging poses to do on a paddleboard, but if you’ve mastered it quite easily, consider picking your left knee up off the board! The crescent lunge strengthen your legs and core, while opening up the chest and hips. 

Cobra Pose


Sometimes known as the upward dog pose, it’s clear when you see the cobra pose from the side how it gets its name.

woman doing bhujangasana on sunlit cliff
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Lie down on the board and lift your head, chest, and shoulders as you breathe out. At the same time, your hands should be beneath your shoulders – so you’ll be like a sideways L shape. The cobra pose strengthens the abs, as well as the arms, shoulders, and back. 

Warrior I 

Virabhadrasana I

The first of two warrior poses, this one starts from the mountain pose you saw earlier. Exhale, and move your feet apart while reaching with your arms.

women practicing yoga
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Put your palms together and look forward, or up to your hands. If you have neck problems, keep your head in a neutral position rather than looking up. The Warrior Pose can reduce high blood pressure and is good for circulation. 

Warrior II

Virabhadrasana II

The second warrior pose is one of the most challenging in SUP yoga – thanks to the amount of strength and balanced required to execute it.

female doing high lunge asana in nature
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Your feet should be perpendicular to each other as you spread your arms wide, look straight ahead, and lower your hips. This pose may look simple, but it aligns the whole body and is actually quite intense! 

Corpse Pose


woman relaxing in yoga mat
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The Corpse Pose isn’t the most appealing name, so it’s mostly referred to by its Sanskrit name Savasana. Savasana is the perfect way to end your yoga workout. However, lying completely still and is harder than it looks. To master the savasana, you must slowly inhale and exhale as you lie on your board. The gentle rocking of the water will leave you feel as though you’re floating on the water itself. Shut everything out, meditate, and relax until your worries drift away in the savasana pose.


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