I am the first to admit it: my emotions are often connected to my environment. It’s something I work on all winter but once the sun comes out in spring and I feel its warmth on my body I fully submit, I feel more alive and I can’t help dreaming of being on my paddle board once again.

Standup paddle boards are essentially surfboards. With a paddle in hand, one is able to travel a greater distance and maintain balance. It’s also a lot easier than surfing! Almost anyone can stand up paddle board, which is another reason I love it: inclusivity.

I first tried surfing in Maui about six years ago and while I enjoyed it, I wasn’t very good outside of the lesson environment. When I returned to Maui for my 200 Hour yoga teacher training in 2014, one of my teachers taught yoga and surfed and she told me about the similarities in skills with both activities. When I returned to BC I discovered stand up paddleboarding (sup) and then sup yoga and I was intrigued.

I was on a board only two or three times before I bought my own board, falling in love with being on the water once again. I began to take my practice to the water and took my sup yoga teacher training with Kristy Wright Schell the following year, knowing that I wanted to share the passion I have on my board with others.

You’ve likely heard your yoga teacher talk about “staying present” in your yoga practice but you have no idea what this is like to sustain until you take a class on the water. Practicing in the sun and being on the lake may be mesmerizing and may recharge your body and soul but “staying present” while being on a paddle board brings new meaning to the phrase. This is one of my favorite reasons to take my practice to the board when the weather permits. You will undoubtedly know when you are not maintaining presence in a sup yoga class because you’ll be wet! But even if or when that happens, it’s fun and refreshing too! Sup yoga also teaches you to not take yourself too seriously and have fun!

Sup yoga classes are the perfect way to challenge your own practice, laugh at yourself and enjoy the beautiful Pacific Northwest we are blessed to live in. I hope to see you on the lake this summer, challenging your own practice by joining me in a sup yoga class!  Link to my page to view classes for this summer and save a spot for yourself!

Monica M.sup yoga

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