I tried it: Paddleboard Yoga

By Melanie Masterson

Here at the beautiful Great Lakes of Michigan there is a trend emerging. It is Paddle board Yoga. When I first saw it on the cover of Yoga Journal I thought the idea sounded crazy. I figured it was hard enough to stand up on a paddle board much less do yoga on it. Then the yoga studio I teach at, Lakeshore Yoga, started offering it. And I got a text from the owner, Carey Burns, saying us teachers could come take the class for free. How could I pass it up?


The first time I went out I wore a swim suit and brought a towel, ready to fall in. I was terrified I would freeze since it just never really warmed up this summer. The class was led by Tori from Knee Deep living, a paddle board company here in Grand Haven, MI. Tori started by giving us a lesson on the basics of paddle boarding. Then we paddled out to the middle of the lake and I managed to do just fine. We anchored down and commenced to do yoga. We did some very basic yoga poses and went slow. I miraculously did not fall in! Then we paddled back. I stayed dry the whole time.

The second time I went we did some fancier poses. This time I felt brave and confident. I wore regular clothes and left the towel at home. I did great until we got to triangle pose. I forgot I was on a paddle board and decided I really wanted perfect form for my triangle pose. Well that perfect form fell right into the water. And then two times after that trying back bend and tree pose. I think I was having a bad balance day as we sometimes do in our yoga practice. I just laughed at myself and accepted it. Later, a couple others fell in doing tripod handstand and extended leg balancing pose.

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Overall, paddle board yoga is an amazing way to take yoga to a whole other level. Going out on the water, watching the birds, communing with fellow yogis is what it really is about. And just gazing out of the peaceful water really helps one hone in the tranquility we are all trying to achieve in yoga. It is an experience that helps one see and feel the whole purpose of life which is just to enjoy ourselves and open up to the wonders of the universe.


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