We Found the Perfect Gear For Your SUP Yoga Class

A lot of people who are attracted to this practice like to water-ski, surf or swim. But if you love to workout outdoors in general SUP yoga is for you.

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SUP Yoga
photo credit: shutterstock

Try it if you like to be out in nature or around water while working out

The gist of SUP yoga

SUP yoga, as it sounds, is essentially about doing yoga on a paddleboard, ideally in calm water. The lake is your studio. The board is your yoga mat.

“SUP yoga really requires focused attention,” says instructor Amanda Stokes of Toronto Island SUP Inc. Although yoga always requires focus, with SUP yoga there is even more focus on balance and being aware of what is around you — of what, or who, might be coming toward you on their board, or of how close you are to natural elements like an overhanging tree, says Stokes.

With these distractions, you are still looking for “a still point amid the chaos,” explains Stokes. And doing the warrior pose, the crow, even a headstand on your board, makes for a special kind of challenge.

How the practice started

There are different theories about where SUP yoga comes from — some say California, others say Florida and Hawaii.

SUP yoga is really a natural progression from SUP, says Gudrun Hardes of WSUP Toronto. Some people like to race with the board; others just like to chill. When WSUP Toronto opened six years ago, the practice was just coming to Canada, says Hardes. Now it’s all over the world.

The benefits of SUP yoga

SUP yoga combines many good elements — being outside, doing yoga and joining together with like-minded participants. Although some postures are harder on water, some are actually easier and can feel really good, says Hardes. If you like headstands, for example, the potential to fall into water is likely less intimidating than the idea of hitting your head on hard ground.

What you should wear

Dip into pieces designed to perform on every level. A long-sleeve top and ankle-length leggings with built-in UPF go the distance to shield from sun exposure, while designs that herald pattern and colour-blocking help cut a striking silhouette. A compact backpack with multiple compartments makes it easy to contain dry goods, like chic shades.

Hanging upside down your thang? This gear alone will make you want to try this whimsical and playful practice.

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SUP yoga, top
photo credit: Luis Albuquerque

Go tropical or not at all

Wishing you were somewhere tropical? Well, this long-sleeve is sure to make you feel like you are with its vibrant palm tree pattern. And due to its built-in Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF), you’ll stay shielded from the sun’s harsh rays.

Lolë top, $65 at lolewomen.com.

This SUP yogi shares everything you need to know about the sport.

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SUP yoga, leggings
photo credit: Luis Albuquerque

Legging heaven

These leggings are made from recycled materials which are not only eco-friendly but waterproof as well — so if you fall off your board, it’s really NBD.

Lolë leggings, $100 at lolewomen.com.

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SUP yoga, sports bra
photo credit: Luis Albuquerque

Support the gals

It’s important to give your twins some support — and what better way to do that than with a new sports bra. Its cut out detailing is everything, adding that extra bit of oomph to your outfit without jeopardizing comfort.

Lorna Jane sports bra, $75 at lornajane.ca.

10 signs your body (and your mind) wants to practice yoga.

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SUP yoga, headbands
photo credit: Luis Albuquerque

Headband for a headstand

If you’re into headstands than this headband is a necessity because hair in your face is a no-go when balancing upside down.

Goody headbands, $8 for set of 5 at goody.com.

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SUP yoga, sunglasses
photo credit: Luis Albuquerque

Stay chic

No more squinting with these stylish shades! The sun may be bright but with sunnies on you’ll have a clean view of your surroundings and — more importantly — your board.

Fendi sunglasses, $740 at holtrenfrew.com.

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SUP yoga, backpack
photo credit: Luis Albuquerque

Compact at its best

This is the perfect snack carrier for that Saturday morning yoga class with your gal pals.

MEC backpack, $38 at mec.ca.

Here’s why you should take your yoga practice outdoors.

Originally Published in Best Health Canada

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