With the ever-increasing range of wellness activities in Hong Kong, locals and tourists will never find themselves stuck on things to do. Yoga and meditation are celebrated for their mindful benefits, hence the constant openings of new studios across town. If you’re a yogi who loves the outdoors, SUP Yoga (Stand Up Paddleboard) might just be the perfect combination for you. Co-Founder of Island Paddle Hong Kong, Niall Westley, shares a few tips to maximise your first practice on board.
Pick a nice calm day for your first SUP yoga outing
The board will challenge your balance in poses you normally find easy on land. So pick a day when the water is super flat, and you won’t have the extra difficulty of waves rocking you from side to side. Using a weather app like the HK Observatory App or Windy to find a day without much wind is a good start. And you can always get in touch with a local watersports schools to get an expert opinion on the conditions.
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Go out with a friend
Practicing yoga with a friend, or group of friends can be a ton of fun. But it is also super useful to have an extra pair of hands to help with your paddleboard, and to help out if you ever get into a sticky situation.
Use a nice wide board for SUP Yoga
The wider the board, the easier it is to balance. Practice on a larger board at least around 36″ wide, so that you don’t end up in the sea during your first sun salutation! Most brands make SUPs for yoga and fitness, but if you can’t find one, a beginner SUP board should do the job pretty well too.
Pick easy poses to start with
Don’t dive straight in with a headstand or an arm balance. Start slow with poses low to the board to get an understanding of how it moves under you. Then move onto an easy sun salutation, before challenging yourself with more advanced standing and balancing poses.
Look up at the horizon, slightly bend your knees and relax your shoulders and neck to help with your balance. And don’t sweat about falling in. It happens to everyone now and then!
Always stay safe
Take basic precautions, like making sure that you can swim at least 50 metres before your first practice. Tell a friend about your plans before heading out on the water. And wear sunscreen!