Gear up for a paddle board yoga session.
Whether a novice or paddle board yoga expert, the following sequence will prepare you for a day on the water by opening up your shoulders and firing up your core through asana (pose), pranayama (breath) and vinyasa (linking movement with breath).
Throughout this sequence, engage your core and build strength from the inside by utilizing a diaphragmatic breath. Each time you inhale, allow your abdomen to expand. While exhaling, mindfully squeeze your navel toward your spine. Through breath and motion, you can begin to connect with your surroundings, build inner stability and prepare for any challenges you may face on or off the water.
Surrender to gravity and begin to inhale and exhale slowly through your nostrils. Use these first few moments to quiet your mind, observing only your breath and slowly following its path through your physical body.
Kneeling Sun Salutation (top picture)
Begin the sequence by warming up the spine with 3-9 kneeling sun salutations. On an inhalation, circle your arms around and rise to stand on your knees with your palms lightly touching overhead. As you exhale, press your navel back toward your spine, using core strength to drop back to child’s pose with your hands falling by your heels. Continue to move with your breath, rising to stand on your knees with each inhalation and pressing back to child’s pose with each exhalation.
With hands directly under shoulders, spread your fingers wide, and press into the ground. Stack your hips directly over your knees, and press the tops of your feet into the ground as you begin to contract your abdominal muscles.
Bowing Sunbird (chakravakasana)
Stretch your right leg out long behind you, keeping it even with your hip, while pointing your toes. Lean forward bringing your shoulders a few inches in front of your hands and begin to slowly lower your nose to the ground, squeezing your elbows back and in toward the rib cage. Hover with your nose a few inches above the ground for three deep breaths. Slowly press back to tabletop and repeat with the left leg lifted.
Return to tabletop and extend your right leg straight back. Find a steady point to gaze at (drishti), and reach your left arm in front of you with the thumb turned up toward the sky. Inhale, fully extending the arm and leg, then exhale and round through the back, squeezing the elbow in toward the knee. Repeat 2-5 times.
Reach your right leg out long behind you and your left hand in front of you, engage the core, and extend. Begin to bend your knee, lifting your foot up toward the sky, and reach back with your left hand for your right ankle or foot. Continue pressing your foot upward while opening through the shoulder, and raise your gaze towards the sun.
Bring the moves with you. Download pdf instructions.