Paddle board yoga is a jump-off trend from the popular SUP movement, as active lifestyle consumers take to the water to practice some om. Often shrugged as a fluffy hobby, the activity is a mind-body punch that can improve performance in other core sports like running and cycling, while for retailers, it’s another opportunity for hardgood sales and to engage through local paddle board yoga events.
Excuses that stopped consumers in the past might have sounded like: I’m not flexible enough, I don’t live close to an ocean or lake, it looks too easy for my training routine, or I don’t have a group to go with. Here are ten rebuffs to obliterate the alibis.

1. Double-Whammy: According to the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) (doctors licensed to practice both medicine and surgery), yoga is a healing system that can lessen chronic pain, help balance the metabolism and increase flexibility. Add these perks to the calming effects water has on the brain, plus the excitement of trying something new and you have an experience consumers will remember (and most likely return to).

2. Retreats: Many retailers and studios promote seasonal retreats that further connect their members to the brand, retailer or studio. These retreats double as a vacation for the consumer, who returns home feeling healthier and connected to a new community.

3. Core: Yoga on solid ground is great for developing your core — which is the powerhouse for any workout. Water adds an extra element of instability, so users are forced to contract all the muscles in the abdomen. “There is so much more balance and stability required on the SUP,” said Boulder, CO-based yoga instructor Sarah Bonsall. “So-called ‘standard’ poses, such as crescent lunge, are a lot more challenging than they would be on solid ground, making it a necessity to maintain focus and fire up your core to do any yoga pose on the SUP.”

Boardworks Joyride Flow

4. Hitting Crow: The joy of accomplishing a hold can only be compared to hitting a PR. “It’s super challenging in paddle board yoga, but that’s what makes exploration and new success that much more rewarding,” Bonsall said. Working to a goal like pose stability also builds coping skills and concentration, which are key benefits outlined by the AOA.

5. The Studio: You’re practicing on the water which means more sunlight, greater sights and no cell phones. For busy parents or young people, it allows them a chance to ditch the electronics for an hour and touch-base with nature.

6. Fall 9 Times, Get Up 10: You will wobble. You will fall. But that can be great for a couple reasons: One, you’re falling into the water, so you get a cool down and no pain for fumbling. Two, trying and falling brings us back to being a child. Practice becomes play and you learn to laugh at yourself and not take things so serious. Enjoying failure and seeing it instead as trying something new and learning will make you a better person overall.

Pro Tip: Maintain balance on the water by keeping a steady breath (the tendency is to hold your breath creates a lot of tension in the rest of your body), focus, have perseverance, read your body, make adjustments, explore your limits and cross train — especially stabilizer muscles in your legs and ankles.

7. Joyride Flow: This killer SUP board made by Boardworks, $1,099 to 1,350, is a full soft deck designed around stability, with a yogi mandala print. Retailers and studios should expect beginners to be the bulk of their attendees, so lighter, wider boards with flat rockers and thick foils are more welcoming. The Joyride Flow board is also shorter, making it easier to carry and transport.

8. Variety: There are more than 100 different styles of yoga, so one school or method is sure to fit what every consumer needs and wants. Variety also means it’s never a dull workout, and the wingspan to include a range of consumers is there.

9. Social Hits: Plenty of sweet Instagram and Facebook photo opportunities. (Tip: Have them tag your retail shop in the photo for extra exposure.)

10. Cool Instructors: Paddle sports instructors have that hang-loose surfer attitude, while yoga teachers have the wise quotes and gentle spirit. Combined, you’re looking at one cool instructor that will make the class easier to come back to, and inspire consumers to make apparel and hardgoods
purchases based off recommendation and style inspiration.

Photos courtesy Boardworks