New Workout Makes Wave

Stand up paddle boarding (SUP), is the latest practice in yoga and core training. It’s typically done on the water but one Naperville studio is offering an indoor alternative.

“I first did SUP on the Puget Sound and just fell in love with it, I thought it was the most awesome thing. Then I found a friend of mine who has a studio in Texas and does a similar class and so when I visited her and took the class I thought this rocks, we have to bring this home and we did,” Mary Frances, Owner of Divine Power Yoga said.

Patrons balance on a board made of laminated plywood, about the size of a traditional yoga mat, that’s on rockers lifted four inches off the ground. Forcing the use of core muscles in order to keep your balance through the motions.

“The idea is that the balance boards that we use simulate what its like to be on a paddleboard in the water,” said Frances. “Doing yoga on the boards encourages you to activate your core and really bring a new presence to your practice. And it’s a lot of fun.”

I recently gave the class a shot and quickly realized you don’t have to be a devote “yogi” to feel the burn.

“On the board you can’t cheat and you experienced that! So you have to engage the core or your balance is off and splash. This reminds you to do those things and in order for you to come into the pose you need to ground your feet and activate your core, you’re constantly activating your balance and using both sides of the brain,” Frances said.

I wasn’t the only one feeling it Kent Christensen, who has done yoga for over five -years also enjoys this new way to practice. Christensen now prefers the paddleboard to traditional yoga.

“I like the board because of the challenge and the forced attention. Sometimes I can get to class and slack my way through it but this keeps you honest,” said Christensen.

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