I may be a little biased when it comes to the best SUP Yoga spots in the world, but when you’re lucky enough to share and teach such a wonderful experience on the water, you can’t help but become a little attached to the places you travel to.
SUP Yoga for those who aren't familiar, refers to practicing yoga on a stand-up paddleboard. It may seem like a scary concept, but it’s something anyone can try.
A SUP board is essentially a giant surfboard and provides a very buoyant yoga mat for you to gracefully float on. With enough instruction, you’ll be in downward facing dog in no time.
What’s the trick to mastering SUP Yoga? Balancing your body, using your muscles equally across the board and continuing to breathe deep even when you think you’re inches away from falling into the water.
SUP Yoga is about the experience – not flexibility or strength – although both of those things will improve the more you practice. The yoga postures are modified to suit the shape of the board allowing all abilities to enjoy the class without the fear of falling in, at the same time as helping build confidence on the water.
The final piece of the puzzle is the location.
Flat water is very important to ensure you’re not being knocked off balance by waves, and a school or class which has the ability to anchor is a great way to practice because you don’t have to worry about the wind, tide or where your instructor is.
Whether you’re staying in Australia this summer or planning a European escape next winter, make sure to add a SUP Yoga class to your list of things to do on holiday.
Or, you could always join me on one of my SUP Yoga retreats, the only ones that are run specifically for SUP Yoga in Australia. Some of the best places to get your hands on a SUP board and join a SUP Yoga class are listed below but rest assured, this past time is growing in popularity and schools are popping up all over the world.
Noosa Heads, Australia
Noosa is known for its pristine coves, calm waters and balmy vibes with a touch of luxury. With stunning waterways just behind its sparkling main beach, Noosa Heads is a tropical haven waiting to be explored on a SUP board.
You can combine your SUP Yoga class with a tour of the local waterways or even test your new-found balance skills on the open water as you explore beaches around the national park and paddle with turtles and dolphins while looking back at the koalas in the trees.
Kuda Huraa, Maldives
Imagine sitting on your SUP board surrounded by tropical fish while basking in sunshine in the middle of the Indian Ocean. For many, the Maldives is the epitome of paradise.
Most islands in the Maldives are surrounded by coral reefs blooming with underwater creatures which are so beautiful you could snorkel for hours. Kuda Huraa is no exception; its stunning reefs protect the island, creating calm lagoons to enjoy swimming, SUP’ing, kayaking and windsurfing. Earlier this year I helped launch the SUP Yoga program at the 5-star Four Seasons Maldives.
For me, the Maldives is the ultimate location for SUP Yoga. You're in a picture-perfect aquatic playground where the water is so warm and inviting that it’s a necessity to fall or jump in during a class simply because it’s too beautiful to stay dry.
Watsons Bay, Australia
Watsons Bay may be best known for its seafood and Friday afternoon drinks, but this little fishing cove in Sydney is the perfect spot for a bit of SUP Yoga – followed by a decadent lunch looking back over Sydney Harbour, of course. Watsons Bay now has its very own SUP specific school and conducts daily tours along the foreshore exploring hidden bays, grand houses and natural scenery. Or, you could take a trip around the corner to Rose Bay to join a SUP Yoga specific class with Workout On Water.
Croatia is known for its turquoise waters, gorgeous stone buildings and sailing, but I bet you never thought you could practice SUP Yoga on the stunning Adriatic Sea?
Medulin Beach located in northern Croatia is one of the many beaches and coves that form part of the Medulin Riviera. Consisting of white sand and shingle beaches, it is more suitable than the southern coastline to practice stand up paddleboarding.
Metta Float is a SUP Yoga specific school that takes its yogis onto the crystal clear water for classes and night glow paddle tours that look back on the green pine trees and out to the untouched, uninhabited archipelago islands scattering the coastline. They also use world-famous Boga Yoga Boards which are specifically designed as a floating yoga mat as part of a floating yoga studio.
This part of Croatia is stunning and combines the best of its neighbouring country Italy (only 2.5 hours to Venice by car) and Croatian delicacies with sparkling seas. It should definitely become one of your top European locations to visit!