On Tuesday and Saturdays at 8 am, Bay Shore Outfitters offers a Stand Up Paddleboard Yoga Class at Waterfront Park in Sister Bay. I had the opportunity to attend a Saturday session recently. Theresa Evans of Stone Path Yoga instructs the one-hour yoga session, and the last 30 minutes are free for the participants to use as they please – paddle down the Sister Bay shoreline or further yoga practice.
Evans is a fantastic instructor – she focuses on the core of the movements and poses, how to do them rather than what they should look like.
The sounds of the water and birds overhead are soothing, which helped me to focus on myself more easily than I do when practicing in other yoga classes. This was my first time on a Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP for short); but, having grown up canoeing, balancing and paddling came naturally to me.
The instability of the board on the water added a new dimension to my yoga practice. In so many yoga classes, while we are there to search for our center and to strive for perfect alignment, it is easy to slip into whatever habit our bodies have formed; if our shoulders slouch forward, or if our hips are positioned too far behind our torso, we tend to relax into that habit. I found that practicing yoga on the SUP forced me to truly find my center in order to keep from falling in the water.
I made it through without falling, but only because I stayed within a range of movement that I was comfortable with. Others did fall in and, laughing, gracefully pulled themselves back onto the board and back into practice.
The class is $35. Participants can sign up by stopping into Bay Shore Outfitters or by calling them at 920.854.7598. Their Sturgeon Bay location also offers the class at Otumba Park; the number for the Sturgeon Bay location is 920.818.0431. For more information visit kayakdoorcounty.com.