Try This: Paddleboard Yoga

Does combining two good things make one, even better thing? I would say yes in many cases, and sporks, peanut butter cups and romcoms are all evidence. But what about combining two seemingly opposite activities – like paddleboarding and yoga. Does this make as fun of a combination as something like brunch? 

To learn for myself, I joined Peninsula Kayak Company last week for an hour-long beginner paddleboard yoga class with instructor Michelle Schneider. The class was held at Sister Bay Beach on a calm, clear morning – weather and wind conditions are important to think about when scheduling classes, Schnieder said. White caps and high wind levels make it impossible to stay steady on the board. We got lucky with a warm, sunny (and only slightly breezy) day. 

Before the class, we started by paddling a few yards out into the water, and anchoring our boards (I found that despite the anchor, our boards had the tendency to spin around with our movement and the light breeze.) After a few minutes of grounding ourselves and getting used to the board in child’s pose, we started to move. The class was similar to a typical beginner yoga class, moving through vinyasa – mountain pose, cobra, downward dog. The only difference Schneider said, is that “the ground moves,” forcing participants to engage their core and focus more on balance. The instability also engages muscles typically not used when doing yoga on stable ground, making the poses more challenging. Schneider modified some of the poses to allow for greater balance, and we were encouraged to check-in with ourselves and our sense of balance throughout the class. 

As we moved through the practice, I noticed how much attention we were drawing – watching people attempt headstands and backbends while on a floating board certainly kept a number of beachgoers entertained. At one point, a group of kids perplexed by what we were doing dragged their small paddleboard out into the water and attempted to follow along, resulting in a contest to see who could push each other off the board. 

By the end of the class, I think everyone was pretty impressed with themselves. We all made it through without falling off – although we all had close calls, too. But falling off the board is all part of the fun, Schneider said, and can be a good way to cool off. 

Paddleboard yoga may seem daunting, but I found it to be a fun and unique way to slow down, practice focus and get a little stretching and core workout in. If you can do yoga and you also paddle board, paddleboard yoga is definitely possible, Schneider said. 

So yes, combining two good things makes something equally fun, and just as approachable as yoga and paddleboarding are separately. 

For more information on class times and paddleboard rentals, check out