Every month we give 4 more yoga poses to try on your paddle board. This month we look at Upward Bow Pose, Standing Forward Fold, Double Pigeon with Eagle Arms and Lizard Pose. For last months poses you can click here.

Upward Bow Pose (Urdhva Dhanurasana)

Urdhva Dhanurasana is such a fun posture to do on a paddle board. You get to see the water upside down and just hang out. In yogic tradition, this asana opens your heart, allowing you to open up to new possibilities and forget old hurts. It is supposed to invigorate you and make your more daring. Also, it feels great to extend your spine after a lot of paddle boarding.

How to Get Into it:

  1. Lie down on your board with the handle bellow your pelvis. Bend your knees and place your feet close enough you can graze them with your fingers. Make sure your feet are parallel. Place your palms down by your temples, fingers spread and pointing towards your shoulders.
  2. Inhale to come up to the crown of your head and then push up from here, bending your body into a bow.
  3. Push your weight towards your arms. Think of squeezing your thighs in to keep your knees from splaying out. Maintain this posture for 5 breaths or to your own capacity. Lower back down carefully and go into a counter pose like bringing your knees into your chest.

Benefits:

  • Stretches the chest and lungs
  • Strengthens the arms, shoulders, abdomen, legs, buttocks and spine
  • Lengthens the spine and hip flexors
  • Opens the heart chakra (as with all back bends)
  • Alleviates asthma, back pain and osteoporosis

Counter Poses:

Marichyasana C and D

Parivrtta Supta Trikonasana (revolved triangle lying down).

Contraindications:

Avoid this posture if you have a back injury, heart problems, high or low blood pressure, or Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (do Setu Bandhasana instead),

Always work within your own range of limits and abilities. If you have any medical concerns, talk with your doctor before practicing yoga.

Standing Forward Fold (Padangusthasana)

Standing Forward Fold SUP 2

How to Get Into It:

  1. Stand tall at the centre of your board with your feet spread hip-width apart. Inhale to raise your arms up to the sky and as you exhale, bend at the hips to lower your arms upper body.
  2. Grab hold of your big toes with your peace fingers. Flatten the back and look forward on and inhale (picture above).
  3. Exhale to bring your chest towards your legs. Use the hold you have on your toes to deepen the stretch. Try to keep your shoulders relaxed and away from your ears.
  4. It’s important that you engage your uddiyyana bandha by tucking the belly towards the spine. This will help you move further into the fold while protecting your spine. Hold for 5 deep breaths.

Benefits:

  • Stretches the spine, hamstrings, calves, QL
  • Strengthens the thighs
  • Relieves stress and anxiety
  • Calms the mind and increases concentration
  • Stimulates digestive organs, the kidneys and liver

Counter Poses:

Triangle pose (Trikonasa)

Chair pose (Utkatasana)

Contraindications:

Avoid this pose if you have lower back or neck injuries. If you have a herniated disc, practice this posture with a flat back only.

Double Pigeon with Eagle arms (Agnistambha Garudasana)

 

Double Pigeon with Eagle arms SUP

How to Get Into It:

  1. Begin in a seated position. Bend your right leg and place it on the board. Now bend your left leg and place the left ankle over the right knee. Your legs should be resting one on top of the other and lined up ankle over knee.
  2. Extend your arms out in front of you. Inhale to bring your right arm under your left, bending your elbows at 90 degrees. Reach your arm hand through to bring the palms together. Lift your elbows to increase the stretch.
  3. If bringing your arms into this position does not feel right for you, bring them onto the board front of you. Bend forward at the waist and walk your hands up to feel an increased stretch in the hips.

Benefits:

  • Stretches the hips, groins, upper back and shoulder
  • Strengthens the legs
  • Relieves tension, stress and anxiety
  • Stimulates digestive fire (agni)
  • Calms the mind

Counter Poses:

Cow face pose (Gomukhasana)

Chair pose (Utkatasana)

Contraindications:

Avoid this posture if you have had recent knee surgery, knee or ankle injuries or lower back pain.

Lizard Pose (Utthan Pristhasana)

Lizard Pose SUP

This is a posture you either love or hate at the beginning, but eventually everyone grows to like it. It is an intense hip-opening pose that stretches the hamstrings, gluteus muscles and hip flexors. If you often feel pain in your knees on a day-to-day basis, it may mean that you need to stretch your hips out. Try integrating this pose into your SUP yoga routine and see how you feel!

How to Get Into It: 

  1. Begin from high plank. Step your right foot to the outside of your right hand.
  2. Bring your forearms down onto the board as you lower your left leg onto the deck. The top of your left foot and knee should now the resting on the board.
  3. Turn your right foot out and open your knee to the right to intensify the stretch. If this feels too intense, come up onto your hands again instead of resting on your forearms.
  4. Keep your neck long and try not to hold any tension in it. Maintain your spine neutral by working to keep the shoulder blades together.
  5. Stay in this pose for 5 breaths before coming back to high plank and repeating on the other side.

Benefits:

  • Stretches the hamstrings, quadriceps, hip flexors and gluteus muscles
  • Strengthens the legs and increases flexibility in the groin
  • Alleviates stress, anxiety and fatigue
  • Prepares the body for deeper hip opening postures like lotus pose

Counter Poses:

Balasana (Child’s pose)

Contraindications:

Avoid this posture if you have any leg injuries or suffer from sciatica or lower back pain.

Author: Lia

Lia is a WPA certified paddle board instructor and a Paddle Into Fitness certified SUP yoga instructor. Her husband and her founded Tuga SUP out of Toronto, Canada. They spend their winters in Venezuela, where the weather is perfect for being out on the water.