If you didn't grab a paddle board and strike a pose at the Spruce Street Harbor Park last summer, then here's your chance to finally downward dog on the water. SUP Yoga will be back on Wednesday, June 17.
SUP Yoga, also known as Paddle Board Yoga, is a unique combo of Stand Up Paddle Boarding and yoga. Only on the fitness scene for the last couple of years, this yoga class offered by Aqua Vida not only offers the benefits of yoga (flexibility, strength, balance and focus), but the floating studio allows you to commune with nature while you are doing it. (We tried it last year, see our review here!)
"SUP Yoga offers those who are landlocked the surfer lifestyle. It is a different perspective than sitting in a kayak," explained Jana Mars, owner and co-founder of Aqua Vida, who is also a certified Stand Up Paddle Boarding and SUP Yoga instructor.
But what if I fall in?
All right, you know you were internally asking this question. Mars assures us that this is not an issue.
"Aqua Vida's classes are designed to be stable. The modifications and variations that we offer, we choose carefully based on the skills of the individual yogi. That's the primary reason why we keep our classes small, so that we can cue in on each student's skill level."
"Safety is of paramount importance. Each student wears a life jacket, and each board is anchored to maintain the class structure," she added.
"SUP Yoga is a progressive practice. Everyone who gets on the board is a beginner and we like to stress that. You can be the most adventurous of yogis on land, but on the board, the most basic asanas, even Downward Facing Dog or Forward Fold, can be very challenging at first. As such, we move slowly, and each student is given the opportunity to explore the nuances of every pose like never before, whether it's your first time practicing yoga or you're a seasoned yogi."
Flow with the tide
Classes run Wednesday evenings and Saturdays from June 17 to September 26.
"The most beautiful thing about our practice, in our opinion, is the connection we make with nature. We studied the tide charts very carefully and we only selected the times that offer the most serene, favorable conditions," Mars said.
To reserve a board, visit www.aquavidasup.com and click Reserve. The cost is $45 with a board rental, or $30 if you BYOB (bring your own board). Spruce Street Harbor Park is located at Penn's Landing at Columbus Boulevard and Spruce Street.
A portion of each registration will go to local water conservation organizations. In its effort to help raise awareness for local water conservation efforts, Aqua Vida is also partnering with United By Blue to organize events and river cleanups this summer.