SUP Yoga Teacher Training Day 1 – Marina Del Rey – Los Angeles
There is something so magical and metamorphic about the combination of yoga and water, it brings with it an all-pervading peacefulness of spirit. I think that’s why I instantly fell in love with SUP Yoga (Stand Up Paddle Board Yoga) last year in London and why I chose to do a training course in it this year. Being out on the open water is incredibly liberating – gulping lungfuls of air and listening to the lapping of the water on your board has an almost meditative quality. Combined with yoga it’s a winning combination. So imagine my delight when I found a paddle boarding course with Yogaqua a stone’s throw from one of my new favourite healthy holiday haunts of Venice Beach, LA . . . I just had to do it! And I’m delighted to say so far I haven’t been disappointed with my investment. In the next five days I’ll be chronicling the highs and the lows as well as the inevitable splashes and falling-ins of the SUP Yoga Teacher Training course with Yogaqua, stay tuned!
I met Sarah of Yogaqua at 10am on Tuesday at Marina Del Rey, Los Angeles, a fifteen minute walk from where I was staying in Venice Beach. She was easy to spot due to her bright truck adorned with the slogan ‘Where The Ocean Is Your Yoga Mat’. An all-American beauty, Sarah is the living, breathing manifestation of what I imagined a SUP Yoga teacher to look like, tanned and toned and happy! Just back from teaching at Wanderlust, Sarah makes Marina Del Rey her SUP Yoga home and teaches regular classes there as well as teacher trainings. I’m incredibly lucky to have her one-to-one attention this week as it’s not quite the season (it’s spring here right now but the sun is still blazing). We spent the first hour and a half paddling around the Marina admiring the super yachts (after the initial wobble I was surprised at how quickly the balance came back from my little experience). learning paddling skills whilst spotting the sunbathing seals. It was breathtaking and peaceful all at the same time. Once we’d done a loop we came back in to the harbour and anchored the boards for a little yoga flow. I say little, it was a actually quite intense and there was lots of ab work involved . . . paddle board yoga is all about the core to help with the balance and so it’s no surprise that this features heavily in the practice! At first I was a little shaky but Sarah’s calm instructions and soothing tone of voice really helped me feel like I could master it and before I knew it I was doing a crow and a headstand! Not very well, granted, but for a first day it wasn’t a bad effort. I can see how with this particular sport it really is a case of practice makes perfect but that’s ok because I have thirty hours of practice ahead of me! I know all the hard work will be worth it though . . . and I’m particularly looking forward to the sunset paddle on Friday evening.
Apparently tomorrow is about learning more paddle skills (racing and turning) and breaking down the yoga postures as a lot of them need to be taught slightly differently on the board on account of balance points, can’t wait!