Finding Balance on the Water With SUP Yoga
By: Elise Hugus, August 1, 2012
DON PARKINSON/ENTERPRISE - SUP Yoga teacher Melissa Lorusso guides her class into a balanced crescent lunge.
Want to get toned up for the summer, but dread the thought of being stuck inside at the gym? Max and relax outdoors with a yoga class at the beach!
Whether you’re new to the practice or are a master on the mat, doing yoga outdoors is a whole new way to enjoy the art of stretching, strengthening and breathing.
Just picture yourself warming up for your day with sun salutations in the morning sunshine, breathing in tune with the waves.
Once you’ve had a taste of doing yoga near the water, there’s only one more place you can take it. You guessed it: on the water.
A new yoga trend
While yoga can give you incredible balance, you won’t be able to do chataranga, the dolphin or the bow in the water without some assistance. That’s where Stand Up Paddle (SUP) boards can help.
SUP Yoga is the latest yoga craze to hit the West Coast, says Melissa Lorusso, a yoga teacher at Uptown Body who is bringing SUP yoga to Megansett Harbor in North Falmouth for the first time this summer.
What'SUP with yoga?
SUP Yoga takes place on Tuesdays at 6:30 AM and Thursdays at 9:30 AM at the public dock at Meganssett Harbor, North Falmouth.
The next series starts on August 7 or August 9.
For more information or to reserve a spot in a SUP yoga class, contact Melissa Lorusso at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (774) 994-1682.
It costs $72 for the entire session—or $180 if you need a board, supplied by Mocean of Mashpee Commons. A $50 non-refundable deposit is due the first day of class to hold a spot. Visa and Mastercard are accepted.
Lorusso recommends wearing a bathing suit and/or board shorts to class, and bringing water, a towel, sunscreen and sunglasses with a neckpiece.
In case of wind or rain, another class will be scheduled.
“In the summer I want to be outside. I love going out to paddle and explore,” says Lorusso, a former whitewater river guide who transitioned into teaching yoga after having her first child four years ago.
“On Cape Cod, we have so many opportunities to be on the water, so why not bring our yoga practice into it?”
Balance and coordination
Balancing on a surprisingly sturdy SUP board (stabilized with 5-8 pound mushroom anchors), doing yoga on the water takes additional coordination and balance, Lorusso says.
“It’s a ton more in your core, with all those stabilizing muscles working,” she says. “The thing that’s awesome, if you fall, it’s in the water. It’s not going to hurt.”
Though the classes will be a little more “static” than in the vinyasa flow she teaches in the studio, Lorusso says it’s entirely possible to do advanced poses on a SUP board.
“I do headstands on the board all the time. I’m challenging myself to do a forearm stand. My inversions have really changed from practicing on the board because I’m no longer afraid to fall. I’m more willing to try anything on a board,” she says.
After each 90-minute yoga class, participants will go on a 15-minute paddle around Megansett Harbor. No experience is necessary to get going on a SUP board, says Lorusso, but a sense of adventure and curiosity is helpful.