SUP Yoga with Old Town Yoga - What's Up with That?

I must have spotted the SUP yoga class on Old Town Yoga Studio's Facebook Page, of which I was a fan before I moved to Fort Collins.

I'd been wanting to try a stand-up paddleboard, aka SUP, for a long time. And since I like yoga, too, it was a way to tackle two must-dos at once under Horsetooth rock.

It sounds unnatural, right? Or at a minimum, very challenging. It was all of that and none of it.

After a bit of introduction on how to use the SUPs from the owner of the boards, we were off. His preference was that we go shoeless, and chucking my Chacos on the beach at Satanka Bay, we were off with certified SUP yoga instructor Ange of Old Town Yoga bringing up the caboose of our 15 or so paddleboarding yogis.

Many of us kneeled. Probably all the first-timers. (And there were a lot of first-time SUP users.) Eventually, every one of us was standing up as we made our way into an adjacent, calm cove. Few of us had experience with SUP Yoga, making me all the more comfortable with this experiment.

With guidance from Ange, who drew on her 25 hours (cool, right?) of training in teaching SUP yoga and safety, we began our practice.

I won't bore you with the sequence of postures. Know that they were gentle. Perhaps even too easy for land-loving participants. (I'm a novice yogi, and was happily joined by some with greater flexibility and strength during this class.) I can guess what you want to know.

1. Did anyone fall in?
No one fell in! And I'm telling you, the level of experience with yoga was obviously varied. It should be noted that one guy did jump in - to applause! - as the class came to a close. Ange said we'd have fun, and she meant it!

2. Did you worry you'd fall in?
Nah. To quote Ange, "It's water. Just water." I did worry that if/when I lost my balance, I'd disrupt others and cause a chain reaction of tumbling yogis. Didn't happen.

2. Was it hard?
No. And that doesn't mean it was easy. It was different from any other yoga experience I've had, but that was the goal! Ange warmly explained  we should adjust our postures so we lowered our center of gravity and had more stability on what at first seemed to be a remarkably unstable surface. This helped build confidence. By the end of the class, the board felt as though it was anchored to my feet and the reservoir floor - in other words, very stable.

3. What did you wear?
I wore a Land's End two-piece tankini and Columbia shorts that dry quickly along with one of my favorite sporty shirts from Columbia - the long-sleeve button up dries easily and protects my fair (and freckled) back and shoulders from the sun. And sunscreen. Always with the sunscreen. Protip: Bring a towel.

4. How much was it?
Save for gas, I was all in at $42. $35 for the class, including the paddleboard rental and $7 for parking at Horsetooth Reservoir. If you register late, the cost increases to $45. And if you own your own board, you can enjoy the class for just $15. Soon, Old Town Yoga will be buying its own SUPs to the studio - for rent and sale, Ange tells me.

5. When's the next class?
Old Town Yoga updates their class schedule regularly on their site, but at this writing, the next class is Thursday, Aug. 6 at the reservoir. If you're interested, sign up. They fill fast! It looks like the last class in this series is Aug. 27. Check their schedule though - Ange says they're adding a Saturday class and she'll be leading a SUP teacher training in the spring.

What do you think? Will you try (or have you tried) SUP Yoga? Why or why not?
posted by
Juliette Rule
Juliette Rule is a former social media and public relations manager for Sierra Trading Post. She loves riding her mountain bike or road bike - in every Colorado season. Juliette lives in Fort Collins, Colo., with her rescued Australian cattle dog, Maszlo.
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