By Jessica Pelligra
Stand-up paddleboard (SUP) yoga, the aquatic pathway to Zen for body and soul, has been gaining momentum on bodies of water around San Diego. Given the vast floating studio bordering our beaches, yogis and newbies have been throwing on sunscreen and hopping aboard the bandwagon.
"SUP yoga is great for all levels," says Bird Rock Yoga's Heather Grisco, who instructs water-bound classes originating from the Catamaran Resort Hotel & Spa and Bahia Resort Hotel on Mission Bay. "It's a great way to challenge yourself; you're literally finding new balance and reconnecting with nature."
Sarah Dymond of San Diego Paddle Yoga says her company's mantra reflects fun, in both scenery and serenity.
"For the last few weeks, we've been visited by a small pod of curious dolphins during class," she says. "During our Night Glow tours, which include LED lights strapped under your board, we'll see everything from stingrays and jellyfish to sand sharks and huge bat rays that glide along with your board."
For those in search of uninhibited liberalism, Elka Yoga offers SUP with no strings attached.
"We don't use anchors on the board like most of the other classes, which makes the experience more fun, as well as challenging," says owner Elka Haeckel, a Brazilian native who teaches SUP yoga at the San Diego Bay near Liberty Station and also enjoys practicing the discipline in the ocean in Rio de Janeiro (see photo on previous page). "Finding stability and balance is the key for our practice, and what SUP Yoga teaches us: the art of being present with the elements."
Cold feet? Say Namaste, then get those feet wet (and then some) and find out what's SUP with this non-terrestrial form of yoga. Ommmm...
San Diego Paddle Yoga
1010 Santa Clara Pl., Mission Beach
Bird Rock Yoga
910 Grand Ave., Ste. 206, Pacific Beach
Elka Yoga & Wellness Center
4166 Voltaire St., Point Loma - opening in July