Sunday, 11 October 2015

SUP Yoga Comes to Manchester

SUP Yoga has been around down south for a little while, but this class run by Magda of Love & Do Yoga, is the only place offering this new form of exercise in the North West. 
'But what is it?' I hear you cry. Well, wonder no more...

SUP stands for 'Stand Up Paddleboard' and Yoga is, well, yoga. Combine the two and you get a fun and challenging exercise class with a difference: yoga on top of a paddleboard, out on the open water under the blue skies of Manchester. The idea is that practising yoga on the water instead of the more traditional mat on the floor helps to improve your balance further while also using more of your core muscles. It also increases strength and flexibility, while being out in the open air is a more calming experience which helps you to de-stress.
If this all sounds a little daunting - don't panic! It's much easier than you think and first timers and beginners are more than welcome. During the class Magda offers simplified versions of poses and you don't even need to have tried yoga before to give it a go. The emphasis here is very much on having fun and learning.
The class starts with some warm-up yoga on dry land, before an explanation and short tutorial on paddle boarding. Then it's on to the water as you practise standing up on the paddle board and getting used to using your paddle. Once confident, the class paddle out together and attach the boards to the wall and each other for extra stability. A yoga session on top of your board then follows, lasting for about an hour, before relaxation on the board as you float on the water. 
Running every Sunday in Salford Quays, the sessions last for an hour and a half and the price includes buoyancy aid and wet suite hire, as well as the paddle board. With autumn coming, the classes will eventually move inside to the pool at Clarendon Leisure Centre so you can continue to practise all year around.
And don't worry about falling in the water - it's all part of the fun! If you do, have a laugh and get back on your board. 
SUP Yoga, Sundays, 12noon. Helly Hansen Watersports Centre, Salford Quays. Costs £12.50. 
This post first appeared on Time Out Manchester. Click the link on left to see more of my posts for Time Out.