Eclipse Viewing from the Water: Bald Eagles and Crescent Moons

When I found out that parts of western North Carolina were in the path of totality for the solar eclipse I immediately new that I wanted to view it from the water. My husband and I (and Ceiba the schnoodle) launched our SUPs below Wesser Falls on the Nantahala River. We paddled the flow out and into Lake Fontana and the skies were clear! About 45 minutes into the eclipse the light started to change. We noticed crescent moon shadows traveling across our boards when we floated under trees. The shadows also appeared to be much crisper than usual. We 

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Ayurveda Tips for Staying Cool in the Heat of Summer

The hot summer months are considered the season of Pitta (Fire) in Ayurveda. The hot qualities of Pitta can lead to overheating, skin conditions such as rashes, digestive disruptions such as diarrhea and feelings of frustration and anger. According to Ayurveda, it’s important to incorporate opposite qualities into our diet and lifestyle to counteract the most prominent qualities of each season. By bringing in opposite qualities to the heat of summer, we help our bodies maintain balance, health and vitality. Here are my top 5 tips for staying healthy and cool this summer: 1. Enjoy the water! This season is 

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Yoga for Paddling: Relieving Low Back Pain

Here in the U.S. we spend over 100 billion dollars per year on low back pain relief (trying to get it). What is most astounding about this is that most, if not all, low back pain is avoidable. The key is knowledge, understanding and a little discipline too. First, your low back pain and discomfort have nothing to do with your low back. Paddlers who get out of their boats or off their boards and immediately do a forward fold to stretch their low backs are actually exacerbating the problem. We incorrectly assume that the discomfort we feel is directly 

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Ecuador Womens Trip Recap by Tracy Welch

Tracy won the trip to Ecuador at the Ladies Southeast Paddling Series party and raffle in October. Here, she tells her experience in her own words: I wasn’t sure what to expect when I stepped off the plane in Ecuador, but I knew it was going to be awesome. I met my other trip mates when we waited for luggage, and I knew we were in for a wild ride. Everywhere you looked in Ecuador was jaw-dropping, especially when we crossed over a 14k foot pass in the Andes to get to the EcoLodge. The rainforest was stunning – I 

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Yoga for Paddling: Side Plank Variations

Side Plank Variations for Greater Balance and Power Our side body muscles are mainly used for lateral flexion of the spine and hiking the hip. This means their strength AND flexibility are key for a successful hip snap and roll in whitewater kayaking.  As well as carrying our kayaks on one shoulder for portages. In stand up paddleboarding these muscles engage as we bend slightly to one side in the final stage of our forward stroke and help us balance when we’re rotated over to the side for other strokes. They also contract and release as we alternate pressure in 

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The Art of Self-Care

Self-care seems to be a ‘new’ buzzword in the realm of health and wellness and I’m so glad that it is gaining traction and popularity. Self-care has tended to be associated with selfishness, especially for women who have been, and continue to be, expected to focus on taking care of and nurturing others. In today’s world women are not only expected to take care of family, social engagements and household (traditional societal expectations), but also be successful career women in their field. We want all of the ambition and success, and what studies are showing is that ‘having it all’ 

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Why You Should Travel with your Paddle!

I still remember the feeling of pure bliss riding in the back of an old pick up truck under the southern stars after a day of paddling in the breathtaking Chilean Andes. Looking out over the ocean in New Zealand there was a power in the realization that I could go anywhere and do anything with my life. Arriving in Uganda to paddle the White Nile River I remember feeling nervous about traveling on my own and then being greeted by the warm, welcoming smile of Henry, a local driver sent by the rafting company to pick me up. In 

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Yoga for Paddling: Top Poses to Relieve Holiday Stress

In my experience most paddlers are very active types who don’t like to slow down. In our culture we are encouraged to stay busy, keep going and get things done. It’s important to get things done because that’s how we pay our bills, provide for our families and accomplish our goals. Unfortunately few of us are able to do this without experiencing high levels of stress that take a toll on our health. The Holiday Season can compound that with added activities, rich foods, less hours of sunlight and pressure to be happy and joyful all the time. As a 

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Perfecting the Jet Ferry

The jet ferry is an important whitewater kayak maneuver that gets you across current faster and more efficiently. It’s performed by using a wave to move you across the current so you expend less energy paddling. In the video above I demonstrate the positioning, angle, momentum and strokes that are needed to perform an effective jet ferry. Positioning. I position my boat to catch the wave and I like to think of putting my butt in the trough. Notice in the second jet ferry in the video I paddle up to the wave from downstream. This allows me to control 

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Diet and Lifestyle Tips for a Healthy Spring Paddling Season

When I think of spring a few things that come to mind are rain, flowing rivers, pollen, budding flowers and variable temperatures. According to Ayurveda the qualities of spring include liquid (rain/water), cold (cool temps), heavy (think heavy, saturated soil) and oily (think of that not so awesome oily sheen on poison ivy leaves!). To stay healthy, balanced and free from congestion during the spring season it’s important to incorporate diet and lifestyle choices that are the opposites of spring qualities. Here are some tips to help keep you healthy, happy and on the water this spring season: Lifestyle Drink 

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Meet Anna Levesque

Anna Levesque is the leading expert on kayak instruction for women and yoga and wellness for paddling, including SUP Yoga. Named one of the most inspirational paddlers alive by Canoe and Kayak Magazine, Anna’s twenty-plus years of experience as an accomplished international competitor and instructor has landed her in mainstream publications such as TIME, SHAPE and SELF magazine.

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Testimonials

"Anna taught me how to create powerful digestion through Ayurveda. I think of it as 'yoga for my belly.' Once I hit 35, my digestion really weakened and Ayurvedic teas, tips and tranquility teachings help me create a total stress resilient lifestyle (& stomach) ... I'm deeply grateful." -  Michelle Tennant, Age 47, Flat Rock, NC, Small Business Owner

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