Anna’s Gift Guide for the Health Conscious Paddler

Ready to be the coolest gift giver this season? Give meaningful and fun gifts that contribute to your favorite paddler’s health, wellbeing and passion for paddling. Read on for my top picks  for paddlers who do (or would like to) take on their wellness with as much stoke as they take on the water! Under $25 Asheville Tea Company Pumpkin Pie Chai Delicious, hand packed tea by Asheville outdoor enthusiast Jessie Dean. Perfect for pre and post paddling, especially during the cool winter/spring months. Full of digestive spices that are also sweet and comforting. My favorite recipe for preparation: 1TBS 

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5 Secrets for Beating the Holiday Bloat

Do you experience bloat, discomfort and lethargy from overindulging during the Holiday Season? If so, you’re not alone! I think we’ve all been there 🙂 The good news is that I’ve got some tips that will help you enjoy the good cheer and delicious foods of the season without the heaviness.   As an Ayurveda Wellness Counselor I’ve spent a lot of time studying and practicing effective strategies for boosting digestion, one of the key bodily functions responsible for our energy level, mood and nutrition. During this time of year it’s easy to let our digestive systems get bogged down 

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The Secrets to Calm, Confident Whitewater Kayaking

Want to feel more stable and confident in your kayak in whitewater? Try sinking your weight down into your butt. I know it sounds weird, but it works! Placing your focus on your kayak and hips gets your attention away from doing too much with your paddle. Too much paddling actually leads to instability. That’s why when you watch really good paddlers they take fewer, yet more powerful and timed strokes. When we focus on feeling ‘grounded’ in our kayaks we create stability and confidence. Here are examples of what I mean. In this first video, Sandra, a newer paddler 

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China: How the Adventure I Resisted Most Turned Out to Be the Most Profound

China was never on my mind as a fun travel destination. I never imagined myself there, nor did I have a desire to go. The impressions I had of Chinese culture were unfriendly, serious and aggressive. I had seen video and photos of beautiful places in China, but I had also heard of air pollution and crowds of people. Even though I had had wonderful interactions with a few Chinese nationals, I couldn’t seem to get over the negative impressions of China that had somehow made their way into my brain. So… when I received an invitation to teach SUP 

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Paddleboard: Effective Core Paddling

Are you missing out on the incredible fitness benefits of paddleboarding due to lack of core engagement? I love that SUP is easily accessible, but I dislike the misconception that there’s nothing to it. Just like any sport there is effective and ineffective technique that can make or break your experience. If your main goal with SUP is to get out, lounge and float then read no further. You’ve probably got all that you need, and I hope that includes a leash and a PFD. If you want to reap the core strengthening, balance and fitness benefits of paddleboarding then 

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Whitewater Kayaking: The Secret to Beautiful Lines

If you’ve taken kayak instruction from me you know that I’m a big believer in the importance of boat angle in running beautiful lines. The ability to set and maintain your angle when running a rapid can make or break your line, and the amount of control you have going in and out of eddies is directly related to angle. Angle is more important than speed, especially when running lower volume, technical rivers. The crux is how well you can maintain your angle because setting your angle is the easy part! Here are two POV videos of the same rapid 

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Stand Up Paddleboarding in the Mountains

“A perfect weekend with an incredible teacher. Thank you for your patience, guidance and laughter Anna Levesque!” – Jen B, Asheville “I am hooked and can’t wait to SUP again! Thank you Anna for such a lovely experience.” – Paula, WV “I couldn’t ask for a better experience.” – Kellie, Nashville I’ll just let those testimonials speak for themselves. It was a great weekend full of yoga, community, relaxation, paddling and fun! Paula was concerned about her balance on the first morning, feeling wobbly on the board as we learned basic strokes and concepts on the lake. Her legs were shaking and 

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Women’s Paddlefest 2018

Thank you to those of you who attended Women’s Paddlefest at the Nantahala Outdoor Center and raised close to $3000.00 for charity! High water, mudslides and rain days before the event didn’t stop you from joining in community, empowering yourselves and having fun. Instead of canceling we went ahead with the event modifying programming to Lake Fontana and the Nantahala, and consolidating the event to one day. We had 30 women on the lake and Anne Sontheimer from the NOC and I split the group and gave instruction on strokes and edge control/rolling. At the end of the lake session 

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How to Paddle Class IV with Fewer Strokes

I recently posted a video of me running my favorite rapid, Boxcar, on the North Fork of the French Broad here in Western North Carolina. The rapid consists of a short slide leading into a 15 ft drop that you boof into a beautiful little gorge. Here it is for you! Both my Creek Week students and folks online expressed surprise at how few strokes I took to run the rapid smoothly. Taking fewer strokes is one big difference between beginner/intermediate skills and intermediate/advanced skills, especially stepping it up to Class IV creeking. As you progress you learn that creating 

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Top 3 Reasons to try SUP Yoga

I’ve been around paddlers and yogis for over 20 years and I’ve heard ‘hardcore’ paddlers make fun of SUP yoga and yogis treat it as a novelty fad. I always say: ‘Don’t dis it until you’ve tried it!’ BTW, why is it so easy for humans to dis stuff we haven’t tried? The health, body and wellness benefits of SUP yoga are many and below I share my top 3 reasons to try SUP yoga:   More Core, Fewer Imbalances SUP Yoga is an effective way to bring greater awareness to imbalances in the body and learn how to effectively 

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Meet Anna Levesque

Anna Levesque is the leading expert on paddling instruction for women and yoga 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, instructor, coach and author has landed her in mainstream publications such as TIME, SHAPE and SELF.

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Testimonials

"Anna is clear and concise and knows her stuff." - Instructor Candidate Evaluation, AZ

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