Why You Should Take an International Paddling Trip

A really smart woman once told me I didn’t need a drysuit when I could just boat where it’s warm enough not to wear one. Inspired by this approach to winter boating, I booked my first international kayaking trip to Mexico and have been traveling ever since. Although it’s not quite drysuit season yet and the warm weather has me wondering if I’m ever going to need my drysuit again, fall is always a time when I start dreaming about my next big adventure, preferably to a more tropical location. You don’t have to be an expert boater to enjoy 

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The River, my Old Friend

Mind Body Paddle recently re-posted the very first blog post I wrote at Anna’s request—the story of how I became a kayak instructor, written before I actually started instructing.  Written before I ever knew that I would end up working for Girls at Play/Mind Body Paddle. I was in high school, writing about this dream I had of guiding people down the river. I was signed up to teach kayaking on the Wolf River in Wisconsin that upcoming summer, despite my status as a novice boater. I had no idea what I was doing. I just knew that I was 

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The Risk of Playing it Safe

When I struggle with a line it’s usually because I’m trying to play it too safe. In this photo it’s obvious that I’m struggling with my angle. That’s because I used too much right angle attempting to avoid the hole and rock at the bottom. Had I relaxed and kept my boat angle a little more downstream I would not be struggling physically and mentally. I witness this in myself and also in my kayak students. In our attempt to avoid an obstacle or intimidating feature we end up in a more dangerous place. We also often end up in 

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The Shoshin of Kayak Instruction: The Beginner’s Mind

“In the Beginner’s Mind there are many possibilities. In the expert’s mind there are few.” – Zen Master Shunryu Suzuki In Zen Buddhism, the Beginner’s Mind is the idea of having an attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions when studying a subject, even when studying at an advanced level, just as a beginner in that subject would. I had the opportunity to experience this for myself this summer teaching beginner whitewater kayak clinics with Jill Wrenn at Mind, Body, Paddle. While I was there to teach brand new boaters how to whitewater kayak, I realize that I learned just 

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Tips for Staying Healthy during Fall Season

Fall and spring are the times of year when most people experience colds, flus and sickness. According to Ayurveda that is because of variable weather. One day it’s hot, the next it’s cool and rainy. The morning could be warm and then the wind picks up in the afternoon and we’re not prepared. In the Ayurvedic tradition, fall season is the season of Vata (Air). The qualities of Vata include mobile (think wind), rough, cold and dry. To maintain the balance of health in the body during this season we want to invite the opposite qualities of static, soft, warm 

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Ladies Taking Over Southeast Rivers!

It’s been another summer of great Ladies Southeast Paddling Series and Green River Takeover events! Both the Series and the Takeover are community building events that also raise money for the Shannon Christy Memorial Fund. This year, part of the money raised will be donated from the fund to Our Voice’s initiative to combat human trafficking in WNC. The other part will go to American Canoe Association‘s fund set up to support elite US female slalom athletes. I runs the LSPS on 5 different rivers (Tuckaseegee, Nantahala, Pigeon, Ocoee and Lower Gauley) offering an opportunity for women of all skill 

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Tips on Packing for a SUP Day Trip

The Black River is the epitome of serene. It’s out in the middle of nowhere.  You drive and drive to a random bridge that signals your take out. There are no people around, and what houses you do see are older and in need of repair. There’s an alligator who lives nearby and he watches you take out! Cypress knees poke up through the dark water, birds are everywhere, and the obligatory alligators hiding where you can’t see them but they can surely see you. The river trail is winding, sheltered, and quiet. No other humans for miles and miles. 

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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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Stand Up Paddleboard Racing 101

Stand Up Paddleboard Racing 101 by Michelle Currier   The official start of summer is a couple of days away which means we move into the height of the Stand Up Paddle Race season. If you have been on the fence about racing or are not sure if you have the right equipment, then this blog will provide some helpful information for you. I entered into the Stand Up Paddle world on my own without any formal lessons or an understanding about the racing world of Stand Up Paddling. I am here to provide that guidance and hope to answer 

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Honesty is the Best Policy

“Guys, I think I’m done.” “What!?” We’d barely paddled a mile yet. I sighed. I looked around, up at the cloudless blue Idaho sky, down at the matching blue Salmon River, upstream towards the rapid I’d just swam. It hadn’t been a bad swim. Not pleasant, but not terribly damaging or dangerous. “I’m fine. I just don’t want to mess up again,” I said, biting my lip. Joe turned to face me from where he was perched in the rocks, emptying my boat. “Angela, you have some of the best lines of all of us. You just so happened to 

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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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