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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3 Easy Spring Cleanses that Work

The truth about cleanses is that they don’t have to be long, arduous or expensive to work.  And, yes, they do work. Some don’t even require that you go without food! Benefits of cleansing include clearer skin, more energy, reduced bloating/digestive distress, weight loss and enhanced sense of taste. I’ve had folks (including my Mom) tell me that they’re skeptical of cleanses because the body has the ability to cleanse itself. The body does do a good job of cleansing itself IF/WHEN we eat a simple diet, eat only when we’re hungry and only to 75% full, and lead a 

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Love and Discipline: The Art of Self Care

Everyone loves talking about love in February. Love is great and all, but my favorite part of Valentine’s Day is the ‘pink food’ I have an excuse to indulge in. Pink frosted cookies, pink cake and pink champagne are some of my faves. After all, love is associated with sweet taste, a taste, according to Ayurveda, that grounds us and offers comfort. That’s part of the reason sweets are so popular. In our busy, over-stimulated lives where our nervous systems are often stretched to the max, sweets offer us a taste of love and a sense of contentment. It’s way 

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Things I Wish I Had Known Sooner: A Kayaking FAQ Part 1

Take a moment to think back to when you first got into kayaking, when you were the new kid on the block. Are there “little” things that you know now that you barely need to think about but that were a source of frustration or puzzlement in the beginning? After spending a summer teaching new kayakers and fielding all sorts of questions, I got inspired to put together a short list of things I wish I had known earlier in my kayaking experience. A FAQ for new kayakers, if you will. While this list is far from comprehensive, these are 

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Simple Reminders

It’s Sunday morning in January in McCall, Idaho, and I’m kicking away at the snowbank alongside my yurt in an effort to excavate my creek boat from where it’s been wintering underneath. My hands are already frozen from attaching my kayak stackers to my roof rack in the bitter cold, and now my toes are freezing too. “Why did I agree to this?” I mutter to myself as I tug on the grab loop of my Mamba while continuing to kick out a big enough opening to wrangle it through. In flurry of ice shards, she finally breaks free and 

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Immune Boosting Winter Routine

Cold and flu season is upon us, but that doesn’t mean we have to surrender to getting sick. According to Ayurveda, when our digestive fire is strong our immune system is strong. With a little daily effort we can avoid having our lives disrupted by seasonal illness. How do I know it works? I haven’t had the flu or a cold in over 5 years. We each have a unique constitution so it’s possible that my immune system is on the tougher side giving me a natural immune boost. Having said that, through my Ayurveda Wellness Counseling practice I’ve witnessed 

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Warm up with Turmeric

As we enter winter the days are getting shorter and the weather can feel cold and damp. A great way to balance the dark, cold and wet qualities of winter is to feed our bodies nourishing, warming foods and spices that heat up our digestive fire. Turmeric is one such heat-generating spice, and it’s a powerful anti-oxidant that gives curry it’s beautiful yellow color. It promotes digestion, optimal cell functioning, and supports the immune system. Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric, and is a powerful anti-inflammatory. Low-level inflammation is a significant part of chronic stress, as well as many 

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Yoga for Paddling: Basic Low Lunge

(Excerpted from Yoga for Paddling with Anna Levesque) Yoga for paddling emphasizes the importance of strengthening the muscles we underuse in paddling and stretching the muscles that we overuse. Our hips, low back, and legs experience a double whammy in our culture due to the time we spend sitting – at our desks, in our cars, watching TV, and so on. All that sitting can lead to chronically contracted hip flexors and hamstrings. Kayakers and canoeists also then sit in their boats. SUP paddlers are a little better off, but their lower bodies are still susceptible to imbalances. One yoga 

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Yoga for Paddling: Three-Count Belly Breathing

(Excerpted from Yoga for Paddling with Anna Levesque) Breathwork (Pranayama) is one of the eight limbs of yoga. According to yoga, the breath is our life force (prana) and can be manipulated to warm us up, cool us down, stimulate digestion, energize us or induce relaxation. Another benefit of breath control is to bring you to present moment awareness on your yoga practice, and to manage the effects of stress. Stress isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In her 2013 TED talk, health psychologist Kelly McGonigal explains how stress cannot simply be labeled as bad. She uses scientific evidence to show 

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Yoga for Paddling: Side Angle Stretch

(Excerpted from Yoga for Paddling with Anna Levesque) The muscles of the side body are mainly responsible for lateral flexion of the spine and hiking the hip. Kayakers and canoeists activate these muscles for hip snaps, performing the roll, edge control, and stability. SUP paddlers also use these muscles for balance and stability on the board, and when carrying the board by the handle. Stretching and strengthening the side body for full range of motion helps paddlers achieve better balance and control when paddling. Side angle stretch is a great pose for stretching the top side body and it is 

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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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