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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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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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 cleanses 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 pretty 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 

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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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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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