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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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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How to Build Emotional Resilience on the Water

According to the dictionary, resilience is defined as, ‘the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties.’ A second definition is: ‘the ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape.’ When you experience a difficult, disappointing or scary situation on the water how quickly do you recover? Are you able to let it roll off your back and feel empowered to paddle on? No matter your answer, know that you can increase your resilience with practice. In the past, when I performed poorly in a competition or got trashed on a river and swam out of my kayak I 

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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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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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Minding Mindless Beauty

Hometown River This river is my home because I know all of its secrets. It needs my heart, and not my brain. It knows which of my fears remain. This river is my home because I wrote all of its secrets.   This river is my home because it’s in me. It’s my white bones, and my blue eyes, my muddy hair, my cells revived. This river is my home because it’s in me.   This river is my home because it made me. It taught me how to take and give, it showed me how to die and live. 

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Learning to Open My Eyes

Canyon Creek Lewis. 3.2 miles of glorious, scenic, pool drop whitewater, the site of the Northwest Creeking Competition, mentioned on American Whitewater as:  “…one of the best sections in the country for a creeking race.” A year ago it was the upper limits of what I felt comfortable running and moving back to the Pacific Northwest, I knew I was at least better prepared to tackle it. So I made a project. Run it until I got comfortable. My 4th time down ~650cfs I got stuck in a pocket near the bottom of the right wall of the largest drop 

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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 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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