I was invited to try stand up paddle boarding yoga, and always being one for adventure, I couldn’t turn it down. To be honest, I was a little terrified. I had tried SUP with a friend before, but that was on a lake and we were just playing around. This was on Puget Sound, and yoga poses would be involved while balancing on the board.
I arrive at Surf Ballard to begin my orientation. The two employees working are extremely friendly, and the cute shop makes me feel comfortable immediately. I get a pair of booties to wear on board, as it’s a little chilly out. They size me up for a paddle, and soon enough our group is ready and walking towards the water with our brightly colored paddle boards.
It’s cloudy out, but still a comfortable temperature with the several layers I’m wearing. I get the board in the water and am pleasantly surprised to find the water is not at shockingly cold as I thought it would be. I begin making my way along the water and see sailboats passing by in the horizon. We have to be careful of the boats coming in and out of the Ballard Locks for the weekend as we make our way across the bay. The water is not as calm as I am used to on a lake, but I get used to it after a few minutes. Seagulls stare at us from their posts, and we even see a bald eagle circle above us. It’s absolutely beautiful.
Once we get across the bay, our instructor ties a line between two buoys. We all clip our boards to loops in the line to make sure we won’t float away. We begin with simple yoga poses and just getting used to standing on the water while handling the waves from passing boats. The instructor also points out that the water line changes each time the locks open and the water from Lake Union rushes in. It adds to the challenge, but is actually kind of fun.
We get into the more advanced poses (at least advanced for me, on a board, floating on the water), and I find it harder to keep my balance. The instructor is patient and helpful in suggesting modified poses if needed. As we’re holding one pose, the instructor quietly points out there’s a baby seal about 10 feet behind us who has poked its head up out of curiosity. I try to quickly but quietly grab my camera to capture the moment, but it goes back under once it realizes we’re all staring at it. Regardless, it makes me think about how much I love being from the Pacific Northwest with all the diverse wildlife we have on land and sea.
After we lay down for for the final pose, the session is finally done. I slowly come out of my state of relaxation and stand up to start paddling back. The sun is slowly setting and casts a beautiful pinkish-orange hue that peaks out between the clouds and the water. We pass by Ray’s Boathouse (where we will be going for dinner) and Anthony’s, where delicious smells drift from their restaurants, and the customers sitting outside curiously stare at us. I soak in the beauty of the mountains and ocean one more time, and then head to the shore. I have worked up an appetite and am ready for dinner at Ray’s. I had a great time learning a new activity, and am especially glad I did not fall in the water at all! I would love to try it again in the future.
This post was sponsored by Aruba Marriott and Diamond PR to highlight the SUP yoga classes available at their beautiful resort. If you are headed to Aruba, make sure to try a class, as I guarantee it will be a blast! As always, the opinions in this post are my own.
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