Yoga with more than a twist

Whitsunday Times - - NEWS -

IF YOU have been on an evening stroll around Shin­g­ley Beach re­cently, you may have no­ticed the sil­hou­ettes of peo­ple twist­ing them­selves into dif­fer­ent poses, while on a float­ing yoga mat.

Stand Up Pad­dle­board (SUP) Yoga is the prac­tice of yoga while bal­anc­ing on a pad­dle board float­ing on calm wa­ter.

It orig­i­nated on the beaches of Hawaii in the 1960s.

Owner of Whit­sun­day Stand Up Pad­dle and Kayak Mark Pearson has been ea­ger to of­fer SUP Yoga for years and is ex­cited to de­liver classes.

“Lo­cals have been a great sup­port and that’s largely to do with Soy,” he said.

Soyela Shafer or Soy, “like soy milk,” she says, has been teach­ing SUP Yoga at Whit­sun­day Stand Up Pad­dle and Kayak, for just over two months.

Ms Shafer has been prac­tis­ing and teach­ing yoga for more than a decade and de­scribes SUP Yoga as an ‘ac­tive med­i­ta­tion’.

In a so­ci­ety in­creas­ingly be­com­ing ‘ageist’ SUP yoga is just the op­po­site. “As you get older, you lose your bal­ance, and be­ing on the wa­ter builds that up and strength­ens your core.”

Soy en­cour­ages any­one who has been think­ing about SUP Yoga to give it ago.

“We have turned yoga into flex­i­bil­ity and it’s not about that,” she said. “It’s about your breath­ing.”

She rec­om­mended the class for the young at heart, “be­cause you all want to do the cra­zi­est stuff”.

“SUP Yoga is crazy, but it’s also re­lax­ing. It’s an oxy­moron.”

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