Boats cut their engines off and watch the tall blonde who is leading a group of paddlers. “Clean up the catch, feather the blade, bottom arm straight.” The ten paddlers rotate positions, each getting a chance to lead the train and have their stroke observed and analyzed. This is the beginning of the FloYo® SUP Yoga teacher training with Jessie Benson and the goal of the 20 hour SUP yoga teacher training is to create instructors who are able to safely and effectively teach brand new paddlers the best paddle technique to maximize performance and minimize risk of injury.
FloYo Founder, Jessie Benson is passionate about ensuring that every FloYo certified instructor has proficient paddle skills and is able to teach a first time paddler proper technique and form. Jessie says, “It is our goal to get every student that comes out for a FloYo class to fall in love with the sport of SUP. If they don’t receive proper instruction their first time on the water, we have missed an opportunity to educate a new paddler, someone who is very likely to fall in love with this sport!” FloYo doesn’t see their classes as a way to simply take their students yoga practice to the water. They view each class as an opportunity to introduce 8-12 people to a new sport, to show them how fun it is to be active on the water and how working out on the water can add a whole new dimension to their yoga practice.
Every FloYo class begins with at least fifteen minutes of paddling to review technique and work on form. This group paddle is also a great way to get the class warm and ready to flow through the 8-block FloYo class format and serves as a wonderful opportunity for FloYo instructors to get to know their students and their comfort level on the water. Once the boards are anchored students are asked to take notice of their surroundings including the sounds of the water, the fish jumping and birds singing in the background. Once students find their way into their first downward facing dog on the boards they know they have made it to the right class. And as an added bonus, after their final savasana they will paddle back to home base feeling confident in their paddle technique and itching to get back on the water!
Jessie is a pioneer in the SUP Yoga world and also part of Team YOLO Board. "When I practice yoga on a Yolo Board I challenge myself to live up to the motto- getting fully present by flowing on the board allows me to find myself and my possibility! That's what doing FloYo on a Yolo Board feels like, a rush of excitement, of stepping out of my comfort zone and into the best version of me because you only live once so you have to live to the fullest.