It’s become a common sight on waterways worldwide…..men and women doing yoga while floating peacefully on a paddleboard. It may be something you’d love to do but aren’t quite sure you'd know how. Amazingly, it isn’t all that hard and most anyone can do this.
Florida yoga instructor Tash Hermann is one of a few, (if any others) who teach yoga on land, the intracoastal and the open ocean. Getting into yoga and paddleboarding opened the door for fitness modeling and has skyrocketed her career to include work with Nike, New Balance, features in Shape Magazine and photoshoots with Gisele Bundchen.
Tash holds classes for all levels from first timers to advanced and shares a few beginner moves to help get anyone started with yoga on water. She recommends using a larger more stable board and practicing the pose on land prior to doing yoga on water.
“Yoga is to enhance flexibility and strength, not to cause any pain, so take it to a point where you feel the stretch but not the burn. It’s a great workout physically, mentally and emotionally.”
Forward Fold: Sit with your legs extended in front of you. Reach through your heels. Beginners should keep a slight bend in their knees eventually straightening the legs as flexibility increases. Inhale, reach up, lengthen your spine. Exhale, fold forward from the hip joints reaching for your shins, ankles or feet. Keep the front torso long, do not round your back. With each inhalation, lengthen the front torso. With each exhalation, fold deeper. Hold for a few minutes.
Benefits: A calming pose that can help relieve stress and reduce anxiety. Lengthens the hamstrings and activates the inner thighs.
Seated Twist: Sit on your board with legs extended. Bend right knee grounding your foot on the board. Reach your left arm up towards the sky as you inhale, exhale and twist your left elbow over your right knee. Stay here for several breaths, with each exhale twist a little deeper. If your elbow doesn't twist over your knee place your hand on your knee instead. Gaze over your right shoulder. Repeat on other side.
Benefits: Stretches shoulders, hips and back. Increases circulation, strengthens obliques and tones abdomen.
High Plank Pose: Begin on your hands and knees. Wrists directly under your shoulders. Breath in and out of your nose, quiet your mind. Spread your fingers and press down through your hands. Tuck your toes pushing through the bottom of your feet to engaging your legs, keep thighs lifted and do not let your hips sink too low. If your bum sticks up be sure to realign your shoulders directly over your wrists. Gaze down, straight spine, lengthening the back of your neck and draw your abdominal muscles toward your spine. Modify by dropping your knees to the ground. Intensify by lifting a leg or even lift a leg and the opposite arm at the same time.
Benefits: Full body tone including strengthening the muscles surrounding the spine which improves posture. Practicing Plank Pose for several minutes builds endurance and stamina.
More information on Tash can be found on her Facebook page Tash Fit or Instagram Tashyoga
By Lori Griffith