Sandy toes

Posted on January 21, 2013

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I first met Emily, the very fit chick behind SUP Yoga at a dinner party end last year.  I immediately fell for her magnetic energy, gorgeous personality and contagious smile. At that time, she was just setting up the UAE’s first SUP Yoga company and I promised I’d be down to give it a shot sooner rather than later. Fast-forward until today and we spent a magical morning out on the water.

For anyone just a little intrigued …

SUP, or stand up paddling, is pretty big business now.  Feeling like you’re walking on water, it’s a wonderfully therapeutic activity and pretty good for cross-training too … it’s low impact and great for core strength and balance.

Throw in yoga on the paddle boards and you take it up a whole notch higher on the fun and fabulous factor … the world becomes your studio and all the elements are invited.

We met at the secluded and sheltered Secret Beach and started off with a little paddle around, just to warm up and get confident on the board. We then lined up aside each other, threw our anchors in and moved on to some breathing exercises.

Moving onto our asanas, we did a series of stretches, twists and hip openers before a few rounds of sun salutations. It was bliss. The deck of the board is the perfect non-slip yoga mat so whilst balance is harder on a moving surface, it was definitely easier than I anticipated.   The trick is to find that sweet spot on the board (right in the middle) where you can balance best.

SUP Yoga brings in a whole new dimension to regular ground-based yoga. The core strength and balance required is immense and the intense focus required allows for not a glimmer of monkey mind. It’s not often I spend an hour totally present and mindful without finding myself drifting off to today’s training, tomorrow’s deadlines or next weekends date etc etc …

We finished the session with sublime savasana and on opening my eyes, I felt totally energised and truly amazed by my surrounds. Straight ahead, the effortlessly elegant Burj Al Arab shone in the sunlight, behind, the glistening skyscrapers of Dubai Marina stood tall and aside, our azure ocean waters lay like glass, as far as the eye can see.

I won’t finish off by telling you that I ended the session with a (totally intended) fall into the water …. but instead I shall give Emily a massive shout out. Combine a stunning backdrop with the joys of paddle boarding, the sheer mental and physical rewards of yoga and the kind instruction, easy laughter and positive energy of a beautiful teacher and you can’t fail to finish all smiles.




Like: SupYogaDubai

PS. Thank you delicious Daisy and ravishing Rai for the introduction … the icing on the cake following a fabulous soiree chez Tamagnini.

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