Paddleboard yoga means a balancing act

JESSICA RAPANA
Last updated 07:17 14/08/2014
Yoga standard
MATT DUNCAN/Fairfax NZ
FLOATING AWAY: Jessica Rapana tries out Fergs Kayaks' paddleboard yoga with instructor Megan Sety.

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For most of us, a downward-facing dog or a Sun salutation is hard enough - let alone trying them while balancing on a paddleboard.

There is no doubt about it, though, paddleboard yoga is as much fun as it sounds.

Instructor Megan Sety says everyone should give it a go. "You have to be willing to wobble, maybe fall in and have a giggle."

Luckily, I managed to survive the one-on-one lesson without falling in - just.

We anchored our boards in front of Queens Wharf, attracting the attention of many passers-by. This, and the fact it was a wintry 10 degrees, made me even more determined to stay on the board.

Despite having dipped my toes in both yoga and paddleboarding before, this was a whole new experience.

Balancing on an unstable surface means alignment on the board is vital - one misplaced hand could be the difference between getting wet and not.

Once that part is sorted, you can focus on the good stuff - flowing through Sun salutations, surrounded by water and losing track of the outside world.

It is also packed full of health benefits, Sety says. "Because the board wobbles, your muscles are working exceptionally hard to balance you on the board, especially the small muscles."

Sety has been a dedicated yogi for 10 years, but only recently tried standup paddleboard yoga, after Fergs asked her to take the sessions.

"When [they] first asked me I thought this is a bit of a gimmick, then I started trying it, and I thought, this is awesome."

It also gets people a lot more comfortable on the board, she says.

"What's really fun is when you take beginners out and they are just terrified to even move their foot, then you get them into the yoga and they forget about it."

Sessions start on land to show people the basics, then head out on the water, either at Queens Wharf or the lagoon.

The paddleboards are anchored to prevent them from drifting away in Wellington's winds.

Fergs Kayaks is currently running introductory sessions, but plans to run more in spring when it starts to warm up.

- Fergs Kayaks will run an introductory session on August 23 from 9.30am-11am. Price is $20, includes board, paddle and wetsuit. Call 04 499 8898 to book.

 

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