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Benefits of Paddleboard Yoga

Paddleboard Yoga has been a passion of mine since my dear friend Tara McCabe at Lazy Dog Paddle Yoga certified me to teach it in 2012. It's hard to describe the enormity of the healing benefits of something that has the power to completely change your life! But I'll try to hit a few highlights here:

Stand Up Paddling is a moving meditation that can be extremely healing - physically, mentally, and emotionally. Then add the deeply healing aspect of Yoga and you've got a sublime spiritual experience. I call it "sun-kissed bliss!"

The combination of sunshine, saltwater, movement, breath, asanas and mediation create a highly addictive cocktail of brain chemistry that constantly inspire me to keep upgrading my life. Gratitude is an understatement!

Having taught hundreds of first-time paddlers, it is a constant source of joy to watch as we leave the dock, their as slight apprehension is transformed into waves of unbridled joy that crescendo into an ear-to-ear grin, a magical twinkle in the eyes, and a body that's both relaxed and excited at the same time. And that's the moment when I look into their eyes and know they are hooked! This brain chemistry is firing all the cylinders in their brain, and they are now MORE than they were before.

And, I laugh and say, "I see that grin! And I see a new paddleboard in your near future!"

Many of my clients come back year after year. And they bring their friends and their families. And then they bring their friends and families, such that I've been blessed with getting to watch their children grow up and their families expand. Yet another priceless benefit to Paddleboard Yoga!

On a physiological level, Stand Up Paddling shores up the outer edges of the body's connective tissue or fascia. Fascia is the interconnected matrix of communication in the body that allows everything - the organs, muscles, joints, and nerves to work together. It is where the body's meridians or energy highways reside, and it is believed to be the storehouse of emotions and trauma.

In Stand Up Paddling, when the outer edges of the connective tissue are stimulated, the body's energy field becomes bigger and stronger. When we talk about how SUP empowers people, it's not about looking good in a bikini or a cool, surfer-type lifestyle. When the energy field expands, we literally embody more of who we really are.

Any kind of energy healing that expands the energy field (tuning fork session, acupuncture, Reiki, Tong Ren, sound bath, etc.) creates an opportunity or opening for more of the shen or spirit to enter this realm or dimension. And that, in and of itself, makes us feel better, more at home, more comfortable in our own skin, because it gives us more power, more energy... and thus we are more empowered.

When we are more empowered, we are more creative, more productive, and better at solving problems. We can make decisions from a standpoint of love instead of fear. And we can take more chances because we have access the bigger picture and a stronger connection to Higher Powers.

On a strictly physical level, Paddleboard Yoga helps improve immune function, not only by expanding and strengthening the energy field (the original energy bubble that "is" our immune system), but also by increasing oxygen flow in the lungs and almost every major muscle group in the body. When done properly, Stand-Up Paddling (SUP) dramatically strengthens the core, calves, feet, buttocks, thighs, lower back, lats and shoulders. It tones flabby arms and for me, dramatically strengthens all smile muscles of the face neck (it's that infectious grin again). :)

Add to all of this fun, some serendipitous interactions with Mother Nature like fish jumping, dolphins passing by, and an eagle flying overhead. Mix in your favorite yoga poses, now on a floating surface and you naturally get to riotous laughter (the best medicine on the planet). Blend in deep relaxation with an extended savasana while floating on your back with your feet dangling in the water. And finish with a few consciousness-altering singing bowls... and you've got a brain bliss cocktail so fantastic, no drug can touch it!

Stand-Up Paddling is easy for most people to learn in a few minutes and enjoy for a lifetime. It does not require extensive skill development, and it can be strenuous or laid-back, depending on the desired intensity level. Most yoga poses are easy to transition to a paddleboard and others are easily modified. Paddleboard Yoga is a fantastic synergy of fun, healing and fresh air fitness that brings a new depth, awareness, and balance to our lives. It's a great confidence-builder and fun-generator and it's a heck of a great way to celebrate a bachelorette party, girls' weekend, birthday party or reunion. Retreat to Find Yourself... with a Paddleboard Yoga Adventure with Namaste Key West Healing + Retreat Center.

Call or text Shanda at 239-560-6667 or visit to book your experience!


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