Paddle Board Yoga

Paddleboard yoga: The new Zumba on the Gold Coast

yogatop

The sun is now being saluted on top of the water

By Ian Lloyd Neubauer

What happens when you combine two of the biggest fitness crazes of recent times -– stand-up paddleboard and yoga?

Answer: paddleboard yoga –- a serene yet challenging workout.

The hybrid water sport was recently introduced to Australia by Alexa Gibson. A veteran yoga teacher and lifelong rower, she recognized the sport’s appeal after attending a paddleboard yoga class in Hawaii earlier this year.

“A lot of people who do yoga on land never use their core muscles, which is what practicing yoga is all about,” Gibson said. “But with paddleboard yoga, the surface is unstable so you have to connect deeply with your core muscles.”

“And you must also have a very still mind because if you allow your mind to wander, you’ll end up in the drink.”

Two-hour classes are held at Currumbin Creek on Queensland’s Gold Coast. They typically start with a 10-minute paddleboard lesson run by Alicia Davidson.

“I can get anybody standing up on one of these things in 10 minutes,” Davidson said. “It’s amazing. It’s like walking on water. It gives you a completely different perspective on things and personally it’s given me a balance I had not found anywhere else in life.”

Then Gibson takes over, shepherding the class into a lagoon-like inlet not far from the mouth of the creek.

Students dismount on a small beach and go through a few basic yoga postures on land -– downward dog, salute to the sun, child pose and bows.

They then return to their boards and try the same thing on water.

The paddleboards are constantly moving, but that’s part of the fun. In no time, most of the class is bending and stretching like a yogi in the Himalayas.

When someone does (and someone always does) fall into the drink, it’s an opportunity for a refreshing swim.

Then students are taken to the mouth of the creek to catch a wave that glides them and their paddleboards back downriver.

The new-found art form is taking off slowly on the Gold Coast.

“But come summertime, it’s going to be huge -- it’s going to be the new Zumba,” Alexa said.

Aloha Flow paddleboard yoga classes are held Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 9:30 a.m. and Saturday at 9 a.m. Classes are $20 plus board hire (if you don't have one). Meet at Boatshed Tackle & Bait, 2-4 Thrower Drive, Currumbin; +61 (0)450 268 568 www.theyogaempire.com 

Read more: Paddleboard Yoga | CNNGo.com http://www.cnngo.com/sydney/play/paddleboard-yoga-new-zumba-gold-coast-546446#ixzz1Vt65PGLt