You think standing on a stand-up paddleboard is difficult? You should try Downward-facing Dog or Warrior III poses.
Combining two things that many of us aren’t coordinated enough to do, HEAL Yoga Studio is offering a SUP Yoga class this weekend at Pineview Reservoir, in the Upper Ogden Valley.
The class will be offered in two sessions — one from 7-9 a.m., and one from 10 a.m. to noon — on Saturday, Aug 24, at Windsurfer Beach, at about 5100 East on State Route 158. Cost is $45 and includes use of a stand-up paddleboard; it’s $15 if you have your own board.
Bethany Tracy, owner of HEAL Yoga Studio, said she offered some of these SUP Yoga classes last summer, and it was quite popular.
“That very first one we had 26 people show up, and I was, like, ‘Whoa,’” Tracy recalls. “So we decided to bring it back this summer.”
Tracy recommends the earlier session for beginners, the later session for the more advanced students in both yoga and paddleboarding.
“The earlier one is when the water is really still — we recommend that one for beginners,” Tracy said. “If you’re more advanced, or wanting to learn how to get on a wave, the second session is when the boats are going and the wind picks up.”
HEAL Yoga Studio has already offered three sessions this summer, and another couple are planned for Sept. 14, weather permitting. One of the September classes will be a full-moon SUP Yoga class held in the evening.
The two-hour SUP Yoga classes involve 30 minutes of paddling and instruction, an hour of yoga, and a 30-minute return trip.
“It’s cool to get out on the water and experience yoga in a whole new way,” Tracy said. “It definitely is challenging. Some poses are much easier than you’d think they’d be, and others are harder.”
Tracy says doing a headstand in a classroom setting is actually more difficult than doing it on a stand-up paddleboard.
“I think it’s more of a mental hurdle,” she said. “On a paddleboard, you know if you fall you’ll fall into water and it won’t hurt as much.”
Tracy has been teaching yoga in Ogden since 2011. She was introduced to the practice back in college.
“I had severe asthma, but I found that I could do yoga,” she said.
Since then, Tracy says her own journey has been focused on making yoga more accessible to more people. Classes like SUP Yoga, Yoga Hikes and Disney Yoga have all attempted to demystify the practice.
“People get caught up in that whole ‘I don’t know what Vinyasa is’ — they think they have to be this flexible, bendy person,” Tracy said.
In addition to the SUP Yoga classes, HEAL Yoga Studio will offer a Disney-themed yoga class for children at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 31, at the studio, 2424 Wall Ave., in Ogden. Children are invited to dress as their favorite Disney character, or simply show up for a “fun-themed class with princes and princesses, and all things Disney.”
“We’ll be taking the yoga poses and Disney-ifying them,” Tracy said. “We’re going to just be embracing the inner wild child by doing things like breathe like Darth Vader.”
Tracy believe yoga can be of great worth to children, who are growing up in an increasingly hectic, busy culture.
“We live in such a fast-paced world, yoga is especially important for kids,” she said. “A lot of times they don’t know how to relate to how they’re feeling, so it’s important they understand that they have a safe place where they can move and experience emotion — maybe lay down and quiet their minds, and feel calm. That’s really, really powerful for kids.”
A Harry Potter Yoga class is also set to return, according to Tracy, as well a Pelvic Floor Yoga, along with yoga workshops for runners and climbers. That’s in addition to all the usual, straight-ahead yoga classes for everyone from beginners to experts.
In the meantime, SUP Yoga is coming this weekend. And, according to Tracy, the best part is saved for last. At the end of most yoga sessions, the Shavasana, or Corpse Pose, is used for relaxation and meditation. In a classroom setting, it’s a favorite part of the yoga session for many practitioners.
But floating on a reservoir in Shavasana?
“There’s nothing like that on a paddleboard,” Tracy said. “It is an amazing experience.”
For more information or to register for classes, visit healyogastudio.com, or call 801-436-7680.