Frisky Ripples: Try SUP Yoga with Tumalo Creek

  back to blog

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not an expert at anything, with the possible exclusion of drinking coffee and eating yummy foods…for which both activities I’m totally “next level”. Yoga is no exception to my moderate approach to life. You could say I’m good. Not great but solidly good. Place a paddleboard underneath me instead of a mat and I prove my mantra of mediocrity to be true. However, SUP yoga is a barrel of monkeys fun and will improve both your yoga and SUP game. Never tried it? Read on….

First, let me tell you about my perspective of yoga. I began “my practice” about a decade ago. Not going to lie. I disliked it. I disliked it a whooooole lot. My mind raced and I was bored and anxious and counting the minutes until the damn class would end. For some reason that I can’t really explain I stuck with it and over time began to not hate it. In fact, I actually enjoyed it and the way it made my body and mind feel. To the point where I sought it out, practiced consistently and eventually began leading land and board-based classes in Hawaii, central Oregon and internationally via yoga and SUP retreats. My disclaimer here is that I am competent in paddleboard instruction and my SUP yoga instruction is based on an open mind (myself and the participants) and a willingness to get wet.

What I enjoy about yoga on a paddleboard is multi-layered. For one, any “cheating” you do on your mat, because you can, is largely prohibitive on a board because you’ll fall in. Therefore, it’s a nice way to find better body alignment and hopefully take that improved form back to the mat. Secondly, have you been to a better yoga studio than the lovely central Oregon outdoors? Whether floating a river or finding a quiet lake, it’s peaceful and calming which embodies my overall reason for doing yoga. Now add a paddle around/up that body of water and you’ve also go yourself a good workout. A win-win!

About six years ago I was introduced to a woman who was interviewing with us at Tumalo Creek, to offer SUP yoga classes. As I talked with Shanan I found her to be very professional, sweet, knowledgeable and motivated. Those qualities are all true of Shanan, to this day. What I didn’t know is that there’s much more to Miss Shanan Kelley who is, among many, many other things, a stand up comedian and talk show host for a show she created, writes and stars in—The Night Light Show. She is absolutely hysterical, wildly sarcastic, but understands when to be “serious”. It was our great fortune to have Shanan join the Tumalo team seasonally, and our misfortune when she became so impossibly busy that she just couldn’t commit to a weekly class in the summers. However, this year Shanan and myself are partnering here at the shop to offer a SUP Yoga event for those loyal fans, and newbies too. Here are the details as best I know (everything with Shanan is slightly spontaneous and fun, with potential surprises to come):

Dates: July 13 and August 17 from 5:30-8pm

Cost: $55 per person. Includes yoga and basic SUP instruction, and paddleboard equipment.

Reservations are required, and recommended to sign up sooner than later to lock down a spot (space is limited)

What to bring: A yoga mat if you want to use one, as mats will not be provided. A change of clothes in case you go for it, and fall in. An open mind.

What the class will “look like”: We’ll start promptly at 5:31pm, with Shanan leading approximately 30 minutes of yoga on the lawn. Music will be played. We’ll then get our paddleboard equipment and beginner instruction for correct forward paddle strokes. As a group, we’ll paddle upstream to Riverbend Park where we’ll continue to explore our yoga asanas. The way back is downstream which gives us more opportunity to practice on the way back to the shop. Finally, we’ll unload and enjoy a beverage on the lawn, post-paddle/yoga. Sounds pretty rad right? I think so. One thing though… please have some paddling experience under your belt before joining this event. It’s not the best time to try paddleboarding for the first time. I always remember SUP surfing in Hawaii and folks who couldn’t really stand on their board would ask how they surf. First master standing my friend, then progress to the next step. Oh yeah, one last thing, we’ll have a raffle with some fun give-aways.Hope to see you there.

Thanks for listening and happy paddlin’….