Our Guide to SUP Yoga in Hong Kong
Balancing on solid ground is hard enough for most of us, let alone on a board floating in the ocean. But given that we like stand up paddle boarding and we like yoga, we were keen to combine both and see if this hybrid activity is meant to be. We got to try stand-up paddle board (also known as SUP) yoga at Breatheasy in Mui Wo.
What you need to know
For this particular class, we practised poses that we’d normally find straight-forward on solid ground but were challenging on the paddle board. If you’re a seasoned yogi, you’ll be surprised to find that even warrior 2 was tricky (in my defence, the water suddenly got choppy). We were initially worried about losing balance and not being able to keep up with the flow, but we were not rushed and we got to take our time to get into the pose. Breatheasy HK recommends SUP yoga even to those who are new to both SUP and yoga. If you are worried about falling into the water, they provide life jackets (just ask!), and the teacher, Kamana is very supportive.
In the summer, the sea is calmer in the afternoon. If you want an extra balancing challenge, opt for a morning class.
What to bring:
Sun cream and UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) 50+ clothing
A hat (a baseball hat is ideal as it won’t fall off during a back bend)
Drinking water – try to bring a refillable or a reused bottle to avoid single-use plastic (not the kind of SUP we like)
Beach shoes – important if you’re practicing on a beach like Mui Wo, where there are sharp shells.
Lessons we learned:
Go with an open mind. Even if you practice yoga regularly, you will still find yourself wobbling in the simplest of poses, and that is totally normal. Getting frustrated at yourself might ruin the fun.
Make sure there is no sand on the board. Kneeling on grains of sand is exfoliating, but uncomfortable. Leave it for the spa (when it reopens).
Don’t go too far during your extra paddling time. SUP yoga boards are lighter and a bit harder to control. It will take you longer to waddle back to your starting point.
The summer sun is scorching in Hong Kong, so doing the 15:00 session is best if you can’t handle the heat as the temperature and sunlight is less harsh at that time. We got to catch the sunset and it was beautiful.
Stay for the sound bath! We had to head back early to the city, but we wish we’d stayed for the yoga instructor, Kamana’s sound bath. Hosted at Breatheasy HQ in Mui Wo, the space is sun soaked with high-ceilings. Kamana has a beautiful collection of Alchemy Singing Bowls and her 45-minute session includes breathwork. She recommends sound baths for relaxing the mind and body.
We recommend giving SUP yoga a go if you fancy taking your practice out into the ocean and giving yourself a new challenge.
Our activewear has UPF 50+, and is moisture wicking. Sign up for the mailing list to find out when it will drop (it has been a long wait but it will be soon, we promise!) so you can wear it to your SUP yoga class.