Stand-Up Paddleboard Yoga, Aruba

In Activities, Editor Picks by LA Travel Magazine

If you’re a Yogi that loves the water then this is the sport for you! Take your Yoga to a new level and find harmony with one of the Stand-Up Paddleboard Yoga classes offered at the Aruba Marriott. This 90-minute class is taught by certified SUP yoga instructor Swedish native Rachel Brathen who has been practicing yoga since she was a young teen.

We started with a brief introduction to paddle boarding, then our group was led to a spot in the water where there was an anchor waiting for us. We soon realized there is no better way to find balance in your life than by practicing Yoga on the water. You’ll work your core, arms, and legs, and improve balance all while taking in the sights, sounds, and smells of the ocean.

After a while, I was able to stand up — toes digging into the board, body tense, shoulders hugged up into my ears, white knuckles clamped together — the tiniest two-inch waves would have knocked me off of my board if our instructor didn’t repeatedly remind us to relax, bend our knees, breathe, and enjoy being on the water. So I lifted up my toes and spread them out nice, fluffy, and wide, focused on my breath, let the tension out of my body, and realized that this was either going to be a lot of fun if I just went with the movement of the water and became one with the elements, or I was going to end up in the water if I tried to fight it and stay tense the entire lesson. I chose the former, and I only fell off once.

Playing around with yoga poses on a stand-up paddleboard adds even more fun to the mix. Downward Facing Dog becomes a whole new challenge, as different muscles in your body engage and relax based on the wind direction. Balancing and inversions are incredibly challenging, but fun and generally lead to laughter as one by one each of us took our turn falling into the water, which was more than welcome on such a hot day!