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10 Things You Need To Know About SUP Yoga Certification

Jessie Benson
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Since ancient times, humans have naturally gravitated to the water for its healing and transformational properties. Many ancient cultures believed that the water element was crucial to balancing the body and finding physical harmony.
 
Today, many of us still flock to the water, especially in the summer, to find clarity and to calm the mind. Even when we are not near a beach or a lake, we take long showers or warm baths to relax and find ease in the mind and body.
 
It only makes sense that teaching and/or practicing yoga on or near the water calms and connects us. If you have ever tried a SUP Yoga (or Stand Up Paddleboard Yoga) class, you know what we are talking about. There is something powerful about being on the water, listening to the sound of the water flowing beneath you and looking up at the bright blue sky.
 
SUP Yoga takes a relaxing yoga practice to a whole new level. It’s no surprise why so many people are gravitating to this awesome type of yoga! SUP yoga teacher training is in turn gaining more and more popularity.
 
Many people are getting certified to teach Stand Up Paddleboard Yoga. If you’re considering taking the plunge, read on to learn all you need to know about SUP YTT.
 

Here are 10 things you need to know before you sign up for a SUP Yoga Teacher Training:

 
 

1. You should have some SUP experience before signing up

Make time to get out on the water before you show up to a SUP yoga certification. You will want to get comfortable with your stroke technique, turns, and getting on/off the board before you start training how to teach other people how to do it.
 
 

2. Teaching SUP Yoga is no walk in the park!

When you are teaching out on the water, you suddenly take on a dozen new roles in addition to yoga instructor (i.e. paddle coach, life guard, weather man/woman, waterway crossing guard, etc.). You will learn how to manage all of this in your certification, but it’s good to be aware of the many roles of a SUP Yoga instructor before getting started.
 
 

3. Expect to be IN the water, not just ON the water

In SUP Yoga Teacher Training you will learn how to perform water rescues (in case someone gets injured during class) and will also need to learn how to fall off and get back on the board safely. So, don’t expect to stay gracefully dry during your training.
 
For yoga clothes that respond well to wetness, check out some of our top recommendations in this article.
 
 

4. Know what body of water you will be on

Knowing that you will be in the water at some point, it’s essential that you research the exact location of the training so you can be properly prepared. Even if you attend a certification in sunny San Diego, the water could be very cold and you may need a wetsuit. Traveling to Australia for your certification? Well, you may need to watch out for bluebottles – a stinging jellyfish!
 

 

5. Be humble

Just because you have mastered some tough poses in the studio does not mean becoming a SUP yogi master will be effortless. Keep an open mind, because practicing yoga on a paddleboard is often a very humbling experience.
 
 

6. Prepare to learn new ways of teaching poses

When you are teaching SUP Yoga, you often have to cue the poses completely different than you do in land-based yoga because there are many nuances of a pose that shift when you’re practicing on an unstable base.
 
You will also have to rely solely on verbal cueing since, in most cases, your students will not all be able to see you during a class.
 
 

7. Owning a paddleboard is not required

Many people think that they need to own a board and paddle daily to be able to teach SUP Yoga. Although it is definitely helpful to have your own equipment so you can practice more regularly, sometimes that just isn’t possible.
 
One of the great benefits of being a SUP Yoga teacher is that you get to use the boards at the SUP shop or business where you plan to teach! Most SUP Yoga certifications will have boards on site for you to borrow or rent.
 
 

8. SUP certification does not require that you teach after

As with regular YTT, many people attend SUP teacher trainings with the intention to simply learn and grow their own SUP yoga practice. Maybe you will fall even more in love with the practice and want to teach afterwards, or maybe you will be completely overwhelmed with all that you learn and decide not to teach. It’s all about the experience, and it’s different for everyone!
 
 

9. Balance and upper body strength are key

Have you ever picked up a paddleboard? They are heavy! You need enough strength to be able to load and unload boards for every student in your class. Also, you should be a strong enough paddler to be able to tow the largest person in the group (in case they become fatigued and cannot paddle or there is some sort of equipment failure).
 
Check out these poses to strengthen your upper body and core!
 
 

10. It’s not just about yoga

Although the majority of your training will be centered around how to safely and effectively teach yoga on a stand up paddleboard, you will also receive extensive water rescue training, learn about proper stroke technique, be educated on the risks and hazards of teaching on the water and much, much more!
 
 
Summer is almost here, so if you’ve been looking for a reason or gentle push to get out on the water more often (and get paid for it!), it might be time for you to consider taking a SUP Yoga Teacher Training. Not only will you connect deeply with yourself and your practice through nature, but you will also help your students do the same.
 

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Jessie Benson

Jessie Benson is the founder and creator of FloYo®. Jessie combines her passion for yoga with her love of the outdoors, experience competing in triathlons and intensity of teaching spin classes to create a challenging core workout on a standup paddleboard with her FloYo fitness classes. Jessie is a sponsored SUP racer with Yolo Board and a master trainer for the Academy of Surfing Instructors and leads FloYo Teacher Trainings around the globe.

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