If you haven’t tried standup paddleboarding, or SUP, chances are you will soon. It’s currently the fastest growing water sport in the world. The experience of paddleboarding on any calm body of water evokes a deep meditative feeling – just imagine the sensation of walking on water. This feeling is what inevitably brought Mary Lou Cerami, an avid paddler and yoga instructor, to connect SUP to yoga more than 5 years ago.
Mary Lou, an ACA L2 Standup Paddleboard Instructor teaches SUP Yoga classes on Chicago’s Lake Michigan with Kayak Chicago – the first paddlesports outfitter to bring paddleboards for rent in the Windy City back when no one really knew what paddleboards were.
Since then the sport has gained tons of followers. Paddleboarding offers an amazing full body workout and is a favorite cross-training activity for skiers, snowboarders or anyone looking for a new outdoor workout. And while Chicago is not your typical beach destination, summers there are something to behold, especially after surviving the recent “Polar Vortex.”
Paddling on a SUP on Chicago’s spectacular Lake Michigan provides a great cardio and core body workout – but adding yoga adds a whole other dimension. If practicing your warrior pose on a SUP intimidates you – think again. Mary Lou’s style of teaching incorporates a progression of balance and core awareness exercises, which gets even the absolute beginner comfortable on their board.
According to Mary Lou, "The paddleboard makes a perfect yoga mat, it's wide, stable yet challenging."
If you can standup, you can paddleboard. And while it may not be the easiest thing you've ever done - anything that involves standing on water is more than worth it. To learn more and to sign up for classes check out http://www.chicagosupyoga.com