Jul 22, 2014 5:38 PM by Jeanette Trompeter
Summertime often means a lot of beach and lake time for those of us who live on the Central Coast. It also is a time when we all want to get in shape, and often look to up the workout routine a bit. Well I found out recently how easy it is to do both, spend time at the beach and get a great workout, when I got Out and About with the gang at Central Coast Kayaks.
The practice of yoga is all about breathing, balance, and connecting your mind body and spirit, as well as connecting to nature. So it really isn't a stretch to transfer the practice to the beach, or the water, unless you've never done so before. That was why I was the only one wearing a wet-suit, as I had a good hunch I'd be the one falling off a few times.
The folks at Central Coast Kayaks have expanded their rentals, teaching and tours to the paddle board. "Within ten minutes you'll be up and paddling. And it's something you can do all the way until your dying day." says fitness instructor Sean Duron.
They've also thrown in yoga and fitness instruction. "Your back muscles will start bringing those shoulders back naturally, and you're whole core will be fired off." Sean says about the physical benefits of paddle boarding.
Adding yoga to the mix means getting muscles that are hard to target on land. "So instead of being on the mat, you're bringing that extra stability on the board." Says Yoga Instructor Rose Cutrer.
That's all great, but it can also be a bit intimidating. The hardest part, they say, is getting out past the waves and back in, but that would not prove to be my biggest challenge. The hardest part for me wasn't standing up, but staying up.
And when you're trying to do the classes within camera range, you are also within range of the rolling motion of the waves, which can make balance a little more tricky. But the giggles that accompany each tumble will make you forget your exercising....at least temporarily.
It's like any other fitness class, follow your instructors lead...as much as possible. Remember, they have had a whole lot more practice and it does start to come to you. But at some point during my first class, after he had put me through the paces, I didn't even have the strength to try and stop the fall.
"You're always balancing, you're firing off those freeways for balance, everything is communicating and your central nervous system is trying to keep up." Sean points out. "And so from head to toe, you're working every single muscle in your body."
And though downward dog is a bit more tricky when balancing on the bay, it's also a whole lot more fun.
"Yeah, way more playful and sometimes there are seals out here or otters, so you get to engage with nature, and we tie up to the seaweed, so it's all around just a good time." says Rose. I highly recommend it, but don't try to do both classes in one day if you are a beginner. Fatique doesn't help your balance much.
The lessons and classes happen at Port San Luis. If you'd like to give it a go, or at least know more, you can reach the folks at Central Coast Kayaks by clicking here.
There are other shops and some yoga studios offering these kind of classes. For one near you, do a search for stand-up paddle boarding at the beach where you want to try it.
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