PLACIDA — If you do yoga, you gain improved balance.
If you do paddleboarding, you gain core strength.
What do you get when you combine the two?
Double the pleasure, double the fun.
That was the conclusion Monday afternoon as 20 area residents from Englewood, Venice and Port Charlotte came to Grande Tours on Coral Creek to try yoga on paddleboards.
Although all are yoga devotees, it was the first time most of them had ever been on stand-up paddleboards, known as SUPs. The long boards are a somewhat more stable version of surfboards, and are propelled with a long pole.
Capt. Marian Schneider, owner of Grande Tours, says yoga “SUPing is the latest fitness trend sweeping the nation.
“It’s already in Sarasota and
other cities. With our tranquil water here, I thought it would be a perfect fit.”
Schneider says she believes stand-up paddleboards are going to become as popular as kayaks.
“Decades ago, I was the first one to introduce kayaking to the area at a time when many believed I was crazy to do it. Now, some may think I’m crazy to invest in a big inventory of SUPs and hire a full-time certified trainer. But mark my words, this is going to take off,” she said.
Doing yoga on paddleboards is just another way to add to the fun and fitness of the sport, she said.
“Combining the two sports is great because it gives you a full-body workout while you’re having so much fun it doesn’t seem like exercise,” said instructor Paige Bakhaus.
Bakhaus has taught students as young as 5 and as old as 86. Age doesn’t matter, she said.
At 85, Pat Foster of Englewood was the oldest person in Monday’s combo class.
“I’m a water person and I love yoga, so I thought it would be perfect for me,” Foster said. Although she admitted to “being a little nervous about balancing on the board,” she was delighted with how well she did.
“It’s easier than I thought it would be,” said Nathalie Grasland of Venice. She credits yoga instructor Lata Coykendall with making it seem easy.
Nancy Virgin of Manasota Key said yoga gives her physical, spiritual and emotional balance, and doing it on a paddleboard adds to the fun.
“I’m impressed,” she said.
Beverly and Mark Barrett of Port Charlotte were one of the husband-wife teams trying the combo class.
“I thought it was fabulous,” Beverly said.
An expert kayaker and a four-year veteran of Coykendall’s yoga classes, Mark found it was easy to maintain his balance. “But a kayak is a lot easier to steer,” he concluded.
All 20 participants found doing yoga on a board was easy. But it was harder for some to steer the board to shore.
“It takes about an hour to learn it, and then they will feel like they’ve been doing it all their lives,” Bakhaus said.
Rotonda West resident Cynthia Vernon said she loved the added adventure of doing yoga on the water. “I can’t wait to do it again,” she said.
Lata’s husband Robert Coykendall said the peaceful setting of Grande Tours adds to the pleasure of the class.
“It’s awesome to be here on the water,” he said.
Those interested in taking a day or sunset SUP yoga class can contact Grande Tours at 941-697-8825. Grande Tours is located at 12575 Placida Road, Placida.