So often we focus so much on reaching the full expression, we lose track of where we are. No pose begins in full expression; it always begins from a modification of some form. It is up to us to embrace these modifications, connect deeply with our breath, and allow our bodies to move through the shapes that we need.
Out on the water this is even more noticeable, as we begin to move, we often lose our breath and connection to our practice. When this happens, the water quickly reminds us to stay present and to slow down. The goal of the following sequence is to allow you to bring your studio practice to the water, to challenge you, and to keep you safe and dry. This can be added to the opposite arm opposite leg pose or modified Warrior 1. Side Plank Pose is a full body engaging pose, building core strength, arm, wrist, back and leg strength. It is a great preparatory SUP Yoga pose for more challenging poses.
Starting in tabletop position, hands below shoulders, knees below hips. Keep the spine straight, while extending out through the crown of the head. Create a solid stable base with the hands and knees by grounding equally through both hands and knees.
Shift the weight into the right knee and to both hands. Extend the right leg long, toward the tail of the board. It will land in the center of the board, directly behind of the handle (if the handle is centered). Spin the back foot to the right, and ground down through the inside edge of the foot. Then swivel the left leg to the left side of the board and hook the left toes on the left edge of the board. The left knee will be just next to the handle, or if the board is soft just over the handle (again only if the handle is in the center of the board). The weight should be distributed through the right foot, left knee, shin and both hands. Reach out through the crown of the head to encourage length in the back.
Walk the left hand so it is in line with the left knee and right foot, in the center of the board. Ground down through the right foot, left knee, shin, and left palm. Bring the right hand to the right hip, then bring the hips forward and up away from the board while bringing the right shoulder over the left. The gaze stays down at the left hand. Keep the core engaged and the legs active, hugging into the midline of the body. This is modified side plank, if you are looking for more challenge then add the following up levels.
Raise the hand toward the sky, face the palm to the right side of the board (same side as your heart center). Stack the shoulders over each other and continue to lift the hips up. If you need more, slowly bring your gaze towards the right hand. Hold this pose for three–five breaths and slowly lower back down to tabletop to explore the pose on the left side.