The asanas are a piece. Breath is another. And of course, there are the other limbs of the yogic tree. But as we boil it all down to the basics, the message is a simple one: Listen. Then provide what we need. Don’t move fast when we need to be still. No need do Handstand when Mountain Pose will do.
This relates over to SUP yoga as well. But the water and board help support the message our bodies are relaying to us. If we jump on our boards and move mindlessly through our practice, we soon find ourselves swimming. How do we prevent that? We slow down, we build confidence and body awareness.
The following sequence is aimed at doing what the above described. Slow build, and then move—all while staying present in our practice.
Starting in Table Top Pose. Root down in the hands, knees and top of the feet. Create length in the body by extending out through the crown of the head and in the opposite direction of the sit bones. As if being pulled in opposite directions.
From Table Top Pose, keep the weight evenly distributed on your hands. Begin to shift your weight onto your right knee. Start to hover the right knee off the mat, then on the inhale extend it back long behind you. Rotate the left toe down toward the water. Spiral the thighs inward. The hands, right knee, and core will be active. If the balance starts to become off, lower down the left toes to the mat.
On the exhale bring the left foot outside the left thumb. The left ankle will be just in front of the left knee to protect the knee joint. Keep the length in the back by extending out through the crown of the head. Root down through the right shin, knee, left foot, and both hands.
On the inhale the left hand will come to the left knee. The right hand will stay planted firmly on the mat. The thighs will engage, preventing the left knee from opening to the left and the right leg active increase connection with the board. The core will become engaged as the rib cage comes in toward the body.
The exhale starts the twist, lengthening out and up. The left arm reaches toward the sky. The lower body stays active and engaged, with the core active. Shoulders work to become on top of each other.
If the balance is solid, rotate the gaze up to the extended left hand. This is modified crescent twist, or low lunge twist. Hold this pose for three to five breaths. On the exhale the twist can deepen, and the inhale relaxes the pose. Stay in a place where the breath is steady.
After the three to five breaths. Unwind and come back to Table Top. Set up the pose for the other side.