Paddleboard yoga makes a splash in Portland

Paddleboard yoga makes a splash in Portland


by KGW Staff

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Posted on August 14, 2013 at 11:51 AM

Updated Wednesday, Aug 14 at 1:14 PM

PORTLAND -- It was just a matter of time before yogis took their yoga techniques to the next level. And that next level is water.

Stand-up paddleboard yoga is a new trend sweeping the country. A group of 16 people met the challenge in Lake Oswego.

"We are not going to do anything crazy, unless you guys want to get crazy and show off," said SUP-Yoga teacher Ericka Anntionette.

She and her group have taken their downward dog from land to water. They begin with a 20-minute warm up on steady ground.

Before getting wet, there's one last question: "Does anybody have a waterproof watch?" Anntionette joked.

The 31-year-old instructor started teaching paddleboard yoga in Hawaii and is now offering two-hour classes on the Willamette River.

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"I'm a big stand-up paddler, surfer, and yoga--those are my three passions," Anntionette said. "And they're so beautifully intertwined."

She said she believes the combination of board and body movements works the core even more on water than on land and can push the stabilizing muscles to the limit. And some of her students indeed reached their limits.

"You can see I am a little bit wet. When we're doing this thing, side plank, where you only have a hand and a foot on there, I fell in", said Heather Westing.

She has been on a paddle board before, but some of her classmates hadn't. And even those who had done SUP-Yoga before said it was not easy at all.

"It was awesome, very challenging but a lot of fun," said Missy Roder.

"We're all on our backs, just holding on to our feet, and this duck just starts quacking up a storm like it's laughing at us," said John Fitzgerald, the only male student in the class.

Drifting ducks and rough water from passing boats presented challenges, but not enough to deter students from taking those fluid movements out for another float.

"I think part of it is just being out in nature. It's very peaceful out here and quiet," said it's a perfect day," Anntionette said at the end of her first SUP-Yoga class, satisfied with her students. "It's a perfect day."