Paddle Board Yoga

is a variation of stand up paddle surfing, combined with yoga.  Stand up paddle surfing is said to have originated in Hawaii in the 1940s when surfers used a long paddle to get out to the waves instead of lying on the board and swimming out.  Paddle boarding caught on in mainland US around 2005, and now it has many fans!

Once you’ve got the standing balance down,

you can ramp up your water workout with some Pilates or yoga on the board.  Even regular crunches and push-ups are more challenging on a paddle board because your entire base is rocking.  It’s so much fun!

 Pilates teasers on the Paddle Board

Teaser II

Teaser II



My latest opportunity to do paddle board yoga

was on my vacation to Italy, in the Mediterranean Sea. I was a little scared since my last opportunity for paddle board yoga was in 2011 in DC on the Potomac River.  The ocean is a much different experience from the river, it gets deeper quickly, and you can really drift out.

My first time in the sea I wore a floatation jacket so I’d be more relaxed about falling into the water.  Not to mention, there was no ankle tether to hold me to the board.  If I fell off hard I’d push the board away – and I wanted to be able to swim fast enough to get it!

The Mediterranean was quiet – but now and then a sneaky wave would really rock the board.

I was surprised at how great my balance was.  My strong core really payed off.  The next time I went out I kept the jacket off and got some pictures for you. This is  just an example of the many fun things you can do when you have a strong core!

A strong core is critical for balance.

When you know how to activate your core for balance the range of what you can do physically, and with ease, grows exponentially.  In fact, sometimes you’ll even surprise yourself at what you can do!

I work with clients on their core first and foremost, because supports balance and movement in every direction. Add to that, it’s fundamental for protecting and supporting your spine and for having a healthy back.

Do you want to work your core with me

and get the rest of your body in shape this fall? I frequently teach online exercise classes that emphasize the core.  Sometimes it’s live, sometimes it’s recorded, I use Google Plus, or Vimeo, and some other fun ways to communicate. Are you interested in getting in on my next class? Comment below or send me a note.

I hope you enjoy the pictures!

 Paddle Board Yoga – Down Dog



Paddle Board Yoga- Chaturanga

Paddle Board Yoga: Chaturanga


Paddle Board Yoga- Upward facing dog

Luci Gabel, Updog Yoga on Paddleboard

Push ups on the Paddle Board

Push ups! (b)

Push Ups! (1)



 Paddle Board Yoga – Triangle Pose







Luci Gabel, Triangle Pose Yoga on Paddleboard


Back on Land!

Ligurian Coast



Paddle Boaring on the Mediterranean


1.) Yoga Journal, Joy Ride, by Lauren Ladoceour.
2.) Wikipedia, Stand Up Paddle Surfing.