By Richard Smith
While the concept sounds somewhat exotic, paddleboard yoga is nothing new.
But paddleboard yoga, in a pool no less, is a curiosity in Sun City West. The Recreation Centers of Sun City West led demonstrations of the combination of two popular activities Aug. 25 and 31, thanks to Lake Pleasant-based Desert Lotus Paddleboards.
A larger demonstration will be part of the grand opening of the R.H. Johnson Swim and Fitness Center, 19083 R.H. Johnson Blvd., 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 16. Jennifer Marks, Desert Lotus proprietor, will then lead the first RCSCW Yoga Paddleboarding class, with three fall sessions offered on Tuesday and Thursday mornings starting Tuesday, Sept. 19.
Tamra Stark, RCSCW EXPLORE! program coordinator, said she noticed Ms. Marks leading a class while on a hike at Lake Pleasant. That, and the upgraded pool, sparked an idea.
“I noticed there was a lot of people paddleboarding at Lake Pleasant,” Ms. Stark said. “There are a lot of yoga classes here and a lot of people like it.”
RCSCW box office employee Lynne McCray was the first to try it out Aug. 25. She enjoys both yoga and paddleboarding.
Even for a veteran of both activities, yoga paddleboarding is a unique and more strenuous work out.
“It was the basic poses that you do in yoga. It’s completely different because you’re not on solid ground. Your body wants to do one thing and your brain another,” Ms. McCray said. “I actually felt it in the core areas the next day.”
She said at first the Sun City West residents interested are likely to be more advanced and regular practitioners of yoga.
As Ms. Stark said, even yoga regulars will experience a new challenge trying to keep their balance.
“They have a lot of yoga classes out here so this is next level,” Ms. McCray said.
However, Ms. Marks can modify classes to match the skill level of participants. The initials classes are for beginners and introduce the fundamentals with an emphasis on proper alignment and breathing techniques.
Ms. Marks became a registered yoga teacher 500 through Yoga Pura Advanced Studies and Teacher Training in 2011. In recent years she received her Stand Up Paddleboard Yoga teacher certification.
Visit Desert Lotus Paddleboards at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PADDLEBOARD YOGA CLASSES
Fall Session I: Sept. 19, 21, 26, 28 and Oct. 3 and 5
Fall Session II: Oct. 10, 12, 17, 19, 24 and 26
Fall Session II: Oct. 31, Nov. 2, 7, 9, 14 and 16