with Cathrin Niehues

SUP Yoga Love

Happy International Yoga Day! What could be better than celebrating this special day with yoga on water, outside in the fresh air? Summer is the perfect season for variety in yoga practice. The warm temperatures make it possible to practice a lot of yoga outside.


To find more about this very special way of precticing asanas, we caught up with Cathrin Niehues from Real Good Stuff Yoga in Austria. Cathrin loves to swap her yoga mat for her Fanatic SUP board as soon as the temperature rises and also teaches SUP Yoga at the Woerthersee. It allows her to connect with the water in a wonderful way.

Meter by meter, as I move away from the shore on the SUP board, everyday life becomes more distant. SUP yoga feels like a mini vacation for me every time!


Out on the lake, the sounds of the constant sound system are replaced by the sound of water splashing. The flow of your breath interacts with the breeze that blows the breeze that surrounds you. The sun rays on your skin feels like a light sensation. The constant undulations of the water make the deep muscles work harder. Together with the yoga practice the inner fire is kindled. And if you get too warm, you can always jump into the water!


But it's not only the wonderful external circumstances that make SUP yoga so unique for me. I also appreciate the inner reminder that that on the board, as in life, we don't know what wave is going to come is going to slosh towards us. But we can learn to take the waves as they come. Sometimes they are small, barely perceptible waves, sometimes they are big waves that almost out of balance. What helps to find your personal balance again and again balance are a strong center, both physically and internally, a clear focus and a high focus and a high awareness for the moment. All this will be practiced during SUP yoga.

Arriving on the SUP board
I like to start my SUP yoga sessions in a sitting position with a meditation. The heel seat (Vajrasana) is a great way to do this - provided you have you don't have knee problems. Because aids are not available on the SUP. Thus, the alternative seat with crossed legs lacks the possibility, to sit in an elevated position, as is usually the case on the yoga mat. I love to take a few moments in meditation To consciously arrive on the board and on the wate, the ground for the yoga practice that follows.

Build confidence with your board
To start your asana practice (especially if it's your first time practicing SUP yoga), it is relieving to first familiarize yourself with the board. This works especially well in a quadruped stance. If you shift your weight from left to right from the left to the right and from the front to the back, you will notice that you are well by the board. If you activate the center of your body by pulling your navel towards your spine, it is also easy to lift one leg backwards and upwards to hip height. The foot is flexed. The tips of the toes look down or to the side if one likes to open the hips. The gaze goes straight down onto the board for length in the neck. From here you can continue and lift the opposite arm. With only two points of contact left on the board you quickly notice how much the deep muscles are working. If you want to continue, bend the outstretched leg with the exhalation and bring the knee under the and bring the knee together with the opposite elbow underneath you and rounding the back. With the next inhalation, stretch again. This is easy to repeat. After this you are definitely familiar with the the board.

Surya Namaskar
We continue with the sun salutations (Surya Namaskar) in different variations. In the inclined plane it helps very much as alternative to bring the knees to the board. The other way around if you want to work your deep muscles muscles, this can be done by holding the inclined plane for several breaths while for several breaths, with the top of the head forward and the heels backward. heels to the back and the center of the body is completely active.

Let's twist
Starting from downward looking dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana) the balance is challenged as one leg (here the left) is lifted back up for the three-legged dog. From here, place the left foot between the hands foot between the hands and bring the other knee to the board as if preparing for the deep lunge (anjaneyasana). The right hand presses into the board and with an inhalation raise the left hand up over the side upwards. If balance allows, the gaze follows the left hand. If you are ready for more, stretch the right leg out in a twist. By the way all seated twists like the twist seat (Ardha Matsyendrasana) work as well on the board as on the mat.

Let's play!
With this preparation, it is a good idea to play with the balance a little more with the balance - especially when the water is warm and the sun is shining. The starting position is the twist in the Deep Lunge with right knee on the board. You sit low with your pelvis, bend the right leg, lower the right arm backwards and see if you can grab the right foot. the right foot can be grasped. The view goes gladly over the right shoulder to the back. Let's play! It's not about arriving at the perfect asana, but for me but for me it is much more about inviting the playful joy into the yoga practice and to push one's own limits here and there. Because so often they exist only in your head!

The inflatable SUP range from Fanatic (especially the Fly Air Fit model) provide the ideal surface for SUP yoga practice. With their large non-slip diamond groove pad they supply grip, even when the board is already wet. They feel very stable on the water and make it easier to keep your balance. Especially when carrying in and out of the water they convince with their light weight. You will return well balanced to everyday life after your SUP yoga practice!

Text: Cathrin Niehues, Real Good Stuff Yoga


Please make sure you familiarize yourself with your government’s rules and local restrictions and practice good hygiene with your equipment. These are extraordinary times. Be kind, look out for each other and show compassion. Namaste!


More info on our Fly Air Fit Range: https://www.fanatic.com/sup/inflatable-boards/fit/fly-air-fit