Sleeping in Savasana

My yoga journey

Toronto Island SUP Yoga Retreat 

In September I travelled to Toronto to visit a friend from university and I discovered that there was a SUP yoga retreat happening the weekend I was due to arrive. She had to work for part of the time so it fitted perfectly.

I arrived on Toronto Island not really sure where I was going or what I was headed to. It turned out to be a small event with about a dozen of us going plus a Labrador because every retreat requires a dog.
We started by putting our bags into a boat and paddling on a min-tour around the islands to our camp site. It was on a separate island with a bridge to the mainland.

It was super chilled and relaxed and there was a timetable but it wasn’t followed exactly. We went for a sunset paddle and did Paddleboard Yoga. I loved it and found it a super relaxing way of focusing on each move and not comparing yourself to others.

We then came back to a beautiful view across Toronto and a campfire dinner. Sweetcorn cooked on the cob in a fire is super tasty along with stew and salad.

As I’d just flown in that morning by 10pm I was super tired and went to bed. I slept relatively well waking up a couple of times.

The morning had a silent start with coffee and watching the view. We then went out for a morning paddleboard yoga session followed by breakfast. It was good to get on the boards again and be more used to moving on them.

We then had a couple of hours free time before a ukulele lesson which I skipped for a nap. Then me and a couple of others braved the water for a swim. It wasn’t too bad once you’d got used to the water. The sun was warm enough that I dried off relatively quickly once on the shore.

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After lunch we packed up and those of us who had to be back early paddled with our stuff back while the others loaded the boat. It was a lovely chilled start to my holiday and I look forward to heading back to SUP Toronto on my next trip.

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SUP Yoga Retreat

My holiday in September has changed considerably since I booked it. I was meant to be travelling to Panama via Toronto with a friend but she now can’t come. As a result I’m staying in Toronto and then travelling to upstate New York.

When in Toronto I’m there at the same time as a Stand Up Paddleboard Yoga retreat. I’m looking forward to it as it’s on an island with camping. There is evening paddling, a camp fire, dawn yoga class, SUP yoga and a bag making workshop.

It’s going to be a really nice start to the holiday and a lovely way of connecting to nature in what’s going to be mainly a city based week.

I can’t decide if I want to try to incorporate more SUP into my holiday as I’m going to Niagara Falls and the upstate NY lakes which both have SUP hire available.

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SUP

Last weekend I did something a bit rash. I bid on a SUP. And I won!

I’ve only been about half a dozen times but I love it. I find it super relaxing and such a great work out that’s low impact. 

I had to buy a few more accessories than I thought as it didn’t come with a pump or leash but overall I’m happy with the price I paid. 

I’m headed out for the first time on Thursday so I’ll see how it goes. 

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Considering buying a SUP

It’s been a while since I went Stand Up Paddleboarding but it’s also currently 1 degrees in Edinburgh and was snowing two days ago. I’m seriously considering making the investment and buying a Stand Up Paddleboard. I’d love to be able to do SUP Yoga early in the morning in the summer.

I really loved it and think that I would totally go out pretty much weekly in the summer if it was just a case of getting in the car and driving down to the canal.

However it’s a big investment of about £400 and probably more.

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I’m attempting to be good and not buy one just yet but it’s certainly on my list for things to consider this year. My current thought is that if I am organised and list lots of things that I don’t wear or use on ebay etc then I’d be able to build up at least half the purchase price by Easter. By then it’d be warm enough and also light enough to get out and use it at the weekends and evenings.

I’m also keeping an eye on ebay and gumtree to see if a cheaper second hand one comes up.

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SUP and Yoga

On Saturday I joined a group from Edinburgh University Yoga Society to do a session of SUP followed by yoga. 

It was really nice to try Stand Up Paddleboarding again and I got better at paddling in a vaguely straight line. 

Wilderness SUP are a lot more relaxed so we didn’t get given life jackets or wetsuits. It was fine as the canal is very shallow and I didn’t feel like I was going to fall in at any point. The type of Paddleboards were different from last time too as they were inflatable. This meant that they say higher on the water than the other solid ones I used last time. 

  
After a nice 45 minute paddle down the canal we got back to the car park, the one person who fell in got changed, and the we headed to the garden to do a short yoga session. 

It was really nice to practice outside even in October. It really made me feel grounded and more connected to nature. I need to try to practice outside more often even in not so great weather. 

As we finished practice it started to spit and by the time I’d got back to the car it was properly pouring with rain.  

 
I didn’t manage to try any yoga poses on the board but maybe next time. 

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More SUP

Sometimes things come in cycles and this week has been one of those weeks. Last Saturday I organised a group on a Stand Up Paddle boarding session and at the end I did some yoga. It was really good fun and I decided that I would try to go again.

On Monday I got the weekly email from Edinburgh University Yoga Society and they have organised a SUP and yoga session for this Saturday morning. I didn’t have anything planned so of course I signed up. It’s with Wilderness SUP, who run different trips in and within about an hour’s drive of Edinburgh. I’m looking forward to trying it again especially as they seem to use inflatable SUP’s rather than the solid SUP’s that I tried at Bridge 8 Hub.

My understanding is that we’ll do 45 minutes of SUP and then a 45 minute class on the shore. I’m hoping that we at least get to try some moves on the boards. I found this list of 7 beginner moves and I was planning on trying some of them next time I went so I’ll try at least one tomorrow but maybe not quite crow pose yet.

I think that even without the yoga aspect I’m considering taking up SUP as a new hobby (yes because I need more things to fill my spare time). This time I’m doing what one of the other girls did and taking a hot water bottle wrapped in my towel so that I have a warm towel for afterwards. Plus my thermos of tea will be coming with me.

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Stand Up Paddleboarding 

On Saturday I along with five other lovely ladies, went Stand Up Paddleboarding on the Union Canal. It was super fun and something that I’d wanted to try since first seeing SUP yoga poses. 

The place that we did it was called Bridge 8 Hub. They are a community organisation and some of the proceeds from our booking have gone towards them taking a group of local kids to Canada next summer. 

We took a paddle down the canal and attempted to work out how to go in a straight line. It was really calming and I loved paddling. 

Towards the end of the session when we were back near the cars I tried some yoga moves. The board was realatively stable but there wasn’t much flat space to balance so I’m not sure more advance moves would work on this board. 

  
I had a go at a headstand but didn’t quite make it up as I was sure I would fall off if I went up. The water was too cold to purposefully fall in but maybe next time. 

  

It was really relaxing and a nice area  to explore. We all agreed that we’d be back again to try it in the spring if not before. 

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Stand Up Paddleboard

A quick post as I’m super excited, I’ve just confirmed a group booking for doing Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) next Saturday. I really want to try SUP Yoga but there isn’t anywhere near me that does it so this is the next best thing.

I would like to think that it’ll be like this.

SUP

But it’s Scotland at the end of October so it might be a bit more like this

SUP winter

Either way I’m super excited and can’t wait to even try a few basic poses on the board. Has anyone done it before and if so what poses are super stable and safe to do on it? I’m thinking a few cat, cow and downward dog to start with. Then maybe progressing to full sun salutations if it feels ok.

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