I fulfilled a goal this past weekend in Florida. A goal that was made 10 months ago. One that set my yoga journey into motion. Last summer on an girls weekend in beautiful Kelowna, British Columbia, my friend and I decided to test our balance in a standup paddle board (SUP) yoga class. We thought it would be fun to see how many times we would go for a swim that morning. Something happened in the midst of all that falling. I realized that I felt completely at peace on the board. Downward facing dog, tree pose, standing splits as well as all the other poses we did with boats speeding by, creating a wake that was sure to tip us off our boards, I felt at home. I knew in an instant that I would teach SUP yoga, and in fact, teach regular mat yoga as well.
My journey had begun. With a handful of yoga classes under my belt and virtually no SUP experience, I dedicated myself to more practice on the mat. I took SUP certification courses, enrolled in a 200hr yoga teacher training (for July 2015) and now this past weekend, I took my SUP yoga teacher training with SURFit USA out of Sarasota, Florida.
SURFit USA runs a 20hr SUP yoga teacher training course on Lido Key, Sarasota. After reading through the information from a couple of different companies, offering similar opportunities around Florida, I decided on SURFit USA based on the qualifications of the yoga instructor, Janice Baxter. With 40 years of experience in yoga, Janice offers an incredible amount of knowledge in the art of yoga. Aaron Pollard and Karla Gore are the owners of SURFit USA, and both played a role in the training. Aaron spent a lot of time on the boards with us, giving us paddling tips and teaching us about wave and weather conditions. Karla was helpful with the business aspect of running SUP yoga classes, which was all included in the weekend training course. I also received 20 Yoga Alliance continuing education credits with this course.
I enjoyed everything about my experience with SURFit USA and Janice Baxter. I learned so much and at the same time had a truly unique experience by paddling around the mangroves. I was taught everything from how to set up the boards, greet clients, give paddling instructions on land and water, how to safely guide people through the mangroves and to the yoga location, anchoring the boards, modifying yoga poses, marketing strategies and basic business setup. It was a very well rounded, information packed weekend.
I also recommend simply booking a tour or rentals and paddling around the Lido mangroves. It’s a beautiful place. We saw birds, starfish, a giant hermit crab and manatees! Aaron is an excellent tour guide, very knowledgeable about the local area and it’s marine creatures.