KB in the City: SUP Yoga

Nashville. Music City. The Athens of the South. This Tennessee town may have built its reputation based on the simple stereotypes that tourists seek out on TV, but in our Nashville, we follow the trends while honoring the traditions that built this spot into the legacy it’s created. Each week, we focus on the latest gallivant around the streets we’ve come to call home for a new adventure and give readers an inside look on what makes this city special. Join us as we chronicle the hilarious and wild experiences with KB in the City.

SUP, y’all?

That’s exactly how the folks at Nashville Paddle Company greet their fellow paddlers when getting ready to balance your life on water for a bit, or at least that’s the uplifting spirit I felt as I checked in for my first-ever class of SUP yoga.

What’s SUP yoga, you ask? SUP stands for ‘stand-up paddleboarding,’ which essentially looks like combining a low-key version of surfing and kayaking together. To really get the hang of this waterbound activity, one simply stands up in the middle of a wide specialized board for the sport with an oar in hand ready to float away into the sunset…or something along those lines. Add some yoga into the routine and, well, it’s not as easy as it sounds.

Photo by Mickey Bernal

Photo by Mickey Bernal

Although I have taken classes in both SUP and yoga on separate occasions, it was the peacefulness down by the lake that calmed me down enough to embrace the fact I’d be mixing the two rather difficult practices into one 90-minute lesson. Now the next challenge was if I could only ‘nama-stay’ balanced for that long.

My specific class on a Saturday afternoon at Percy Priest Lake got the Nashville twist to represent the most recent trend around town: a bachelorette party joined along, but they weren’t the typical ‘Woo Girls’ you find down on Broadway every single weekend without fail. Everyone kept engaged and laughed at all the right relaxing moments, which led to more fun and less stress throughout the laidback course.

Nevertheless, the eased tension socially didn’t quite add up with the positions we were to assume while buoyant on board. The flow of my vinyasa (that’s basically moving from a plank to downward dog position, for those yoga newbies on here) did not match that of the unpredictable wakes passing by the cove. Although the fellow participants and I remained as steady as humanly possible when the small waves rocked away, holding a tree pose doesn’t necessarily fare as well as it may on land.

But that didn’t matter. Every ounce of insecurity was thrown out the window—or out to the summer breeze, if I may—thanks to our calm and valiant water leader and yoga instructor, Rebecca. Encouraging us to make a splash whenever we wanted, she followed suit just like the rest of us as we broke the surface in awkward yet determined fashions.

Working through a number of postures throughout the 90-minute class and get soaked along the way, we finally reached solitude within the final pose where we took a deep breath and floated gracefully throughout the lake laying with our backs to the boards. Although our practice had concluded, we all got to enjoy the extra few minutes to take in nature’s sweet air while paddling around to our leisure.

As I said before, my first experience with SUP Yoga may not have been as easy as I could have assumed. But it definitely made for a worthwhile challenge I plan to dive even deeper into as I continue my aquatic practice.

Nashville Paddle Company is located at the Hamilton Creek Recreation Area at Percy Priest Lake, which can be found on the outskirts of Nashville’s metropolitan area. Visitors can rent paddleboards, kayaks and take instructive classes out on the water throughout the week. Rentals start at $20 for advance booking and go up from there. For SUP yoga, their 90-minute classes run at $30 a person; if you bring your own board, they mark it down to a mere $10.

Those who want to try their hand at SUP yoga or just want to experience what life is like out on the water via paddleboards or kayaks can head to nashvillepaddle.com for more details and specific class times.