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YogAqua: Yoga in the water on a paddleboard

August 31, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
In the world of fitness, it doesn't take long for a concept to evolve, and many times those concepts merge. There's a new yoga practice that involves the water and a paddleboard.

There's no shortage in the variety of yoga available. Karaoke yoga, tantrum yoga, yoga in hammocks, and now yoga on a paddleboard, called "YogAqua."

"It was just natural to experiment with poses on the boards and it just happened to work really well and be a lot of fun and really great for your practice," said yoga instructor Sarah Tiefenthaler.

YogAqua creator Sarah Tiefenthaler learned to standup-paddle right after a yoga instruction seminar in Costa Rica and thought the combo would be a perfect fit with Southern California's fabulous weather.

"This is an all-levels class," said Tiefenthaler. "The other instructors and myself take you through the poses very slowly in the beginning with very detailed instruction."

"I brought my mom out here during the holidays and she tried it out," said Hollywood resident Mike Nardelli.

But if by chance you're scared, each longboard comes equipped with an attached mat, an anchor and a lifejacket. Plus, poses aren't mandatory.

Seasoned yoga student Nardelli says there are a handful of advantages to posing on a paddleboard.

"At a yoga studio sometimes I feel like I'm stuck on my mat," said Nardelli. "Here you're on a board you can paddle around, you can enjoy nature."

The first half-hour is paddleboard warm-up, complete with instructions for newbies. Then you drop anchor for a full hour of yoga, aqua style.

Anything done in a typical class is tried on the board.

"I think you just have to try and not be afraid to fall in," said Nardelli.

Or dive in and get it over with.

"I've had students do that. It just gets rid of that fear," said Tiefenthaler.

Because the marina waters are at a premium, they offer classes Monday, Thursday, Friday at 10:30 and twice on the weekends on Saturday and Sunday. And for new members they've got three classes for $75.

You'll find YogAqua in Marina del Rey and Newport Beach.


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