By Sara Arms
While the summer heat threatens to take activities indoors, Sumner County has found a fun and challenging alternative to traditional outdoor activities – paddleboard yoga. Nashville SUP & Yoga rents out paddleboards as well as provide how-to lessons, yoga classes and group paddle sessions. Those who rent a paddleboard or take lessons can enjoy being on the lake cooling off with friends while learning how to paddleboard.
“Paddleboarding improves your balance, strengthens your body and calms your mind,” says Nashville SUP & Yoga instructor Megan Wage. “Adding yoga to your time on the board takes you back to the basic postures which build a strong foundation and teaches you to engage muscles that are sometimes hard to activate on solid ground. The added element of water and just being outdoors allows you to let loose, relax and have some fun, which is good for the soul. Stand up paddleboard (SUP) is the perfect way to connect with nature, challenge and work the body, and stay cool during the summer. Coming out to an Intro to SUP or SUP Yoga class you can expect a fun, challenging and relaxed experience. If you lose your balance a bit, well, falling in is half the fun!”
“Practicing SUP yoga and fitness on a stand up paddleboard is one more way to grow and expand your practice while not taking yourself too seriously,” says Megan. “You’ll get a great core workout as you experience balancing from a whole new perspective and take in the beautiful scenery and wildlife around you in a relaxing setting. Our World Paddle Association (WPA) certified instructors know both paddling and yoga. They are trained in everything from rescue techniques to modifying classes for a stand up paddleboard.”
The goal when beginning paddleboarding and paddle yoga is to ease yourself into it in order to be able to relax and have fun while trying something new. “SUP yoga classes are open to all levels and can easily be modified or intensified based on the student,” says Megan. “We now also offer intermediate SUP yoga classes for those who have already completed at least one other class and feel comfortable practicing at a faster pace. Small class sizes ensure safety and close interaction with the instructor.”
Megan hosts the majority of her classes conveniently between Hendersonville and Gallatin on Old Hickory Lake and provides a SUP Board and all equipment. “Most classes take place at Avondale Access Area in Hendersonville which is tucked into a cove protected from boat traffic and waves. Nashville SUP & Yoga is a mobile business so classes can take place anywhere on the lake or even your own backyard if you live right on the water,” Megan explains.
Yoga classes are usually ninety minutes, including time for warm up and basic paddleboard instruction, yoga instruction and free paddleboarding time. Booking paddleboards and lessons in advance is required and you can go to their website to so see the schedule and book a time.
“The price includes all rental equipment and hands on guidance with a WPA safety certified instructor,” says Megan. “Class times vary depending on private events we have scheduled, but are mostly held on Saturday and Sunday. Paddleboard rentals are available if you already have board experience. If you don’t see a class on the schedule that works and you have a group that’s ready to get out on the lake, you can book a private class any day or time that works for you.”
“I moved to Sumner County about five years ago and love the community here,” she says. “Everyone has been so welcoming and receptive to trying a new activity. I love that I get to teach yoga while getting people out enjoying the beauty that Sumner County has to offer. I love teaching yoga and being out on the water; getting to combine them is a dream come true. Watching someone step foot on a paddleboard for the first time and seeing their nerves wash away as they laugh and learn, it’s just fantastic! And of course, the excitement when the first person of a yoga class falls in is pretty delightful. But mostly I love giving people an experience they enjoy.”
Learn more about Nashville SUP & Yoga at nashvillesupandyoga.com.