Is Liquid Yoga Just A Passing Trend?


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For dedicated devotees struggling through their Yoga certification, here’s one small silver lining — at least you don’t have to practice yoga on the water. The latest wrinkle in the “off the mat” yoga practice: stand up paddle board yoga. As of 2013, almost 20 million Americans practiced Yoga regularly, but there’s no data yet on how many do so on the water.

Some instructors call it Liquid Yoga, and they train their students to perform their poses on large surfboard-like water craft. And Liquid Yoga practitioners say it ups the ante — one wrong move and the student could go plunging into the water.

“It’s the same type of practice, just at a different level,” said Lora Charmaine Saulsbury, a liquid yoga instructor. “The smallest moves are big — it takes a lot of core [strength] to pull up into a handstand.”

Charmaine Saulsbury leads a bi-weekly stand up paddle board yoga class on Lake Julia in DuPont State Recreational Forest in North Carolina, where she also runs a yoga studio.

While attaining yoga certification might be enough for some teachers, Saulsbury is one of only 13 teachers certified to perform stand up paddle board yoga by the American Canoe Association. The practice is so new that she even helped develop the training material for future liquid yoga training classes.

Some yogis have dismissed certain forms of off the mat yoga as passing trends, but liquid yoga fans counter that it creates a more intimate connection with the natural world. Plus, it’s a great workout. Saulsbury says the practice is particularly effective at training the core.

“The nice thing about this is that you don’t have to focus on your breath and being present, it just comes naturally on the water,” she said.

While some students might feel anxiety about falling into the water, Saulsbury warns them that there’s no way to avoid it.

Regular yoga certification doesn’t come with water training. There are two certificates offered by the Yoga alliance, 500 and 200 hour yoga teacher training.

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