written by Lauren Peterson
SUP Yoga expert Lauren Peterson of Namaste SUP teaches us the 'Virsana' or 'Hero Pose'. Follow along below and give it a try this weekend on your stand up paddleboard.
Bryan Demarino shows us how the option use of the paddle opens up the chest and flexes the shoulders.
Name of Pose: Virasana / Hero Pose
Difficulty Level: Easy
Body Points: Ankles, arches of feet and shoulder muscles.
Benefits: This posture stretches the ankles and strengthens the arches of the feet while helping to relieve stress in the neck muscles.
- On an exhale tuck the toes under and bring the sit bones to the heels.
- On the inhale roll the spine up one vertebra at a time, head being the last to come up.
- You should now be in a kneeling position on the board, sitting on your heels toes tucked under.
- Take a few very slow exhale and inhale through the nostrils.
- A common place to store stress can be in the shoulders. On your next inhale shrug your shoulders to your ears making as much tension as possible, and then on the exhale let the shoulders go away from the ears and release, allowing for the shoulders to relax.
- You can choose to use your paddle to expand and open the chest as shown in the picture or without. However, if you choose to not use your paddle make sure it is secure and close by, attaching the paddle to a leash is always a great option.
- To come out of this posture return to the table top position and kick the tops of the feet back and forth as a counter pose.
When paddling long distances or if you tend to have more of your weight in your toes while paddling, your toes can become numb. This is a great posture to bring back circulation and awaken the feet.
About Lauren Peterson
Lauren has an associate’s degree in Dance Technology, a bachelor’s degree in Dance and a master’s degree in Physical Education. She is a certified Purna Yoga Instructor from Byron Yoga Centre, Australia.
After falling in love with stand up paddling in 2008, Lauren created Namaste SUP, a sup yoga community for the student, teacher and anyone who loves stand up paddling and yoga. When talking about her involvement within the SUP and Yoga communities, Lauren says, “I love to inspire and motivate individuals to live long and healthy lives through yoga, dance, physical education and stand up paddling.”
For more information on Lauren and Namaste SUP, check out the Namaste SUP Facebook page. A new website is currently in the works so check back here or on the Namaste SUP Facebook page for updates.