On Tuesday, August 11, I got to experience stand up paddleboard (SUP) yoga. I think so far, there are very few North Dakotans that have experienced yoga on a SUP on a North Dakota lake.
Ever since last summer when I first heard of Paddle On ND, a stand up paddle board and kayak rental business, I have been wanting to try stand up paddle boarding. It just looked so fun to me. I even reserved a board last year and was going to go with a friend when cold, rainy weather had me cancelling my plans. It seems like my summer calendar filled up before summer event started and I found myself with no open weekends to make it out to Harmon Lake. Paddle On ND now has a permanent rental booth on Harmon Lake just north of Mandan, or about 45 minutes from Hazen.
I saw on Facebook an event for SUP Yoga, taught by Yoga for You Bismarck using Paddle On boards. The event happened to fall on a day when I had nothing planned. I checked with a girlfriend and she was game to go so we reserved our class pass online for $20. The class went from 6-7:15. We didn’t know it at the time but we were one of the first students to take this class. So there was a bit of trial and error in getting set up and anchored in the lake as it was a bit breezy out that day. There were 6 of us in class and our instructor Brenda who was great.
I must admit I am not a big yoga fan. I’m more into higher intensity workouts. However, I thought this was definitely worth trying seeing as it is on water on a nice, warm day in a nice, warm lake. And just a side note, if you haven’t been out to Harmon Lake, do yourself a favor and go. They have a wonderful, large sandy beach and the water is the perfect temperature. Being so close to Bismarck-Mandan it would be a great place to take kids to play in the water instead of the frigid Missouri River. They don’t have a changing station so be sure to come already in your swimsuit.
Brenda had us start out slowly and we did a lot of moves while seated on the board. This was perfect for us newbies and also due to the wind that day. We did end the class with some standing positions before a good 10 minute savasana. My thoughts? Fun. Challenging. Beautiful. Relaxing. Peaceful. Our very first move to get ready for class was Shavasana just to get used to the waves. I honestly thought at that point I was in over my head. However, you become accustomed to the waves and paying attention to your balance fairly quickly. If you fall off your board, no big deal, the water is warm and just crawl back on. By the time we did our final savasana I think I could have stayed there for days. It was so calming. The wind was dying down as our class wrapped up and Brenda invited us to stay. However, we had to make the trek back to Hazen. I would certainly try a class again. You can find more info on Paddle On’s website or You for you Bismarck’s website. They also both have Facebook pages.
After class was over, Jeff (one of the Paddle On owners) let us take the boards out with a paddle to try SUP. We only had a few minutes to try it out but I definitely want to give it another shot when I have more time!
And if SUP isn’t your thing, try a kayak. So fun and tranquil. Harmon Lake is a lovely gem just minutes from Mandan and they have an awesome beach for families!