Saturday, July 6, a group of yogis gathered at White Rock Lake for Summit Yoga’s first ever stand-up paddleboard (SUP) yoga event. The event was put on in partnership with Just Be Well Yoga, a Fort Worth-based company that specializes in SUP yoga.
The fourteen participating yogis met Just Be Well Yoga founder, Amanda Quintanilla, and Just Be Well Dallas Area SUP Yoga Director, Summit’s own Tory Christopherson-Sommerfeldt, at 9 a.m. to get oriented on the mechanics of the boards before launching into the lake to get started on the flow, literally and yogically.
The weather was perfect for getting out and active on the water - hot but not too hot, overcast but not too cloudy, breezy but not too windy. The water in White Rock Lake was cool and refreshing, if slightly murky and of questionable cleanliness for submersion.
Once everyone was anchored in position out on the water, Tory and Amanda led a 90-minute flow complete with optional arm balances, inversions, and variations the yogis could try depending on their comfort level on the board and willingness to risk getting wet (and a few did).
As I walked around the lake taking pictures, I heard all sorts of commentary from the runners, walkers, and bikers about what they were seeing on the water. Some stopped to take pictures and ask me questions, some remarked to one another about how awesome it was or wondered aloud if that was how they should be spending their Saturday morning, and some tried to heckle the yogis as they passed, but it was clear everyone was intrigued by the prospect of a floating yoga class.
The closest thing I’ve done to yoga on a paddleboard is a surf-inspired yoga class held inside on stationary surfboards. The level of core work and stability required just to keep from falling off the board onto the floor made that class incredible in terms of a workout, but I can only imagine the fun, serenity, and free feeling added when you take that level of athletic intensity and put it on an actual paddleboard floating on the lake under an open sky.
Toward the end of class, I watched the yogis float peacefully in savasana, the sun warming their faces through the silver clouds, the water rocking them gently from side to side as ducks swam past and gulls soared overhead. Eventually it was time to get up and head back in, but first, most of the participants struck one final pose of their choice, taking Amanda up on a chance to get a close-up photo on their board.
After everyone was back on the shore and all the boards were put away, we all came together under a nearby pavilion in the park to hang out in the shade and enjoy an amazing spread of grilled hot dogs, veggie skewers, fruit, chips, and fresh-squeezed lavender lemonade lovingly prepared by Emily Jones. The morning came to a relaxing end as we laughed over rehashings of the joys and woes of practicing yoga on a paddleboard and chatted all about the sky-high routes at the insane new Plano gym.
If SUP yoga sounds like something you’d like to try, you’re in luck! Summit will be hosting another SUP yoga event with Just Be Well Yoga in Fort Worth Saturday, August 3 from 9 a.m. to around 11:30 a.m. at Marine Creek. But you don’t have to wait for the next Summit event to dive into SUP yoga; Just Be Well hosts SUP yoga sessions every Sunday in Dallas and Fort Worth, as well as other yoga and meditation events regularly.
For more information on the next Summit x Just Be Well SUP Yoga event, visit the event page at https://summitgyms.com/events/supyogaseries2019.
For more information on Just Be Well Yoga and their class and event schedule, visit their website at https://justbewellyoga.com/.