Paddleboard Yoga with Ocean Rx
Find your inner Zen and practice your down dogs on the water.
Mastering the crow pose in yoga is quite the feat, but doubling the difficulty by perfecting the pose on a standup paddleboard (SUP) on the water? Now that’s impressive.
I met with Genna Lepore Caccia, owner of Ocean Rx and Jenna Celio, assistant and marketing coordinator at the SUP yoga studio at Slacks Pond Reservoir in Greenville. There I would find some Zen and practice my down dogs, and, for a magnificent, fleeting moment, I even nailed the crow pose.
When you show up to standup paddleboard yoga with Ocean Rx, be prepared to work. Especially on your core. The outdoor studio combines the wholeness of yoga and fun of standup paddle boarding into one kickass on-the-water workout.
“The water takes your yoga practice to a whole new level. It creates a more difficult experience but challenges your balance unlike anything on land,” says Caccia. And challenge my balance it did. I was sure I’d end up stumbling and on my belly, grabbing for the board, or worse, I’d fall into the pond in full yoga attire. While I faltered a few times, I never did fall in, sure did get one heck of a workout.
“This type of yoga forces you to use your core unlike you’ve ever used it on land because if you’re out of alignment, you’ll fall,” Caccia says. She also points out that unlike a traditional yoga class, yogis don’t need a teacher to correct their pose; if they’re out of alignment, they will simply fall off the board and into the water.
In 2013, Caccia found herself doing physical therapy treatment for vertigo. Yoga practice was also recommended for her recovery. Already a yogi, Caccia again found Zen on her mat and decided to get a yoga teaching certification. When she heard about SUP yoga, she decided to give it a try. In 2015 she opened Ocean Rx. “When I got sick and had no other solace, I turned to the water. The name of our company is the Ocean Rx, which of course means ocean prescription. It was only a matter of time before I brought my practice out here,” she says.
As I flowed through the poses on the water, becoming more comfortable with my balance with each passing pose, I felt calmed by the gently rolling water, the distant call of the birds and the tender pond breeze. My yoga practice was not only improved by the challenge of being on the water, it was heightened by the setting of being on the water itself. “When you feel the water, it makes a connection with nature that enhances your practice. It becomes more playful. You can laugh off mistakes more because you have the cushion of falling in the water,” Caccia says. “A dry land yoga class has people at various levels. The water evens the playing field for everyone and makes it accessible for all different levels.”
Summer classes at the Ocean Rx begin on July 20 and kick off from Greenlake Beach on Slacks Pond Reservoir. See the website for more details or to book a class.