Paddleboard Yoga is truly an extraordinary way to be active, celebrate your well-being and be immersed in nature. To be on the water, exercising and surrounded by so much natural beauty, is a gift. Paddleboarding alone is such is such a fun and unique experience. Combined with yoga, you’re in for the most invigorating, challenging yet playful and adventurous combination. We are blessed to have our own Standup Paddleboard Yoga Center, OnBoardSUP, offering an abundance of classes here in Sausalito.
With paddleboard yoga, your mat is your stand up paddleboard, and Sausalito’s Richardson Bay is your studio. The sun, wind, water, birds and seals are all participants. Beginners are welcome. At the start of each class, you’ll learn the basics of paddleboarding and then float your way to a yoga class. Participants will be instructed through yoga poses, all the while experiencing the continuous challenge of balancing, the instability created by minor energy and weight shifts, and the focus required to ground while afloat. It sounds intense, but laughter and smiles abound.
Leigh Claxton, founder of OnBoardSUP created paddleboard yoga in 2008. Claxton has a 20-year background in fitness and yoga, including exercise physiology. At the time she was working with two head injury patients, both challenged with balance. Serendipitously, someone gave her an old, waterlogged paddleboard. She tried the board and found it immediately brought her focus to her balance. Claxton had the realization that if she got her patients on the paddleboard they could truly see and feel their imbalance. Immediately, her patients started to make huge progress, fully understanding the concept of experiencing balance with the ground moving beneath them. They became much more centered and grounded, and their recovery was increased tenfold.
Today, Claxton's company offers a variety of classes each week. Each class is unique because the weather is always changing and the tides are always different. One thing remains the same though, “everyone has fun, they express how happy they are, and the shared feeling of community and joy that’s created in just the one class is incredible.” The clientele keeps returning and come from all over the Bay Area to participate. Claudia Cowan, an avid fan says, “Leigh is organized, patient, and flexible. She makes beginners feel at ease and takes time to help more advanced paddlers get to the next level. She's funny, wise and strong –– virtues you want as you learn a challenging sport –– and begin to appreciate the divine perspective of doing a back bend mere inches above the water's surface.”
To join in the fun and sign up for a class, visit the website, contact Claxton directly at Leigh@OnBoardSUP.com or call 415.497.5479. A single class is $30 and you can buy a 10-pack for $270. Special and customized groups are welcome. Classes are offered Friday through Sunday at 9 a.m., as well as a fitness class “Bootcamp on a Board” on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7:30 a.m. Starting in May, Sunrise Yoga and Meditation will be offered every other Sunday, and more classes will be added starting June 1.