Yoga Sequence for Paddlers

Yoga Sequence for Paddlers

Most of us agree that paddling is a great way to leave the stresses of our modern life behind. But not all of us are lucky enough to live in a region that provides open water year round. In Huntsville, Canada, winter lasts for many months and those muscles used when paddling (or on a canoe trip) can loose strength over a long cold Canadian winter.

To help keep stress at a minimum during the winter season, and to help strengthen those muscles needed for the power of self-propulsion (and other activities), more and more of us are discovering and practicing Yoga. With paddling being a big focus in our Canadian lives, it wasn’t long before some of us started to look at various Yoga positions and sequences that would best suit a paddler.

The following sequence was put together with a focus on strengthening the upper body and core muscles used in paddling a canoe or kayak.

A Yoga Sequence for Paddlers…
  1. Begin in Mountain Pose, inhale and circle sweep your arms up
  2. Exhale into a Forward Fold position (knees slightly bent with your chess pushing towards your legs). Hold and breathe.
  3. Exhale moving into Downward Dog position, hold and breathe.
  4. Inhale and move into the Plank position hold and breathe.
  5. Exhale and move down into Crocodile hold and breathe.
  6. Lower yourself to the floor. Inhale and move into Upward Dog, hold and breathe.
  7. Move into Chid’s Pose, hold and breathe.
  8. Perform a Half Knot stretch on both sides 2 or 3 times each arm.
  9. Rest if needed or inhale and move move into Locust, hold and breathe.
  10. Rest if needed and then move into Cobra.
  11. Next perform a sitting Spinal Twist. Both sides.
  12. Lay on your back and rest if needed. Move into the Bridge position. Hold and breathe. Then rest, if needed.
  13. Move into Bridge position again. Hold and breathe. Then rest, if needed.
  14. Lying down, again, move into a LYING DOWN Spinal Twist stretch. Both sides.
  15. Relax into the Corpse (or repeat sequence from here by inhaling and moving back into Plank and then exhale into Downward Dog and hold. Exhale back into Forward Fold and finally into Mountain. Start again at beginning)
Click to enlarge if needed.

If you perform and repeat this sequence daily, you will be sure to feel the difference! But if you want, you can just add a few key positions to your regular workout routine, i.e. Cobra, Locust (and Full Locust if you are able), Plank and Boat. To see the illustration of these core moves, see the first image in this post or click here: Core Yoga Positions for Paddlers. Or just add a few of these moves to your favourite Yoga sequence or Salutation.

Happy Paddling and Namaste!

Please note: Fiona is not a Yoga Instructor and has only been practicing Yoga for a short time.  She originally began by performing simple positions with her son Makobe, who has autism, to help decrease some of his anxiety and to help with regulation of his breathing. But it wasn’t long before Fiona saw the benefits of practicing Yoga for herself and quickly became hooked. Feeling the results after just a few sessions, it wasn’t long before she started to believe Yoga was a really great low impact way to help keep stronger during a long winter, and in between digging the water, all year round. Remember to consult with your doctor before trying any new exercise regime, including the Yoga positions and/or sequence of positions stated in this post and be sure to educate yourself about Yoga (and how each position is performed) to save yourself unnecessary strain or injury.  There are many Yoga Practitioners who can help you get started, as well as online forums, Youtube videos and books.

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