Stand up paddleboard yoga brings new meaning to the word serenity. Balancing above the tranquil, turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea is a life-altering exercise every yogi must experience. A four-hour flight from New York landed me in Aruba, an island in the southern Caribbean Sea, known for its trade winds, casinos, white sand beaches, water sports and a growing interest in stand up paddleboarding. I felt calm the moment my feet touched the buttery, soft sand of Palm Beach, where I spent a weekend at the Aruba Marriott Resort and Stellaris Casino.
My yoga instructor, Rachel Brathen, and I paddled to a clearing a short distance away from the boaters, snorkelers, and sunbathers on Marriott’s stretch of Palm Beach. The waters of the Caribbean were cool and inviting. Rachel began with a few sun salutations and I followed, slowly bending and then returning upright while balancing myself on the swaying board. We reached for skies where, in the distance, rain clouds painted a canvas of dark blue against the aqua green waters below, a Rothko painting come to life. Antique, jolly pirate sailboats enhanced the breathtaking view, as we moved through the Vinyasa flow with forward bends, twists, and shoulder stands, rhythmically choreographed with the flow of the waves.
“It’s all about finding balance in unstable circumstances. The worst thing that can happen is we fall in the water,” reminded Rachel, as we shifted from one posture to another, releasing all of our inhibitions.
Slowly, my practice fell into a perfect tempo with the soothing waves and the refreshing breeze. I felt more confident on the board, invigorated to continue. As I took in the views of the Caribbean Sea, with its multitude shades of blue-green, seagulls and pelicans soared above, and the occasional lightning streaked across the sky, adding the perfect cinematic effect. Soon, it began to rain. The tip tap of raindrops underscored our exercise in its tender drumming. It was enchanting, and it took my yoga routine to another level of the ethereal by the time we reached savasana. When we woke up, the sun was shining and we leapt in to the refreshing waters to swim to shore, to proceed onwards with our day, with memories lasting a lifetime.
To experience yoga on paddleboard, visit www.rachelbrathen.com. You can book your class at the shop in front of the Marriott Resort.