Yoga: May the Board Be With You

Just six miles from campus, at UC Irvine’s crew base in Newport Beach, takes place the fun and relaxing fitness workout of UCI’s campus recreation Stand Up Paddle (SUP) Boarding Yoga class, available to students, staff, faculty, and alumni. Paddleboard yoga should definitely be on every Anteater’s must-do list.

Courtesy of Lauren Shepherd

Courtesy of Lauren Shepherd

Paddleboard yoga, along with Paddleboard Boot Camp, are new classes that were brought to UCI this fall by Boating Director Mandy McDonnell.

“UCI Campus Recreation has offered stand up paddleintro and open classes for approximately two years,” Mandy said. “When I became Boating Director on July 1st of this year, I chose to offer these new classes because I thought that combining paddleboarding with fitness would broaden our audience and boost interest in the stand up paddle classes/use of our boards and the paddle facility,” she continued. “I really want to encourage more UCI people to take advantage of our beautiful, local Newport Harbor and the great water sports programs that UCI campus recreation offers!”

Jenai Nelson is the class featured instructor. In 2009, Jenai received her yoga teaching certification and in 2010 began teaching stand up paddle, making her the perfect instructor for this class. The class starts off by teaching how to properly use a paddle and steer the paddleboard around the harbor. The rest of the class hour involves doing yoga on the board, teaching and practicing coordination, meditation, flexibility, and balance.

Groups at UCI, whether they are students, faculty, staff, or alumni, can come together and customize the class to fit their group as a whole. It’s a great experience that will undoubtedly be a fun and unique experience for everyone.

“I can organize a stand up paddle class, paddleboard yoga class, paddleboard boot camp, stand up paddle and kayak combo class, group paddle tour or even a sailing class any day or any time for a variety of sizes of groups. We can do dorm groups, fraternities, sororities, or just a group of friends. They do not have to fit into our structured class schedule,” said Mandy.

After this Friday’s paddleboard yoga session, the classes will be switching to three consecutive Fridays of Paddleboard Boot Camp. However, upon request the class can be customized for anyone that’s interested.

From experience, this class is a great combination of exercise, serenity and fun. With the sun shining over the harbor surrounded by the boats and yachts, Stand Up Paddleboard Yoga beautifully brings together mind, body and beach.