Yoga + Paddle Boarding = Fitness Hilton Head Island-Style

It’s 8 a.m. The sun coats Calibogue Sound giving it a stainless steel sheen. A symphony of sounds—from waves lapping against boat hulls to the splash of plunging pelicans—entertains you.

This is summer on Hilton Head Island and what better way to immerse yourself than to get on the water and go yoga paddle boarding.

Yoga Paddle Boarding Warrior I

Ken Rioux of Jiva Yoga Center and Glen Barroncini of H2O Sports in Harbour Town have joined wellness forces to bring this relative new sport to the Island.

Yes, yoga paddle boarding takes some core strength and coordination but anyone, and I mean anyone, should give it a go. What’s the worst thing that can happen? —maybe fall into the water and cool off? What’s the best thing that can happen?—maybe experience the Lowcountry from a new (and eye-level) perspective?—maybe benefit from a full body workout?

Are you game?

I thought so. You just need a few basic supplies.

Yoga Paddle Boarding Warrior II

Yoga Paddle Boarding Warrior II


Must Have’s for Yoga Paddle Boarding:

  • Confidence. If you fall in the water, you get wet. No biggie. You will see jelly balls (which do not sting), not jelly fish. You will see dolphin fins, not shark fins. So be fearless and try all the poses. Even if you have never tried either sport.
  • Bathing suit. I would err on the side of coverage. Also, you might consider a lightweight rash guard for some of the arm balances—I found I was a little slippery from my sunscreen. Outside Hilton Head stocks a great selection of water wear.
  • Heavy-duty waterproof sunscreen. I have been on a sunscreen rampage this summer to find my favorite. Island Medical Spa has Obaji Physical Block SPF 32 and Pretty Woman Day Spa has Coola Sport SPF 45—both of which seem to hold up pretty good.
  • Core awareness. You do not have to be in awesome shape per se, but it is important that you know how to balance using your core strength. (Your instructor will help you tap into this if you are a beginner.)

Much like a typical yoga class, yoga paddle boarding incorporates a warm-up, standing sequence, seated sequence, inversion and cool down.

Good Yoga Paddle Boarding Poses:

Be well!—Becca