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Aqua Yoga - if you haven't heard of it... step out from underneath that rock and check this!
Think paddleboarding is good for your core and overall fitness? Well, add in a little “Namaste” and you have yourself one AMAZING workout! Sun, water AND yoga; how can you go wrong?
Sarah Tiefenthaler, the Founder of YOGAqua, took some time out of her own heavenly zen to get us up to date with the new craze. We can't wait to give it a go, even if we do have the world’s worst balance!
Your Instagram account (@YOGAqua) is evidence you’re obviously a Yoga Queen! How long have you been practising yoga for?
I’ve been practising yoga (regularly) for about 10 years now. When I was working in the fashion industry I found a studio that I'd go to every day after work. They played loud, upbeat music and had fun! It was the perfect introduction to yoga. I sweat a lot and didn’t feel like I was going to get into trouble if I didn’t do a pose absolutely perfectly.
Combining yoga with paddleboarding is a genius move! Where did the inspiration for YOGAqua come from?
Back in 2010 I travelled to Costa Rica to earn my first (of three) Yoga Teacher Certifications. During the month I was there, I spent every day outside practising yoga, hiking, swimming, climbing waterfalls, etc. When I returned home to LA I longed for an outdoor activity. As luck would have it, I was invited to try paddleboarding in Marina Del Rey. I knew before I even set one foot on the board that I was going to attempt a few yoga poses. That was the spark.
Other than it being uber cool, what are the main benefits that differ from your standard yoga?
Well the best difference is that you’re outside in nature! Floating on the calm water, soaking up the Vitamin D is a major bonus. Beginning each class with a paddle gives a quick dose of cardio before you even begin your yoga session. The fact that you are practising yoga on an unstable service brings with it a whole bunch of extra physical benefits like increased core strength. This experience will also sharpen your focus. It’s actually pretty difficult to think about anything else when you’re going through your flow trying to avoid falling in. And last but certainly not least, Savasana. Lying on your back, floating on the water, dipping your fingers in and listening to the birds and the breeze…well, there’s nothing better.
What is your best advice to newbies and what can we expect for our first session?
There’s nothing to worry about! It’s ok if you’ve never been on a board and it’s even ok if you’re new to yoga. Just go and have fun! Wear lightweight yoga clothes, sunblock, a hat and only sunglasses that you wouldn't mind losing should you happen to take a dip.
Based in Marina Del Rey, do you have a large volume of tourists taking part in your classes?
In the Summer, absolutely! We have people joining us from all over the world.
Now we have to ask, we all know celebrities love to get that 'zen' feel. Have you reached any clients that we may know?
Yep, I’m sure you would know them. :) I have had the pleasure of teaching to a variety of celebrities - actors, musicians, Olympic athletes, NBA players, etc.
We know you’re a little traveller at heart. If you could travel anywhere in the world and instruct a YOGAqua class, where would you go and why?
I would really love to visit the Maldives, stay in one of those gorgeous huts on the water and paddle over from there to my class to teach.
What are your tips for practising wellness while travelling?
Drink lots of water. Don’t freak out if you can’t find your favourite almond milk or protein powder - try something new! Just make sure you’re getting everything you need - fruits, vegetables and protein. And if you want to exercise while you travel, don’t lie on your hotel room floor and do sit-ups, get outside and explore! Bring some sunscreen with you. :)