Why You Should Give Sup Yoga A Try This Summer
As people of Portugal are heading to the beach to escape rising temperatures, we thought it would be interesting to look closer at the popular summer activities by the ocean. One of them, SUP Yoga, has been growing faster than us managing to learn Surya Namaskar, so we are heading straight to Surf and Paddle school in Cascais to speak to Lia, the SUP Yoga instructor and find out what it’s all about.
My life has changed completely when I moved to Portugal from Brazil. I’m a journalist by trade and I used to work for a well known Brazilian TV Channel, Globo. Working in media industry was something I enjoyed, however, people in it - not so much. After working for the company for over 7 years I felt I needed a change. I was asking myself if it was worth spending so much time in the office with people I didn’t trust, talking about subjects I didn’t always feel were of any interest to me. I realised I didn’t have much space to express myself.
I love Sao Paulo, but it’s a very busy city. If you wanted to escape the hustle and bustle, getting to the beach was time consuming and rather expensive. By the end, I started craving for a simpler life. I was in need of a more active lifestyle, more nature.
I moved to Portugal because of my husband who is Portuguese. Becoming a SUP Yoga instructor has never crossed my mind before. When my husband suggested moving to Portugal, I agreed with a condition that we will have 2 month trial period. I took some time of work, we came to Cascais, little town not too far from Lisbon. My days would start with going to the beach, paddling in the ocean, exploring the city. Not much time has passed before I met Nick and he introduced me to his SUP school. I had so much free time so I decided to ask if he was in need of a SUP teacher as I enjoyed paddleboarding and had relevant experience. It was the low season and they didn’t need anyone at the time, but it didn’t stop me from making the decision to move here permanently. I went back to Brazil to quit my job and sell everything I had – all the furniture, my car, clothes. I came here with one bag! It felt so good. And guess what? Two hours after switching to my portuguese number, I receive a call from Nick asking if I am still up for taking the job! I took it as a sign that is was meant to be.
I only taught SUP at the beginning and since I have years of yoga experience, the idea occurred to put those two together. I went to India to undergo a 6 week training in January 2017 and came back an official SUP Yoga teacher.
Life is different here, it’s much simpler – I enjoy it so much. I might earn less than when I lived in Brazil and I sometimes miss home, but I realized I am exactly where I’m supposed to be. When I’m not teaching, I do other things that bring me joy such as paddling in the ocean. In the beginning it was just a summer job for me, but it has been 3 years now!
I understand Yoga as a way to live a balanced lifestyle. It can teach you many things, not only asanas and breathing techniques. You practice it everyday with people by being gentle to your surroundings. Even if you do cool handstands on the board, it just means you’re good at the physical side of it, but if you don’t say ‘good morning’ to your neighbor, you’re not a good yogi. It’s a combination of mind, body and soul. If you care about the others and the environment, this is what yoga is about.
It has also helped me to live in the present. We tend to lose focus, especially with so much information surrounding us. Getting distracted from your goal is easy if you don’t practice discipline over and over again. I think it’s what life is about – enjoying the moment here and now, otherwise the anxiety of the future or regrets of the past creeps in. Such is human nature, but you have a choice to be in control. That’s why during my classes I make sure to make one thing clear – concentration is the key. If you’re doing a tricky pose, but your mind is busy with thinking about going shopping after the class, you’re not doing it right. Only living in the present will help you achieve the best results.
- May 7, 2018
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