SUP Yoga at Home: Indo Yoga Board Practice

About the Indo Yoga Board

Half Moon Pose
Deborah M. Kennedy

The Indo Yoga Board is a dynamic cross training vehicle that can be used to enhance the muscular engagement of your yoga practice or as a balance trainer for both stand up paddling and surfing.

Initially, I began using the Indo Yoga Board as a cross training tool to continue my balance training for the stand up paddle race season throughout a cold northeast winter. What I discovered was a dynamic, all-over fitness training device that can elevate performance across many different sports, from running to surfing, tennis to yoga.

Over time, the Indo Yoga Board has helped me develop better balance, greater core strength and deeper muscular engagement throughout my body. Incorporating the Indo Yoga Board into a regular yoga routine will bring your practice to a whole new level by adding instability as you work!

Using the Indo Yoga Board for a Yoga Practice

The Indo Yoga Board is a 6-foot long, 15-inch wide board that stands on four gently rounded rockers. These rockers provide the instability that revolutionizes a basic yoga routine. The balance training is initiated by standing or kneeling on the unstable surface, requiring greater mindfulness throughout each movement or asana. The practitioner must carefully think about foot placement, adding additional muscular engagement to the foundational muscles of the feet, ankles, calves, knees and wrists. This deep muscular engagement also increases core strength to maintain balance. In short, exercising on the Indo Yoga Board takes your yoga practice to new heights.

Low Lunge (Anjaneyasana) Crescent Variation

Low Lunge
Deborah M. Kennedy

Start by kneeling on the Indo Yoga Board. Sep one foot forward so the knee is directly over the ankle. Slide the other knee back a little, but stay focused on the vertical position of the shin of the front leg, and keep your hips square to the front edge of the board. Isometrically "hug" the front foot back and the back knee forward toward the middle of your Indo Yoga Board. Gather strength into your core by firming your belly as you begin to draw your heart up toward the sun.

When steady, raise your arm on the same side as your forward knee and slide it back next to the ear. With your opposite hand, reach back and touch the heel of your opposite foot while keeping your hips square, your core firm and your heart lifted.

This movement is great for core strength and opens the hip flexors/psoas muscle  Repeat on both sides.

Side Plank Variation (Vasisthasana)

Side Plank Crescent Variation
Deborah M. Kennedy

Start in a table top position and slide one hand into the middle of the Indo Yoga Board. Next, align the same-side knee midway down the board behind your wrist. Turn this knee to 90 degrees behind you and place your toes on the board for stability.

Take your opposite foot and extend it all the way to the back of the board, straightening the leg so you've created a line of energy from your front middle finger, through your knee and extending out through your back foot.

Now raise your top hand up toward the sun and lift your hips high. For greater balance, point the toe of the foot that is at 90 degrees behind you so it's not touching the floor and engage your core.

This move is a great oblique stretch, an intro to arm balance sequencing and it enhances core engagement.

Triangle Pose (Trikonasana)

Triangle Pose
Deborah M. Kennedy

Stand in the middle of the Indo Yoga Board facing toward its front edge. Step one foot back and turn its toes slightly in from 90 degrees across the back of the board. Step your front foot forward and point its toes toward the front edge of the board so your back foot's arch lines up with your front foot's heel. Straighten both legs. 

Now, isometrically "pull" both feet toward each other to further engage the quads and hamstrings. Tighten up your belly and lengthen your tailbone. Think about moving the hip flexor of your front leg deep into the pelvic socket, extend the hand closest to the front leg away from your body, reaching toward the front of the board. 

Keeping your side seam lengthened, slowly lower your hand down onto a block placed on the outside of that foot or onto your ankle or the front of your shin. Extend your opposite hand skyward and open the palm in the direction where your hips are pointing. Keep your belly firm, your legs drawing toward one another and your heart open. 

This move strengthens the ankles, calves and quads. It also opens the side seams and enhances greater core engagement to maintain balance.

Bound Triangle Pose (Bound Trikonasana)

Bound Trikonasana
Deborah M. Kennedy

Set up the same way you did for Trikonasana, but this time, instead of extending your top hand skyward, drop it behind your back and reach for the upper inner thigh with your fingers.  This enhances core stability as you're no longer using your top arm for balance. The binding opens up the front of the shoulders and keeps your spine moving into the body to prevent rounding of the upper back.

The exercise opens the deltoids, upper pectoral muscles and develops greater mindfulness regarding balance and core engagement.

Half Moon Pose (Ardha Chanrasana)

Half Moon Pose
Deborah M. Kennedy

Begin standing in the middle of your Indo Yoga Board and step one foot back, like you're moving into high lunge. Reach the arm on the same side as your front leg forward of the foot by about six inches. Place this hand on the Indo Yoga Board or on a block on the side of the board for greater stability.

Slowly, gather your strength into the front leg, contract your quads and firm your belly. When you're ready, begin to remove weight from the back foot and turn your toes in the same direction as your hips, contracting your quads on the lifted leg and slowly raising it up so it's level with your hip. Lift the top arm toward the ceiling, palm turned outward. Balance here. 

This move is a great core strengthener, enhancing muscular engagement in the feet, ankles, calves, knees and thighs. It also opens up the hips.

Side Plank With Lifted Leg (Vasistasana)

Side Plank Lifted Leg
Deborah M. Kennedy

Start in Side Plank Variation with one knee on the board and the other leg extended.  Isometrically "draw" the standing hand down towards your feet to stabilize the arm bone in the shoulder socket.

Next, straighten your bottom leg underneath the top extended leg and stack your feet on top of one another. Flex both feet, open your chest, engage your core and lift your hips. With your shoulder stacked directly over your bottom wrist, slowly lift your top leg by contracting the quads, hips and glutes while keeping your hips square to the front of your torso. Flex the lifted foot and raise your hips even higher.  Breathe … you're flying!

Continue Reading