That is right! On our adventures out and about we went paddleboarding. Well, not only paddleboarding but we did Paddleboard Yoga. I don't know who thought this was a brilliant idea. ONE....I have never paddleboarded, TWO I have never done yoga. What was I thinking?
I believe what I was thinking was the best reviews are things that I have never done. Take me out of my comfort zone and try something new. Every time I am so glad I did and find myself coming back! And look at the gorgeous day we had. The water was still a little chipper. But the blue sky was beautiful.
For our adventure this time we had a couple new #alongs. One of those being Brittney, who does personal training at the YMCA; you might remember her from a past review when four of us signed up for personal trainings. This time she got to be a participant, and we were so happy she could join us.
Our other new face to Lake Life Reviews is Elle. Elle has just moved into the area and will be teaching at Spirit Lake Schools and is part of the coaching staff for the girls basketball program there.
Neither #along Brittney or Elle knew exactly what they were getting into. Elle says, "Oh we are actually getting on the water, nice." At that point, I am not exactly sure what Joy told her to get her to come, but I'm a so glad she did! By the end of the session, she was hooked.
We also had Charlotte to round out our #alongs. She has joined in on a review or two before and was used to our shenanigans.
Usually Joy takes our pictures for us and does an amazing job, but since we were not going to be on dry land, we thought we needed to bring someone along to just be our photographer. And why we were at it, why not get one that has a drone! Katelyn Krieger is an incoming senior at Spirit Lake High School that has a strong case of the photography bug. If you follow her on her Facebook page, you can see some drone footage of this area along with places she has traveled. Not only does she take creative and great shots with the drone but her work with the camera lens on foot is amazing as well. It is just fun to watch her get just the right angle for that perfect shot. A huge shout out to Katelyn for all of the great pictures!
Tara, Joy and I represented the Lake Life team for this review, and Amanda Jorgensen from The Studio Yoga & Barre graciously hosted us! She offers so many things from Paddleboard Yoga, to Barre Classes to Aerial Yoga. She also offers SUP Paddleboard, why not, right? While we were paddleboarding to our Paddleboard Yoga spot, she told us about some of her paddleboard adventures. Some for the beginners and some for the more advanced paddleboarders. For instance, putting lights on your board and doing a little night paddleboarding! Sounds so fun!
Our crew had a spread of experiences. No one in our group had done both paddleboarding and yoga combined. But #along Brittney and Elle were confident in their paddleboarding skills. Joy and Brittney had done a little bit of yoga before as well.
There were no worries, okay there were some worries. Everyone seemed a little nervous about it all. I was nervous that I would get out there and would need to use the restroom...and then what? Joy was nervous of going overboard on her paddleboard, Tara was just nervous. "Tara, what were you nervous about?" Maybe it was a nervous excited. Charlotte doesn't say anything she just does the things she is asked, so I don't think she was nervous, and Brittney and Elle took the bull by it's horns. Well no, they took their paddle by the top and got right on their board standing up and paddled away.
Amanda took the time to explain all the things. Let us know what we should expect if we fall off, how to stand and paddle, sit and paddle, kneel and paddle. She made us all comfortable and confident that we could do this.
And so we launch. Amanda has this perfect spot. She has a place inside of Okoboji Boat Works where she has her boards and supplies. We launch off the beach right there and go around the first big dock and then tuck back inbetween it and another dock. She has found this is a spot on West Lake Okoboji has the least amount of waves from the lake's activity. It was great. It was nice and peaceful back there.
Once we all got back in her hidden little spot, we all paddle with our noses together and link up. We looked like a blooming flower. It took a little bit to get used to shifting from knees to sitting to moving things around. But it really gave you a sense of how much you can, or cannot move on these boards without going overboard.
Now comes the yoga. Who has done yoga out there? If you haven't, I think you should. I think I need to add it to my schedule. I bet I would become more flexible. And I really did enjoy the times Amanda guided us through feeling our breaths, taking in the surroundings, centering our minds to focus on just one thing, breathing. Not having to worry about all of the things on the docket for the day. Just being present in right now.
I have not done my research on what Yoga is suppose to bring to you. I feel like it is great for stretching, and there are times that I felt muscles engaging in a pose; a muscle I didn't even know I had. There is strength that goes along with the elongated poses. But again what I loved the most was being present and aware. Not worrying about what is coming next, just breathe.
Amanda had us laying on our backs stretched out. Getting ready for a few more challenging moves. She brought us up on table top, which is on all fours. We eventually progressed to standing for all of those that were comfortable. I don't know if I was all that comfortable standing on my board yet, but I thought I would just try. I wouldn't know if I could do it if I didn't try.
Amanda had a couple other moves to do while standing. And then it happens. It had to happen right? Well, tell you the truth, it doesn't always happen. I think Amanda's words were, it RARELY happens. So, Amanda had us lifting our heels, almost being in tiptoe. Again, I just wanted to try it all, and there goes my board. With a big splash I am in the lake! They all seemed concerned asking if I was alright. The shock of the cold water took my breath away. As I swam back to my board, Amanda explained to me how to get back on the board.
She starts off and says, "there is no way to do this without feeling like a beached whale." Oh thanks Amanda! HA! She had me put one hand in the handle of the board and the other all the way across it and then pull up. And I did just that. Amanda says, "YES, like that, well done." Brittney adds in "I had no doubt she was strong enough to get up first try, she's been training with me." Yes Brittney, thank you SO MUCH for making me feel a little less like a beached whale.
I sat back on my board. The others finished their yoga moves standing on the board and then Amanda brought everyone back down and recentered our hearts and bodies laying back down on our boards. As Brittney knows, "mat lays" are my favorite stations for my trainings. Okay, to be honest there is no such thing as a mat lay with Brittney's trainings, I just try to get in about 10 seconds of them in-between exercises. But here on the board, it is pretty much a mat lay, and that is what Amanda wanted us to do. My dream comes true! Amanda says "this is the hardest part for some. I need you to be still, be present, feel your breaths, let your mind be aware of your surroundings and be thankful."
This part of yoga I think I really need in the morning and maybe right when I go to bed. Just to be present not thinking about the chores that need to be done, or the appointments that need to be made, just to be present. I think that might be my new word for 2022. It can be 2022 second half...Be present.
As our session comes to a close, we all make our way back around the big dock back to the sand beach. Charlotte and Tara join in on those standing up to paddle. For myself, I was still sitting. I think I should have tried to stand and paddle, but I already embarrassed myself once for going in the drink. Instead I thought it was best to treat my board more like a kayak and paddle myself in.
Listening to everyone talk on the way back, We might have hooked a few. Brittney and Elle were asking all of the things. When, where, what and how.
For anything with the paddleboard, it is by appointment only. Amanda has had as big as 20 people doing paddleboard yoga at one time. The week before she had just done a bachelorette party. How fun is that!?! Contact Amanda by texting or calling 712-330-9798. Follow her on Facebook: www.facebook.com/thestudioyoga where she posts updates on her other classes that are held downtown Spirit Lake or check out her website at www.studioyogabarre.com and see all the classes she has to offer.
Right here in Spirit Lake/Okoboji, we have all of this! Give it a try, you won't regret it. You might just find something you would like to add to your routine!