Paddle Board Water Yoga: Getting Fit in H2O


A new way to stay in shape has splashed into Cullman. The Cullman Wellness and Aquatics Center is now offering paddle board yoga classes, great for those who love a challenge.


Paddle Boards are traditionally used to stand on and paddle across larger bodies of water such as a lake. But in paddle board yoga, you’re in a pool. And you’re not just standing, you’re lunging, planking, posing and downward facing dogging.


Cullman Wellness and Aquatics Center’s yoga instructor, Debbie Leopard, is a yoga enthusiast and is thrilled to offer this new class.


“We started here in February so it’s pretty new in Cullman for sure,” stated Leopard. “I talked to Susan Cost at Smith Lake Paddle Boards and she kind of started talking to me about bringing paddle board yoga to CWAC. So that’s how it came about.”


Paddle board yoga is a challenge, even to those who are already yoga masters because balancing on the board while posing engages more muscles than traditional yoga.


“Anything you do on a paddle board is straight up core so your whole body is engaged. So, let’s say I’m doing a chair pose on the floor,” demonstrated Leopard. “I’m engaging my core, but I’m on steady ground. But if I’m doing a chair pose on a paddle board in the water, I’m having to balance myself more which engages your whole body. So it’s like a complete body workout. You could just be sitting on a paddle board and still feel like you’re getting a workout.”


Paddle board yoga forces those comfortable with traditional yoga to rebuild their poses. It’s like yoga outside the box.


“On the ground you can have a wider stance,” stated Leopard, “but in the water you have to keep everything a little more concentrated.”


Leopard added that those currently attending the classes are loving it and some are advancing very quickly.


“Some people who come are already starting to get into inversions like head stands,” she said, “but a lot of people aren’t ready for that yet.”


Okay, time to answer the question you’ve had in your head the entire time you’ve been reading this article: do people fall in the water a lot??


“Yes!” laughed Leopard. “Yes, yes, yes. Most of the time it’s when we go into a lunge position because you’re changing your center of gravity.”


Paddle board yoga is great for anyone! Even if you’ve never taken a single yoga class.


“It’s beginner yoga,” claimed Leopard, “so we’re doing a lot of dogs, warriors and stuff like that. The only differences are that you’re on a paddle board and you’re in the water.”


Leopard encourages anyone at all levels of yoga to come try this class. Classes are offered Monday and Wednesday at the Cullman Wellness and Aquatics Center at 10 a.m. It’s great exercise and great fun – as long as you don’t mind getting wet!