Reasons to love this posture for SUP :
When water temps are uncomfortably low, seated postures are your go to! This seated fold opens up the back of the leg and the inner thigh, stretches the back, and calms the mind. It feels great after a long paddle session. With a slight twist variation, it can help open the front of the shoulders.
If your hamstrings are tight, bend your knee.
Personal notes :
I love the sensation of movement when floating this pose. I'll even rock my board from side to side a little.
It literally took me years to find this posture with consistency. You may notice that tight hamstrings encourage rounding the spine. If that's happening, come back up and re-enter the fold slowly, stopping at the point where you feel the resistance. Breathe there and let space open slowly.
Start by bringing the sole of the left foot to the inner right thigh, find extension down the right leg as you press through the heel and flex the toes. Establish a strong rooted sensation in your lower half as you stretch the arms overhead, inhaling. Gently pivot the hips to the right, lining up with the extended leg.
Approach the fold from the pelvis. Tilt the hip bones forward, tailbone back, inhale length up the entire spine. Reaching long through the arms and the crown of the head can help keep the spine long. With an exhale, go for a grip below the right foot. Remember to stay attentive to what's happening in your spine.
If you're noticing more rounding than lengthening in the fold, come back up and explore the fold a few times. See how it feels to bend the knee.
Stay here in your fold for at least five breaths. Check in with the right leg. If it's straight, keep that energy moving by continuing to flex the toes. Use your inhale breath to lengthen and your exhale breath to deepen.
Before you come out of the fold completely, you may like to try a gentle twist. Bring your left hand to the outer edge of your right foot. Sweep your right arm out and back behind you. Keep the chest low or lift up to change the sensation of the twist. Hold here for several breaths. Reverse the steps to come out of the posture.
I love a small counter twist to the left here.
Of course, swap the legs and visit the other side.