Wed | Jan 16, 2019

SUP Yoga in the tropics

Published:Sunday | February 11, 2018 | 12:00 AMLatara Boodie
We all know the benefits of yoga, but variety is the spice of life. So grab a paddle board and try it on water.
In SUP yoga, you are encouraged to focus on breathing while holding difficult poses on the water.
With legs dangling in the water SUP yoga allows you to drift away and find your inner peace.
Moving to the tropics, SUP yoga was something Alyssa Aimée van der Ree knew she wanted to introduce.

Imagine being able to escape from the stresses of everyday life in the heart of Kingston. Transported to a tranquil environment, that not only calms the mind, but offers the most exciting core workout you have ever experienced in your life. SUP Yoga with yoga instructor and writer Alyssa Aimee van der Ree, is the art of performing yoga with a paddle board stand up paddle surfing. This is usually done in calm water, such as a lake or even a pool.

An avid yogi, Aimee has explored the various forms of yoga across the world, and incorporated them into her teaching methods. She told Outlook, "I came to Jamaica a year and a half ago, and the yoga community in Jamaica has really surprised me. People are very spiritual here in a different kind of way."

While living in India and Australia, Aimee practised SUP yoga. "When I came here, I said to myself, I live on a tropical island now and there is no SUP Yoga here, why not start one?" After thinking about it for a while, Aimee went to the United States and became a certified SUP yoga instructor.




Finding a suitable location was another challenge for her. She wanted the experience to be something for persons living in Kingston to have access to and use to escape for an hour. "Yoga is such a powerful tool, and I think Jamaica might need it even more with all this craziness going on," she said. The Cabana Pool at the Spanish Court Hotel is the ideal location due to its central location and scenic poolside which has hues of red and brown which frames the not-so-deep aquamarine salt-water pool.

SUP yoga allows you to wiggle your hips a little and feel everything throughout your core because of the added difficulty of having to balance on water while performing yoga poses. It takes a lot of concentration, which allows the mind to become aware and focused on being present. It is a fun experience that will definitely allow you to surprise yourself. "Its getting out of your comfort zone, and also challenging yourself," said Aimee. During SUP yoga, one will get to use different muscles which are usually neglected.

"You feel like you have been on a full holiday after just one hour of SUP Yoga. You don't have to go to a fancy resort for the weekend for a holiday," declared Aimee.

SUP Yoga classes are every Wednesday morning 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Cabana Pool within the Spanish Court Hotel. For the month of March, weekend classes will also be available. Register in advance at or contact via IG (alyssa_aimee).