Location: Waneka Lake, Lafayette, CO
Instructor: Lisa Fierer
Duration: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Sweat meter: low
Stretch meter: medium
Overall rating: **/***** (2/5 stars)
I like yoga but I am definitely not good at it. I have never been "stretchy" even as a kid. I have a disproportionately long torso to my shorter legs which I think may be the origin of my inflexibility but then again maybe its not! All I know is that bending over to touch my toes is and always has been painful and most yoga classes I have tried in the past consisted of me constantly looking at the clock to see how many more minutes of torture I needed to endure. The only reason I can still place yoga in my "like" column is because I actually feel better when I'm done for simply having gone. So why not add an extra factor of difficulty, i.e. water, to the equation?!
The class that I took along with 2 of my friends, Denise and Joelle, is through the city of Lafayette, CO Recreation Center. It is held once a week on Saturday morning during the summer and lasts an hour and a half. Not all of that time is actually spent doing yoga. I kept track of the time (its a yoga class so I watched the clock) and we only started our "shake our "asanas" at 10:20 despite meeting up at 9:30 am. The class was taught by a very knowledgeable SUP yoga instructor named Lisa. She was entertaining and smiley while showing us the ins and outs of the paddleboard we were about to use. I am not new to paddleboarding by any means however I did learn some new tricks like how to properly adjust my paddle length and easier ways to turn. I did get a little bored during this portion of the class but in general I appreciate succinct instruction for most things. When we were finally allowed to launch, I was first in line to place my board in the lake and took off.
The next 10 minutes was my favorite part. I was able to paddle around and just enjoy the views around the lake, which included watching my friends manage to get up on their boards with some wobbling but no dunking. We were instructed to go to the west side of the lake, face the mountains and try and form a half circle. Each of us was sent out with a Folgers coffee canned filled with cement that had a rope attached to serve as an anchor. I'm assuming that weight was supposed to help us stay put for the duration of class. Mine worked about as well as trying to keep my daughter in her seat at the movie theater for the entire length of the movie. I started on one end near my friend Joelle and proceeded to drift like a magnet to my other friend Denise who was on the opposite end. In the meantime we went through a series of yoga poses including downward dog, three legged dog, pigeon and mermaid. I found that as long as I centered my body or feet exactly where Lisa told us, then I was able to stay pretty balanced. The only time I almost swam with the fishes was trying to grab my back foot from pigeon into mermaid. I immediately tipped to the right which was followed by a huge cackle from Denise who was able to master that pose. We ended in the same way most yoga classes do, in Shavasana or corpse pose, except you have the added bonus of being able to dip your hands and feet into the water while you lay there and calmly hope you are not drifting into anyone else.
My overall take was: "That was fun but did I learn any new yoga poses? No, not at all. Did I get my heart rate up any higher than normal to count this as a calorie burning class? Definitely not." I never really expect that I from yoga but I do hope that it challenges my balance and strength. The water factor absolutely challenged my balance but there was no real gain in strength. I loved having my 2 friends there so I could sneak a peak at them trying not to abandon ship while getting into some of the poses. Plus we know each other well enough that no one took offense to being laughed at. There was more laughing along with each other than a focus on yoga, and i'm not sure it was worth the $20 each we just spent as a pure workout. For a one time deal, I think it was worth it to go with some friends, but the next time you see me on Waneka Lake on a paddleboard, I'm pretty sure I will be simply upright.