SUP Yoga with Marisa Frazier


Stand-Up paddle-board yoga is a great way to improve mindfulness, concentration, balance and core strength, all while having fun and enjoying nature. Not convinced yet?

Here are a few reasons to give it a try!

  1. Yoga on the water offers opportunities that a land-based practice doesn’t. Studies even show that being around water can positively impact mood, giving you a sense of peace and rejuvenation.

  2. There’s something for everyone! No advanced yoga training required. If you can breathe, you can do yoga… and if you can stand one one foot, you can stand on a paddle board!

  3. Improve focus and mindfulness! Your floating yoga mat gives you no choice but to “be here now”, intentional with each movement and hand or foot placement, or you may be welcomed with a refreshing splash!

  4. Challenge your core and work your muscles in a new way! The poses tend to amplify the action of the stabilizer muscles in your quadriceps, shoulders, arms, and calves.

  5. If you like hot yoga, practicing outside on a summer day can create the same steamy fun! And when you’re ready to cool down, you can jump in and take a swim!

  6. It encourages a beginner’s mindset and allows you to see each pose in a new way. Even if you’ve practiced downward dog a thousand times, on a board you may begin to notice subtle shifting within your body that you didn’t before!

  7. You can take your practice anywhere! The Ozarks area is full of places to explore nature, change up your scenery, and experience the beauty of the outdoors!

  8. Get your zen on. I believe a paddle board is the best place to take a nice long savasana at the end of your practice! Relax and listen to the sounds of nature as your board gently rocks you into serenity.


Here are a few things to keep in mind as you’re preparing for your outing!

Board stability is primarily affected by the width of the board, as well as rigidity and thickness. You will likely also want a pair of sandals to wade into the water with as many launch areas have fishing hooks lurking on the bottom.

SUP-yoga encourages you to slow down and pay attention to the way you move, concentrate and the quality of your breath. Which means you might want an anchor attached to your board so you don’t have to worry about drifting away during your practice. Try to find a spot away from heavy winds and boat traffic.

Staying low to the board is a great place to start. Try working from poses on all 4’s and getting comfortable with kneeling before standing. Try different versions of poses to scale it up or down. Such as moving from a low lunge (with your back knee down) and your hands on the board, to bringing your hands to your thigh or reaching up to the sky! Then you can try lifting your back knee and repeating the process!

Don’t take it too seriously! There is less control than in an on-land practice. A sudden wind or wave might set you off balance and you might fall in. Just like in life, it’s impossible to have complete control, so just relax and go with the flow! Plus, there’s not an easy way to get back on the board without looking like a seal, which is always a reminder to me to laugh about it and remember that the point is to have fun!


Marisa is an avid swimmer and outdoor adventurer who is passionate about holistic wellness. She graduated from Missouri State in 2016 with a degree in Exercise and Movement Science. Marisa is an ACSM-Certified Exercise Physiologist, NCSF-Certified Personal Trainer and RYT-200 Yoga Instructor.

She also works part-time for the Sierra Club as the Ozarks Conservation Program Coordinator. In her downtime she enjoys leading hikes and paddle boarding around the Ozarks, triathlon training, and continuing yoga teacher education. Please contact Marisa if you’re interested in paddle board yoga or personal training. Join her for a class at Ozark Mountain Yoga or an adventure with 37 North Expeditions!

You can find her on Facebook or Instagram @mfrazierfitness or email her at

April Nelson