A cloudless sky with jet skiers playing in the bay and people fishing off nearby docks set a tranquil backdrop for Rhonda Comparin’s first day leading paddleboard yoga.
There were seven people present for the first class of Fluid SUP (Stand-Up Paddleboard) Yoga at Clement Taylor Park on Sept. 19.
“This time of year, we are testing it out,” said Comparin who has been teaching yoga for 18 years. She runs Destin Beach Yoga. “We only had two people fall off today.”
Comparin said that she’ll “vamp up” the SUP yoga schedule come spring and summer.
Comparin organizes a website, www.yogadestin.com, called Destin Yoga by the Sea, in which she lists schedules for classes like beach yoga, power yoga, aerial yoga, Pilates and more.
All ages and all levels of stand up paddleboard and yoga experience are welcome to attend.
When The Log asked Comparin how she would describe her water-based yoga class in one word she responded, “exhilarating.”
“It was totally awesome — not only the yoga thing — you’re constantly working your core to stay balanced,” said Destin’s Greg Cobble who attended the class.
Another class participant, Sabrina Kisch from Atlanta, said that after she stopped worrying about the possibility of bumping into others on their boards, she was able to enjoy the class and said she’d return for another.
Fluid SUP Yoga is offered on Wednesdays at Clement Taylor Park 10:30 a.m. to noon with Comparin as the instructor. During the SUP yoga, the boards are tethered together by a leash and tied to the boundary rope in the water.
Before the class takes to the water, Comparin does a 30-minute Fluid Flow warm-up lesson on land to focus on foundations before practicing basic poses like forward bends and seated twists on the board.
Lisa Turpin, SUP Pilates instructor, joined in on the first yoga class with Comparin.
Turpin offers SUP Pilates at Clement Taylor Park Tuesdays and Thursdays 9:30-11 a.m. She’s been instructing Pilates for 13 years.
“We’re moving it outdoors and adding an extra element of balance,” Turpin said of exercising on a paddleboard.
The cost for each class is $20 with a reserved paddleboard from GUSU Paddlesports in Destin or $10 (cash, check or Beach Class Card for yoga) if you bring your own board.
Comparin and Turpin will also travel to parts of the bay to lead lessons for those seeking private sessions.
On Saturday, Oct. 6, at 11 a.m. at Clement Taylor Park, Comparin and Turpin will host a special event: Yoga Pilates SUP Combo Class. The class will involve a mix of yoga and Pilates on the paddleboards, followed by guided paddle play.
For more information, find Destin Beach Yoga on Facebook or contact Comparin at 850-758-1712.
“It’s really cool in the respect that you learn your movements a little more sharply,” said Turpin.