“The handle is where the sweet spot of the board is, ” explains certified instructor Heather Anselmi, pointing out the sweet spot to her class – ready to strike up a pose on the paddleboard.     

She adds, “So anytime we are doing any standing poses or seated poses or on our hands on knees, think your center is going to be here.”  

The owner of Downdog Paddle and Yoga — leading a group of women on the nuances of paddleboard or paddle yoga.

Heather says, “Paddle yoga is basically taking your yoga class outside on the water on a standup paddle board and taking that ground away and replacing it with a floating practice.”

Strengthening muscles for balance and preventing injury. 

“Some of the muscles that you engage when you’re on a standup paddleboard, ” she says, “Are those supporting muscles that you use for balance that you don’t really in a normal fitness class get in touch with.  Every move is slow so think about practicing yoga through like you are in a matrix or everything is very calculated and slow and fluid in standup paddle board yoga.”   

There’s also the mental benefit.

Heather says, “Sometimes we get so lost in our thoughts and really when you’re out here on the water, all you can really think about is your breath and where you are to maintain your balance on the board.”

Eyes straight ahead helps —  but falling is part of it as I learned trying to standup on the board in knee high water on Long Island Sound.

Chris Bekasi says “I was shaking, I was terrified.” 

She signed up on a dare this past spring.

“He challenged me and I said I could do this.” 

Fluid poses that does her body good.  

She says, “In this you have to use your balance, equal on both sides.  So I’ve been finding balance and all those little aches, and pains and muscles have disappeared.  It looks challenging and it is but you feel so rewarded afterwards.”

With feathered friends on the fringe observing – body and soul are refreshed and restored.

Heather also works closely with the Guilford Parks and Recreation Department. 
Offering three classes a week – depending on the weather.

The weekly wellness report is fueled by the Billion Steps Challenge.

The latest number of steps to a healthier Connecticut and you — we are at nearly 68 million-  67,937,603 as of today.

Keep it up everybody! 
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