As a seasoned yoga practitioner and instructor, I am always looking for ways to improve my own practice as well as teaching. The new Indo Yoga Board accomplishes that for even the most advanced yogis. Your core is so important in everyday life, not just sports and yoga, and the board adds a whole new dimension to strengthening and conditioning it. The Indo Yoga Board was created to complement the booming stand up paddle board (SUP) community that has taken yoga to the water. But what do you do when the weather isn’t cooperating or you don’t have the time to drive out to find a body of water to practice on? Or for those that live in areas that actually have winters and snow and need a way to keep their practice up indoors? Also, for new SUP enthusiasts that want to hone in their balance without the risk of getting wet over and over, this is the perfect tool.
For those of you thinking “I can barely keep my balance in yoga class on flat ground, how could I possibly stay on a board that’s rocking the whole time!?!” Well staying on the board def takes some getting used to, but it layers a whole new level of focus to your paractice – your body and mind MUST be quiet and in sync. We all tend to have a dominant side no matter how even we try to keep our practice. If your weight is unevenly distributed, the board will let you know. If you’re tense, the board will let you know. And it’s amazing how it immediately forces you to lock in your drishti and focus on your breath more than you ever have before.
You can adjust the level of difficulty as well so it makes for a pretty smooth transition off your mat. There are rockers on the bottom of the board that simulate the instability of being on a SUP. The curve is fairly mild so the board rocks gently from side to side as you shift your weight. The board also comes with 2 IndoFLO cushions (which are super easy to inflate). You can place the cushions under the board to lift it off the ground and make it even more unstable. The higher the board, the harder to balance. You can see how easy it is to change height in the video.
The only things I would say that could use improving are the width and surface texture of the board. I’m fairly small and my hands were on the outer edge of the board for chatturangas and arm balances, a little narrower than I normally practice. It was definitely manageable for me, but for the taller, longer, wider, etc it will probably be too small. Jon is 6’3″ and the length seems to be ok. He can stretch out and do a chatturanga, but his head is sticking out in front of the board. They are supposed to have a couple different sizes, so I will update this info when I learn more details. The board has a nice smooth wooden finish, which is beautiful, but can be a bit slippery and rather uncomfortable for kneeling positions or if you are courageous enough to invert. I placed my Lululemon “the Mat” (a thicker yoga mat) over the board and while it helped a bit with the texture, it was a bit distracting with the overhanging edges flopping around, and as a result a little harder to stay in tune with the board to balance. Perhaps trimming a mat to size to lay on top would be a better option.
All in all I think this is an awesome product that anyone, yogi or not, can enjoy and reap the benefits of. It’s convenient, easy to use, and super challenging and fun. You’ll strengthen your core, not just by practicing on it, but from laughing at all the tumbles and spills you take. But don’t take my word for it, go out and try it yourself!