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The International SUP Yoga Academy has taken the helm at leading us towards a standardization of SUP Yoga certifications. Why is this important? All students will know their teacher is qualified in yoga & body movement as well as water safety and paddle technique.

Watch the video below for an understanding of the quality of instruction a true SUP Yogi will undergo to take you safely out onto the water for fun & practice.

International SUP Yoga Academy:  Framing the Future of SUP Yoga

5 Things to Know about SUP Yoga Teacher Trainings

SUP Yoga is both challenging and fun. It’s grounding and super invigorating. Plus, it brings a new level to your SUP experience!

As many of you already know, SUP Yoga is more than simply bringing yoga into the water. Practitioners battle both wind and water dynamics while working to maintain balance on an unstable surface.

The rising popularity of SUP Yoga has created an increased demand for SUP Yoga Instructors and, specifically, Instructor Teacher Trainings. With that increase in demand, there have been numerous bodies to jump in this void. However, with that influx of trainings, people have found inconsistencies in the quality and requirements for SUP Yoga teacher training. The reason? No formal educational guidelines for this unique hybrid sport!

People with no Yoga teacher qualifications or little to no SUP skills or water safety knowledge can still deliver classes and offer SUP Yoga teacher trainings all over the world. Shocking right?

Now imagine the combination of two unpredictable elements such as wind and water, an unstable board surface and a group of unskilled people. That is a serious accident in the making if one doesn’t have correct training and knowledge in both disciplines!

Whether a yogi wishes to participate in a SUP Yoga class, or is thinking of taking the plunge to become a SUP Yoga teacher, here is a list of the top 5 things you should know about SUP Yoga teacher trainings:

The devis are in abundance at Kelly Huck’s SoCal Paddle Yoga on Lake Mission in Orange County, CA! Photo by: Renato Films

Prerequisite to Teaching SUP Yoga is a 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Certification. Nothing less.

While it seems obvious that SUP Yoga teachers should have some sort of yoga experience, it is vital to be fully certified in yoga and registered with an accredited source such as the Yoga Alliance. Only then do students ascertain that their teachers have knowledge and expertise to teach modified yoga poses in the safest way possible. Interested individuals can even search Yoga Alliance’s directory to find your SUP Yoga teacher or training provider and confirm whether they are fully accredited.

SUP Instructor Certification is a MUST

Even though you might not be paddling in the traditional way for an on-the-water yoga class, it is very important for a SUP Yoga teacher to have proficient SUP experience and knowledge. That includes skilled experience with equipment, harbor laws and water rescue techniques like towing and anchoring.  These skills set the foundation for being safe on a paddle board and the ability to transition from a mat-based Yoga to SUP Yoga.

The most common and internationally accredited SUP instructor certifications include the WPA (World Paddle Association), ACA (American Canoe Association), ASI (Academy of Surf Instructors), BSUPA (British Stand Up Association), Paddlefit and ISA (International Surfing Association) to name a few.  Their SUP certification might be included in the training package, so just confirm with your training provider before signing up for class.

 SUP Yoga Teachers Must Take the Water Safety Course

SUP Yoga is about being prepared to take the plunge. At first, newbies are going to spend as much time off the board as they do on it. Even if you feel like a fish in the water, it would be much more beneficial to know you have the ability and knowledge to manage multiple emergency situations. A water safety certification provides proof of advanced swimming skills and a thorough understanding of water safety skills and techniques to reduce the likelihood of any body getting injured in a body of water. For peace of mind, familiarize yourself with your country’s water safety certifications and check with your SUP Yoga instructor.

SUP Yoga Teachers Need Liability and Personal Indemnity Insurance

Every water-based sport carries the risks of injury. Even the best prevention measures cannot always stop accidents from happening. Current and comprehensive insurance not only protects a SUP Yoga instructor and their business, but also insures each participant and the equipment they are using.  Before every class, a qualified SUP Yoga Instructor will ask participants to sign a waiver that ensures participants agree to the terms of service and are aware that they are undertaking this activity at their own risk.

All SUP Yoga Teachers Required to Keep First Aid & CPR Certifications Up To Date

First aid knowledge and being familiar with CPR is an absolute must when working with people – on land or on water! Any qualified SUP Yoga instructor, should be able to assist participants who become injured in an event of an emergency situation until help arrives. In many countries it is compulsory to renew First Aid certifications every 5 years and CPR once a year. SUP Yoga instructors need to be responsible to keep their certificates up to date.

As you can see – the highest quality and safest SUP Yoga classes and Teacher Trainings are the result of proper training with the highest education standards. There are no shortcuts. We recommend that SUP Yoga instructors be able to tick all the boxes mentioned above  to ensure all participants have the best time “aboard”.

Written by, Chantal Crinquand
President, International SUP Yoga Academy

International SUP Yoga Academy

TO LEARN MORE about the International SUP Yoga Academy,
go to their website:

The ISYA is a non-profit organization providing a globally recognized accreditation register of SUP Yoga Instructors, Schools and Training Centers that meet a high standard of certification. ISYA provides educational and safety standards for the SUP Yoga Industry.

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