Yoga by itself can be difficult but yoga on a paddle board, that is a challenge! The company I did this with is called The Northwest Passage and is located in Wilmette. They focus more on kayaking, with organized trips in Chicago and throughout the world. But they also offer yoga on the beach which is followed by yoga on a paddle board.
The class meets at Wilmette beach and does yoga outside on the small cement area. The level of yoga is not difficult and even beginners can join. All of the poses done are poses that can later be attempted on the paddle board. If yoga in a studio is relaxing then this experience is total zen. Something about being by the water and surrounded by nature takes the yoga experience to another level. The yoga class isn't very long. Maybe a little less than an hour. This is followed by a short instructional lecture on how to paddle board and then off to the water!
I have to say, as easy as it might seem, paddle boarding is quite the workout. Forget your fear of falling in the water. If anything, do it on purpose so you get it out of the way and feel comfortable on the board. The more stiff you are the greater the chance of falling. The key is to breath, engage the core and be loose. This ties in very nicely to yoga because it encourages flexibility in movement and trust in your own body to balance. It is so much fun, works the legs, abdominals and arms, and is very scenic.
After getting used to paddle boarding in the lake, we paddled to an inlet where the water is calmer and attempted to do yoga on the board. I say attempted because this is the most difficult part; no matter how calm the water is you are on a constantly moving surface that you have little control over. I was only able to do downward dog, pigeon pose, mermaid and warrior I. I almost got warrior II. Another classmate was able to do a handstand on her board! With practice and patience it can be done but it is mostly just fun trying to hold such easy poses.
The entire class lasts for about two hours and is only 39 dollars which isn't bad at all. I would advise booking ahead of time because the classes fill up quickly and there is limited space. They offer classes several times a week. Both the yoga and paddle board instructors were very helpful, professional and fun to be with. This is definitely worth trying. Unfortunately, the season for paddle boarding yoga has ended but keep this company in mind for next spring/summer season or visit them for kayaking. Their website is Nwpassage.com/gillson.