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SUP, or stand-up paddle boarding, out in the ocean is on our ultimate summer bucket list. One problem: we have no clue how to get started – and how to stay in control once we’re out at sea! Lifestyle blogger Lauren Gores Ireland took us out to Malibu and showed us exactly how to paddle board, from the shore to the waves and back. Turns out, it’s a killer core workout and a surprisingly meditative experience. Bucket list item, check…

If you’re looking to calm your mind while working your body, try paddle boarding in the Pacific. You’ll fall in love with the sport’s ability to challenge you both physically and mentally.

When I say it’s a challenge — I mean it.  As someone who wasn’t raised on the ocean, battling the waves with a giant board by my side was tough at the start. But once I was able to calm my fears and reach flatter water, the experience turned into both a core workout and a meditation session.

You’ll notice a lot of oceanfront cities offer paddleboard rentals and lessons. Treat yourself to a day on the water while giving your mind and body a workout.

Note: Paddle boarding is best to do when the ocean is calm, which is typically in the early morning. Lakes and rivers are other popular spots for the sport. 

How To Paddle Board Out In The Ocean

GET OUT

Wade out until you’re about knee-deep in the water. Hop on the board (placing the paddle over top), and remain on your knees. Once there’s a break in the waves, stand up and begin paddling. Note: if you’re a beginner, I recommend having someone with experience help you getting out and returning in.

STAND UP

Your feet should be shoulder-width apart, while remaining centered on the board. Keep your knees slightly bent. Place one hand around the top of the paddle, and the other about halfway down. Use your core muscles for balance, while developing comfort on the board. Shift your weight by moving your hips. You’ll notice this is a full-body workout. Don’t feel discouraged if you fall a few times!

CALM YOUR MIND

My initial fears of the water made this step more difficult for me. You have to free yourself from anxiety and allow your body to adjust to the board. Push your mind to not give up on the challenge. You’ll feel free, adventurous, and alive.

SIT DOWN

Once at ease, allow your body to move freely. Try sitting on the board if the water is calm enough, and indulge in the peacefulness surrounding you. Become one with the water, allowing your mind to wander freely.

STRETCH + MEDITATE

A lot of people use paddle boarding as a means of temporarily escaping land to stretch and meditate. If the waters are especially calm, you can move around on the board to benefit both your mind and body. Experienced boarders will also do yoga while on the water, before returning to shore.

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