The Ultimate SUP, Yoga and Culinary Experience
Wrtten by Tarryn James | 7 February 2019
As the sun started to peak over the mountains, I found myself on the sirene and renowned Clifton 4th beach. I could feel the cool, soft sand beneath by toes as I overlooked the stillness of the ocean. I had been looking forward to this SYC - Surf Yoga Cullinary Experience for over a week and as the sunrise brought light to the earth, I knew it was definitely worth the early wake up call.
“Good mornings” and greetings started flowing as I introduced myself to the several others who would be joining me on this morning adventure. Some familiar faces and a few strangers who would soon become friends. Roxann, Shane and Michael were our hosts for the morning, representing Surf Yoga Community. These three nature- loving, health-conscious beings were naturally drawn into a friendship. When talks came of collaborating on a community event, they brought together three of their favourite things; the ocean, yoga and healthy food.
We made our way onto our Earth Warrior cork yoga mats, perfectly placed in a half moon shape facing the ocean. The connection to the uneven white sand and the sound of ocean waves allowed me to travel into a zone of complete mindfulness. As Roxann led us through a vinyasa flow, we brought attention to our breath, core and balance - which would soon be needed for our SUP session. After an early morning start, the yoga flow was the perfect way to warm up the body and prepare for the morning ahead. Originally from Mauritius, Roxann has made a name for herself through her Full Moon Yoga Events held monthly at the Pipe Track on Table Mountain. Her passion for the outdoors as well as the yoga community has inspired her to bring people into nature and connect with each other.
The sun had risen past the mountain and soon brought heat to our faces as we lay in a short savasana, with the most amount of gratitude for this beautiful practice of yoga.
Awake and energised, we were now ready for our SUP yoga session. For those who are not familiar with SUP; or Stand Up Paddle; this is a spin off of surfing where the rider either stands or kneels on the board, using a paddle to propel themselves forward. Originating in Hawaii, SUP-ing has now become a popular means of exercise. Clifton 4th is the perfect setting; with calm waters and fewer waves, you feel comfortable in a standing position. Although I had paddled on a river before, I knew that the ocean would be different.
Michael and Shane led us through a quick introductory session where we were taught how to stand, paddle and manoeuvre ourselves on our SUP’s. Before we knew it, it was time to hit the water! Off we went, one by one, we walked into the fresh and icy Atlantic ocean, hopped onto our boards and started paddling! I could immediately feel the swell under my feet, testing my balance as I took it steadily, one row at a time! Some were more comfortable on the SUP’s as they gracefully glided along the ocean surface.
There was so much to explore; rocks, birds, seals… and in some cases, you may even be lucky to see penguins or dolphins!
The summer sun was now beating down, tempting us to get into the icy water! A 5-second swim in the water was enough to cool us down as we almost immediately jumped back onto our boards. There was a natural silence that fell between the group as we all sat on our boards, simply admiring the beautiful views of the beach and mountain. A view that one does not get to see often, we all sat in a moment of appreciation and gratitude.
A moment of meditation.
Time had flown as we connected, laughed and in some cases; fell in the water! When it was time to head back to the shore, we took it easy, soaking in the last few moments of our adventure. I didn’t even realize how hungry I was until my feet touched the beach once again. I was much looking forward to a delicious breakfast which was being prepared by our hosts while we were out on the water.
Organic Coffee and Acai Bowls were waiting for us as we made our way to the SYC Gazebo, tucked away near the rocks. The beach had slowly grown busier by this time and we were all happy to have a quieter space where we could continue getting to know one another. With a nutritional Amazonia smoothie served in bamboo bowls, we sat down on our picnic blankets perfectly scattered along the beach.Our hosts; Roxann, Shane and Michael, had prepared all the food themselves, explaining that healthy lifestyle is something that they are all passionate about. Acai berries have many health benefits, due to their high antioxidant content. Loaded with powerful plant compounds, this smoothie bowl was the perfect “Pick Me Up” after an active morning out in the sun.
Although the event officially ended at 10am, a few of us lingered longer. The whole experience had brought so much energy to the group that it was almost too soon to say our goodbyes. After only knowing each other a few hours, I had almost felt a strong group bond. As I started my walk back to the car, I noticed that a few had moved towards the main beach to spend more time enjoying the beauty of Cape Town Summer.
If this sounds like something thats right up your alley, find out more about SYC here