A strong core can help you get through any challenging paddle (if the rain rolls in or the wind picks up), and will also help you stabilize while flowing on your board.
Start by standing in an athletic stance with your feet hip-width distance apart. Inhale and draw your arms over your head towards the sky and sink your hips as if you were sitting in a chair. Enjoy 5 breaths in the pose. Each Inhale focus on lifting your sternum up to the sun and on each exhale tuck in your tailbone. Chair pose can also be started in a forward fold and sink your hips into a chair and raise your arms over your head.
A variation of chair pose looks like this:
From a standing forward fold, step one foot back at a time into a plank. Stack your shoulders over your wrists. 5 equal breaths. On each exhale focus on bringing your navel in and up.
A variation of plank looks like this:
From tabletop, place your right hand in the center of the board, keep your right knee down and sweep your left leg back, with the left foot at a 90-degree angle. Left hand reaches to the sky. Engage your core, lift up your hips and sweep your right leg back and either stacked under the leg or behind the top leg to provide more stability on the board in the pose.
From Chair Pose, hinge at the hips and fold over so your hands touch the board or ground. Bend your elbows so your knees and notch into your armpits. With your gaze towards the nose of your board or ground, root down into your hands, engage your core and begin to lift your hips higher and your feet off the board.
Seated on the board, keeping your fingertips beneath you, bend your knees and draw your feet in close to your tailbone. Come onto the tippy toes and lift one leg at a time and lower down. Inhale lift the top of your head towards the sky to lengthen the spine and keep the core engaged. Lift both legs off the board and both arms. Stay for 5 breaths. Add in a variation by moving from seated to hovering or add in a twist to each side.
Leslie Ross is a Hala Team Rider.