“Take a deep breath, close your eyes and feel the water move beneath the board.” As my feet tightly gripped the stand up paddleboard I was standing on, I silently hoped that I wouldn’t fall off and make a fool of myself. 

It was a gorgeous day in mid-July in Mont Tremblant, and I was about to be schooled in SUP yoga, something that scared and excited me.

You see, balance is not my number one gift. In fact, I’m pretty much a clumsy mess. But as I looked out over the beautiful lake, surrounded by ladies who seemed calm and at peace, I couldn’t help but want to be the perfect yogi. 

The class was led by Nadia Bonenfant, the leader and founder of Juna Yoga. She could be a model and performs the yoga moves with ease and grace. She’s also very welcoming, making me feel like I had been part of this class and friends with these women for much longer than fifteen minutes. She helped me feel relaxed on the board and reassured me that I wasn’t going to “look stupid” like I kept saying over and over again. 

With her calm presence, I began to loosen up and let myself actually ease into the idea of liking yoga. “What a thought!” 

The class started on dry land as each woman spoke of her hopes for the class and what brought them there on that particular day. The ladies were very welcoming and Nadia made sure each woman felt comfortable. 

After a few stretches, we got on the stand up paddleboards and paddled out into the middle of the lake. Using the horizon to help with balance, we did a few more stretches and balance work before paddling back towards shore. 

Settling into spots about ten feet from shore (about knee deep water), we started with the yoga moves. Feeling the water move underneath you really makes you focus on your whole body and how it affects your balance and core. It was exhausting and energizing, peaceful and a workout. 

When the work-out was over, I thanked the group for being so welcoming and patient. I met new friends and tried a new sport. I felt pretty great about how I chose to spend that hour of my vacation. 

It’s so easy to go on vacation and just lay around the pool, not really moving your body. And there’s nothing wrong with doing that a few days of your vacation. But one day, jump out of your comfort zone and embark on a new experience that might just bring you joy and ignite a passion for a new sport.