Photos courtesy of Sol Full Yoga
Sol Full Yoga owner Arlene Koby fuses standup paddle-boarding and yoga during her one-of-a-kind classes on Walton Lake in Monroe.
We found your new favorite outdoor activity, Hudson Valley.
While there’s already so much to do in the region, from hiking picture-perfect trails and biking along scenic paths to swimming at local lakes and even stargazing at night, there’s always room for something new to try.
And that’s precisely where SUP comes into play.
More formally known as standup paddle-boarding, SUP is an engaging way to work out on the water when the warm weather arrives. In the Hudson Valley, Sol Full Yoga owner Arlene Koby takes the sport to the next level by offering SUP yoga in Orange County.
“Standup paddling can be challenging on moving water like the ocean, with rip tides and winds,” Koby explains. “The lakes around the Hudson Valley offer a more peaceful, serene experience for SUP yoga.”
In Orange County, Sol Full Yoga hosts its SUP classes at the picturesque Walton Lake in Monroe. With its mild waters, the lake is the ideal place for SUP beginners and experts alike to practice yoga on the water. Once the season begins, usually at the end of April, classes are available weekly, with SUP tours on the Hudson River available at different launch locations across the Hudson Valley, including Fort Montgomery, Haverstraw, Newburgh, and Stony Point.
As for how SUP yoga works, each participant practices on one of Sol Full’s eight inflatable boards or five hard boards, so up to 12 people can attend per class. For those who own their own boards and anchors, “drop-in” sessions are also available.
“A lake is a great place to learn how to paddle,” Koby observes, adding that SUP yoga is ideal for first-time attendees. “Our boards are extremely stable, which helps for new practitioners to find their balance and feel successful even if it’s their first time.”
This spring and summer, Sol Full kicks of the season with a full roster of events. In terms of upcoming excursions, locals can sign up for a Sunset Salt Marsh Excursion and a Ladies Who Launch Paddle + Lunch at Billy Joe’s Ribworks in June. With weekly classes, sessions at lunchtime, sunset, and on Saturdays are all available. Plus, for a truly special experience, Sol Full Yoga offers a Full Moon Paddle on Walton Lake monthly beginning in April.
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For those who want to progress their skills, the SUP skills classes are great for beginners who want to join excursions, while the core fitness certification classes are aimed at anyone who aspires to teach SUP classes.
Speaking of teaching, Sol Full owner Koby began instructing in the Hudson Valley in 2016 after trying the sport while on vacation in Hilton Head and promptly falling in love with it. Having practiced yoga since 1995, Koby opened Sol Full Yoga in 2013. Three years later, she combined her two passions and launched SUP yoga classes as a supplement to her in-person (and, more recently, online) yoga, Pilates, and barre fusion classes in the Hudson Valley.
“My love of yoga and the water made it an easy choice to buy some boards and start offering classes so that others could feel the same connection to nature and their yoga classes,” Koby explains. Looking ahead, she sees SUP as a popular activity for locals who want to get out and about while safely social distancing. “Naturally socially distant, SUP yoga is really having its moment in the sun right now. I think we are going to see more SUP yoga experiences and also a focus on SUP fitness classes.”
If the success of last year’s two full moon paddles is any indication, Koby’s decision to add eight additional paddles – complete with a bonfire – to the summer schedule is a smart one. Combined with the Hudson River excursions and the regular classes, Sol Full’s SUP yoga has an offering for everyone.
“It’s more than just fitness,” Koby says. “These are full-on experiences.”
Sol Full Yoga
101 Carpenter Pl, Monroe