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Stand Up Yoga Boarding Pools
You can use our portable pools for this practice
It’s early in her morning practice when Kim Young takes a familiar asana: Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog Pose). To start waking up her arms and legs, she presses evenly through her hands and feet. She lifts her sitting bones skyward as she relaxes her neck and finds extension in her long spine. Her wispy blond hair falls about her face, but what comes into view when she looks back between her ankles is not the wall of a yoga studio. Instead, it’s where the cool, blue ocean meets the sky in San Diego Bay. Seagulls fly in the distance, and at any moment, a dolphin may make an appearance. Her mat? An epoxy paddleboard that gently rocks with the Pacific’s undulating waves. Young shifts her weight front to back and side to side to steady her floating Down Dog. “It’s a totally different experience than in the studio,” says Young, a vinyasa yoga teacher and professional standup paddleboard racer who first began playing with yoga poses on her board in 2009. “You’re out in the elements and have a total connection to nature. It’s so relaxing and meditative. It feels amazing.”
The beginner-friendly sport of standup paddle boarding was born in the 1940s when Waikiki surfers stood on boards and navigated their way through the waves with a long paddle. Standup paddleboard yoga (or SUP yoga, as it’s known to its devotees) is asana practiced on 10- to 12-foot-long boards in the most serene of settings: an ocean bay, a glassy lake, even a slow-moving river. In recent years, water-loving yogis—some with board sport experience, like Young, some without—have embraced SUP yoga as a practice that brings a sense of joyful freedom to an otherwise earth-bound yoga practice.
“On the water, I have to let go of any control or wanting to do everything perfectly because at any moment, the current can change everything, and I’ll be in the water,” says Helen Hobbs, a vinyasa teacher who started her SUP yoga practice in Savanna, Georgia, where many mornings she’d warm up by paddling against the current on Richardson Creek near her home. Over the spring, she moved to Jacksonville, Florida, where she now practices at Neptune Beach. “In a studio, I find myself trying so hard to do everything perfectly that I forget how fun yoga is. SUP yoga is a reminder that it’s not so serious.”
Hobbs begins her playful practice with a few grounding asanas like Cat-Cow Pose and Balasana (Child’s Pose) to get her balance. Then she moves on to more challenging standing poses such as Vrksasana (Tree Pose) and Virabhadrasana I (Warrior Pose I), which can end in the water if her weight isn’t evenly distributed front to back or side to side. She compensates by using a wider stance and rocking with the waves—and by letting go. “The worst that can happen is that I fall in and get back up,” says Hobbs, who notes that not taking yourself too seriously is crucial to making it fun. In that spirit, she and her SUP yoga students give each other snaps when someone goes over.
Rock and Roll
In New England, where Karen Fraser teaches SUP yoga, the rougher Atlantic waters can turn practice into a thrill ride. “The craziest day out was when the waves were chest high,” says Fraser. “I took a group of fellow instructors out, and just doing Downward-Facing Dog was challenging. It was like riding a bucking bull. We had a lot of laughs.”
It’s a fun practice but with some serious benefits. Doing yoga on a surface that is constantly in motion fires up your core muscles, says Young, and strengthens muscles that aren’t called on in everyday practice. “Even Plank Pose is more challenging because your board is moving a little back and forth, and that added tipsiness activates your core and arms,” says Young. “You definitely feel these tiny muscles that don’t activate on the ground.”
The challenge is part of the attraction, and it isn’t just physical, Young says. SUP yoga requires a different quality of focus—and not just when you’re doing the poses but also when you’re transitioning between them. For example, bringing your right foot between your hands from Downward-Facing Dog to come into Anjaneyasana (Low Lunge) can sometimes shift a board a few inches forward—even on the calmest water. The key, says Young, is to make micromovements, adjusting alignment and weight distribution as needed and fixing your gaze on a point along the horizon, on the shore, or even on an outlying rock or tree.
Your alignment may be different than on dry land (for greater balance, Hobbs turns her standing foot out in Tree Pose, for example), but that’s OK. It’s also fine (and even fun!) if you lose balance altogether and fall overboard, says Katie Fitzgerald, a Bikram Yoga teacher who leads vinyasa classes on a lake marina in the resort town of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. “Falling is just part of the experience,” she says, and there’s freedom in fully embracing that. “You let go of your expectations and judgment, which is what yoga is all about in the first place: getting out of the mind and into the heart center. When I’m teaching, I love seeing the joy on students’ faces when they fall in and get right back up into a pose. That’s what we are all doing in life. We fall, whether it’s physically, mentally, or emotionally, and we get back up and try again.”
At the end of Young’s SUP yoga practice, she takes Savasana (Corpse Pose) on the board, where she says the perpetual motion translates to a sense of ease. “I lie there, the ocean gently rocking me, my hands resting in the water while the sunshine warms my skin. You really can’t beat that feeling.”2016-02-24 18:39:58
How A Portable Pool Fits Into A Deck
The pictures below are all custom made decks. They are offered here to give you an idea of what you can do with your pool.
Step By Step Deck Building Made Easy.
This process is the same for Portable Pools Or Above Ground Pools
|The floor framing around the pool consists of 18 trapezoidal floor-joist frames–4-sided frames with two parallel sides and two sides that angle toward each other. The dimensions for building the frames are contained in the plans. Begin by using 2 x 6s to build 17 identical frames. The 18th frame will be built to fit after the other frames are assembled around the pool. To speed up the job of building the individual frames, use galvanized-metal corner brackets to attach the four perimeter boards. Then, use joist hangers to install the center support joist.||The floor-joist frames are supported by a series of 4 x 4 posts set in the concrete pier blocks. Begin by setting the first pair of blocks directly onto the ground beside the pool. You don’t have to remove the grass, but if the ground is uneven, use a shovel to level it out. Position the first pier block so its center is 12 in. from the pool wall. Place the second pier farther away from the pool, with its center 18 in. from the center of the first.|
|Next, stand two 4 x 4 posts in the square sockets molded into the piers. Lay a 4-ft. level across the top cap of the pool–the coping–and mark a level line across the 4 x 4s. Next, remove the posts and measure down from each line a distance equal to the thickness of the pool coping, plus 1-1/2 in. for the 2 x 6 decking, 5-1/2 in. for the 2 x 6 floor frame and 1/2 in. for expansion. Make a mark at this position on each post, and cut them to length. Now you can put the posts back onto the piers, but make sure they’re in their original positions.||Repeat this procedure for the next pair of piers and posts. Refer to the plan or use one of the assembled floor-joist frames to position the pier blocks. Once the second pair of posts is cut to size, set them into the piers and place a floor-joist frame on top. Drive 2-1/2-in. deck screws down at an angle through the frame and into the tops of the posts. Continue to work your way around the pool, setting pier blocks, posts and frames. After installing the 17 assembled frames, measure and cut the last one to fit the remaining space.|
|Complete the pool-deck frame by screwing 2 x 4 diagonal braces to the 4 x 4 posts. The bracing isn’t required if the deck is less than 30 in. high.
Now set the pier blocks and posts for the 10 x 18-ft. sun deck. Again, refer to the plans for the exact positioning. The 42 piers are arranged in 11 rows spaced 24 in. on center. Once the posts are cut to size and set in the piers, install the 2 x 6 floor joists. Fasten the joists by screwing down at an angle into the tops of the posts with 2-1/2-in. deck screws.
|One common technique used for decking around a circular pool requires each board to be tapered so they all radiate from the center of the pool. The method we used is a lot easier. Cut several 2 x 6s into 4-ft. lengths with one end of each cut at 80° instead of square. Slip the angled end of the first decking board under the pool’s coping, keeping it at least 1/2 in. away from the pool wall. Set the long edge of the deck board directly on the joint running between two adjoining floor-joist frames. Fasten the board to the joists with 2-1/2-in. deck screws. Lay the next board tight against the first one and screw it in place. (When the boards shrink, a 1/4-in. gap will appear between them.) Continue installing deck boards in this manner, with the angled end slipped under the coping, until you come to the next floor-joist frame. Lay a deck board in place and mark where it overlaps the joint between the two frames. Cut the board along the line and screw it in place. Trim the next two boards in the same manner, then go back to installing full-length boards again. Once all the deck boards are fastened down, use a circular saw to trim off their overhanging ends so they’re flush with the perimeter joists.|
|Now move over to the sun deck and start fastening down the 2 x 6 deck boards. Again, butt the boards tightly together and let them run long. Then, snap a chalkline and trim the boards flush with the joists||Next, enclose the open space under the railing with 2 x 2 precut balusters (75 cents each)–these have one end beveled to 45°. Hold each baluster perfectly plumb, then screw it to the 2 x 6 railing and to the floor joist. Set the balusters 4 in. on center, with the beveled ends facing down|
|The final construction step is to build the stairs that lead from the sun deck down to the ground. To simplify this chore, we used five precut stair stringers ($7 each). Set the bottom ends of the stringers on concrete patio blocks. This will prevent them from sinking into the dirt and wicking up moisture. Screw the upper ends of the stringers to the floor joist. Create the stair treads by screwing 2 x 12s to the stringers.|
Portable Pools Information
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In backyards all across America, the summer landscape is once again blooming with above-ground swimming pools. According to the National Spa and Pool Institute, there are about 3.5 million of these opaline oases scattered from coast to coast, and 190,000 new ones are sold annually.
It’s easy to see why above-ground pools are so popular: They’re affordable, quick and easy to install and require minimal maintenance. However, to get the most enjoyment out of your above-ground pool you need a wood deck that surrounds it. Not only will you never again have to climb a pool ladder, but a deck will also create a fun-in-the-sun gathering place for family and friends. It gives you a place to swim, sunbathe, dine at poolside or just visit.
The trouble is that most pool decks are too difficult or complicated for the weekend carpenter to build. Plus, there are very few attractive pool-deck plans available, and most of those require you to dig and pour dozens of concrete footings.
Fortunately, we discovered a better, simpler approach for building a handsome pool deck. Ours, shown here, may look complicated, but we employed a few timesaving techniques that greatly simplified the construction process and, in turn, dramatically reduced the amount of work required to complete this project. And best of all, we didn’t have to dig a single hole.
Our deck is built around a 21-ft.-dia. pool. It’s constructed entirely of pressure-treated lumber and features a 360° wraparound pool deck that’s connected to a spacious 10 x 18-ft. sun deck. The 3-1/2-ft.-wide circular pool deck provides easy access to the water, while the sun deck is large enough to accommodate a table and chairs and a few chaise lounges.
As mentioned earlier, we employed a timesaving deck-building method that didn’t require us to dig postholes or pour concrete footings. It’s called a floating-foundation system. The entire deck is supported by concrete pier blocks that simply sit on the ground.
Floating foundations are generally allowed by building codes nationwide, including regions that experience frost heave. However, codes do differ from town to town, so be sure to check with your local building department before starting construction on your pool deck.
For this project, we used precast piers ($5 each), which measure 8 in. high x 11 in. square and weigh about 45 pounds. Molded into the top of each are 1-1/2-in.-wide slots and a 3-1/2-in.-square recessed socket. The slots accept 2 x joists, while the socket is used to support a vertical 4 x 4 post.
To give you some idea of how much time and trouble we saved using the , consider this: It took us less than a day to set all 36 piers and 4 x 4 posts for the perimeter pool deck. If we had used the traditional posthole method, it would’ve taken at least two days just to dig the three dozen holes and pour the concrete footings.
The plans for building this deck are available free of charge from , the company that sells piers. We ordered the Splash Deluxe plan, which came with a detailed materials list, cost estimator and instructions.
We spent about $2400 for materials to build our deck, which included the pressure-treated lumber, pier blocks, wood sealant, joist hangers and screws.