Let go with Paddle-board Yoga

Walk on water and reach for the skies with Sarah, in Carnac

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Just off Men Du beach, between Carnac and La Trinité, Sarah will show you how to walk on water, sometimes the right way up and sometimes upside down. No, we’re not talking about performing miracles – we’re talking about a cross between paddleboarding and yoga! Besides being a windsurfing champion, Sarah has great expertise in these activities too and she loves this stretch of the coast. With her you can share in their beneficial effects on body and mind. Experience it to the full !

In touch with the elements

Stand Up Paddle Yoga avec Sarah

Sun-cream on our noses, boards under our arms and paddles in our hands, our little band makes its way gaily down the beach. Our progress is made easier by the lightweight inflatable boards. A smiling Sarah shares her vision of nature and sport and completely wins us over. We start our warm-up exercises in generous sunshine: a few minutes to get into shape for the day. Although balancing on one foot in the sand is perhaps a little...precarious!

Happy paddling !

Stand Up Paddle Yoga avec Sarah

Now it’s time to go into the water! Kneeling on the board or standing up straight, we make our way between a scattering of buoys and yachts. The gentle waves are alternately turquoise and light green. Sarah keeps an encouraging eye on us and gives us a few tips to further our progress. She’s a good instructor, and gives us individual advice. I start using my arms more to dip the paddle into the water, first on one side then on the other. Marc improves when he moves his feet back onto the non-slip area of the board. At first when we set off, our course is erratic. There’s plenty of zigzagging and infectious laughter before we manage to move forward in a straight line. When everything has been sorted out, we start our crossing, with the rocky peaks of the headland marking our destination.

On the crest of a wave

Stand Up Paddle Yoga avec Sarah

Gliding along on the surface of the waves is very enjoyable. Our trusty paddle-boards turn out to be reassuringly stable. As we start feeling more and more at ease, we risk looking around to admire this outstanding natural setting. Standing up in the middle of the bay, the view is simply stunning. The rocky headland is edged by an exquisite strip of sand bordered by trees, while the ocean opens up to the south.

Strange standing stones

Stand Up Paddle Yoga avec Sarah

Here we are! Or so Sarah tells us, and she knows everything there is to know about the sea and the tides. We all assemble in a group, in the shelter of a line of rocks. Our boards, fastened together with leashes, look a bit like a row of standing stones floating in the sea, just like the famous alignments nearby! All joined together, we’re ready to move onto the next stage: having tested our endurance, the yoga session begins with deep breathing exercises – breathe in, breathe out.

Relaxation mode

Stand Up Paddle Yoga avec Sarah

Following Sarah’s instructions, we move from one posture to the next. Her explanations are clear. Camille is a beginner but seems just as comfortable as the much more experienced Anne-Sophie. Stretching, twisting, switching direction is all done gently, keeping time with our breathing. In this late afternoon, all we can hear is the soft lapping of the waves and Sarah’s voice as she tells us to “Bend your elbows slightly,” “Pull your tummies in,” or “Bring your elbows down to your knees”... Our bodies and minds are at peace.  The deep-toning exercises reach every muscle. You really do need to be quite fit to imitate a dog with its head down, or a cobra, while you’re drifting on a board! And the proof can be seen and heard in the occasional merry splash! But the water is warm and anyway our wetsuits protect us.

A relaxing drink

Stand Up Paddle Yoga avec Sarah

After performing the Salute to the Sun, the session ends in pure, chilled relaxation. Lying down, cradled by the rippling waves, and bathed in the scents of the sea, we’re flat on our backs on our boards, in complete harmony with the elements. It’s a time of 100 per cent natural active release. The currents and tide have practically brought us all the way back to the beach. A few last paddle-strokes and we’re on the sand again... with our knives in our hands! The aperitif provided is a treat for the eyes as well as for the taste-buds: apple juice, cider, goats’ cheese and ewes’ cheese, tomatoes, fish rillettes and different kinds of bread provide a generous sample of the local specialities. We try them, we share, and we discuss our experiences – all good, of course! We’re starting to feel the beneficial effects of the excursion! Good health – or ‘Yech’Mad’ as they say in Breton – and Namasté !

Text: Annick André

Additional information :

Excursion available between April and September
Advance booking only, by request
7 people maximum
Meeting point on the Men Du beach at Carnac
To find out more:
http://windsurf-transatlantic.com

With TripAdvisor’s reviews from travellers

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