WEB-EXCLUSIVE: Paddle Board Bliss melds the best of two worlds.
Learn more about Paddle Board Bliss
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Some things just go to together. Peanut butter and jelly. Wine and cheese. Shorts and T-shirts. Stand-up paddleboarding and yoga? Yes, while that last one might not be the first thing that comes to mind in the world of obvious pairs, it's certainly on the list for those who've experienced it.
For people like Taylor Chaput, and the rest of the Paddle Board Bliss team, relaxation is found when these two worlds collide, creating one unique and refreshing experience known as SUP yoga. A combination of yoga and paddle boarding more often simply referred to as paddle yoga, SUP yoga is one of the most popular new forms of exercise for beach lovers and yoga enthusiasts everywhere. Paddle Board Bliss was started three years ago by owner and founder Chaput after her mom opened her eyes to the world of paddle yoga.
“I went out on the ocean for the first time and I was blown away,” she says.
Since then, Chaput has quickly gone from teaching lessons and offering rentals out of Fisherman’s Cove in Laguna Beach to expanding to other locations in San Diego and Newport Beach, including a retail shop and a donation-based yoga studio.
“We’ve definitely grown a lot," she says. "It’s super exciting and I feel really blessed to be doing what I’m doing.”
With paddleboarding quickly becoming one of the most popular water sports around, it’s no wonder these classes have such an extremely high return rate. According to Chaput, almost everyone who comes out on the water ends up hooked.
“People are often really nervous and scared to start but they always come back feeling invincible," she says."They often don’t think they can do it, but all of the sudden they’re doing down dog out on the water and seeing the sun behind them and it’s a really incredible feeling. I pinch myself every time someone tells me how cool the class was and that they are going to come back next week."
Whether you’ve become a loyal paddle yoga lover or have never even been out on a board, the instructors make you feel right at home on the water by starting each class with a quick lesson on the beach.
“We teach them everything we need to know about how to paddle, ocean safety, lessons about the equipment, and then we’ll paddle out and it’s a very relaxed pace, we’re in no rush," she says. "It’s more about just being out in the water, it’s a very relaxed type of class.”
For those with a more adventurous side, Paddle Board Bliss also offers exciting and unique experiences in the form of paddle yoga retreats where people locally and internationally come together to embark on adventures ranging from a few days on the shores of Morro Bay to a week in an exotic paradise such as Bali or Costa Rica. For Chaput, this is her absolute favorite part of her job.
“I get to meet people from all over the world who are like-minded in that they love yoga, love being on the water and who love adventure. That’s the type of girl I am. I love to be outside, I love to be on the water and I love to be with other people who share those passions.”
In February, the Paddle Board Bliss team spent a serenity-packed week paddling through jungle-like estuaries in Costa Rica, with daily sunset yoga sessions and soaking up as much of the local culture as possible. It’s a trip none of them will forget.
“We spent a whole week on our boards with this really cool Costa Rican guide and we were all just so blown away that we could even have this experience," she says. "Right in the middle of the estuary we used our leashes to attach to some trees and we all did some yoga and it was just so surreal. Some of the girls on the retreat had never even been on a board before and they of course ended up loving it, it was just magical and really opened my eyes up to all the possibilities of going to exotic locations.”
Now Chaput is looking forward to their next retreat in October where people from all over the world will come together for some paddle yoga paradise on the island of Bali.
“We’ll be paddling almost every day, yoga every day, healthy meals, and it’s just really a way of life for us that we want to open up to everyone and make it accessible to them. Living a healthy life that’s full of adventures, trying new things, meeting new people, and just being open to all the new experiences is definitely the goal.”