Around Tampa Bay, standup paddleboards offer a new way to do yoga

A group of seven took to the water on their standup paddleboards one peaceful evening in September for yoga at sunset.

Instructor Kerry McManemy, 51, brought six inflatable boards for students to rent if needed. McManemy has been a paddleboard yoga instructor since 2016 when she opened Ocean Fitness Yoga.

“Just watching their face when they actually stand up in Warrior 1 or if they do a handstand on a paddleboard. It’s just great to watch them accomplish something new for the first time,” McManemy said.

The group paddled together as they headed from the Gulfport Marina to the calmer, more secluded waters of Clam Bayou. The scenery included a few playful dolphins that popped up to investigate the situation as the sun fell lower into the sky.

“That is a protected area. It’s something different to look at — more scenic,” McManemy said. “We are always in a somewhat shallow area. If you fall, you just put your feet down in the sand and pop back up on the board.”

McManemy used a swimming pool line to create an anchor system to hold the boards in place for her students to participate in a modified restorative vinyasa yoga class.

“It’s a soothing class. We do some crazy stuff, but my goal is to let them forget about everything else in their life and focus on the vibe of the ocean,” she said. “There’s no place better to see a sunset than when you are on a board on the water with the waves rocking. That’s my favorite part.”

Ocean Fitness Yoga is planning a Holiday Boat Parade & SUP Adventure Paddle at 4:30 p.m. Dec. 17 at John’s Pass. For more information, go to or follow @oceanfitnessyoga on Instagram.