A family of ducks paddle near, watching the group of 10 women lie on their backs and stretch their toes to the sky.
Instructor Janina Schmieder, owner of Spring Lake-based thePaddlesUP, combines paddling with precision poses in weekly paddleboard yoga classes on Petty's Bayou.
Schmieder performs similar classes on Reeds Lake in Grand Rapids and Mona Lake in Muskegon.
Stand-up paddleboarding, a recent craze and common site on local waterways, dates back to Polynesia and ancient surfing. Hawaiian surf instructors started using the paddleboards in the 1960s in an attempt to get a better view of the waves and their students.
Schmieder launched her business this summer.
“I was paddleboard addicted,” said Schmieder, who took up the sport two years ago. “I went out every day after work, no matter what the weather was. I got more comfortable last year and started doing some yoga poses. I thought, hmmm, I wonder if I could do this as a business.”
THE PATH TO PADDLEBOARD YOGA
WHAT: Paddleboard yoga instruction.
WHERE: Petty's Bayou. Meet at the DNR boat launch off Fruitport Road.
WHEN: 5:30 and 7 p.m. Tuesdays.
HOW: Reservations and pre-payment required. Cost is $15, including equipment. Sign up at On the Path Yoga, 617 E. Savidge St.; or at thePaddlesUP.com.