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Taking Yoga Out of the Studio and Onto the Water

A local business is offering yoga and pilates classes out on the open water.

If you happen to spot what looks like a yoga class taking place in the middle of Marblehead Harbor, you're not seeing things - and no, those aren't state-of-the-art aquatic yoga mats.

They're stand up paddle boards.

SUP East Coast Style owners Leah Beth Goodman and Christos Douroudis began offering open-water pilates and yoga classes earlier this summer and the response from the local community, they said, has been tremendous.

"We are very impressed with our trainers, from their aptitude to their dedication and skills. We were certain when we launched the classes this summer they would be an incredible hit, and we were right," Goodman said, adding, "if this year is any indication of the future, I'd say count on us being here for you for years to come."

Goodman is originally from Marblehead and moved to the west coast, spent time on the island of Kauai, Hawaii; and in Palm Beach, Miami and Key West, Fla. Christos grew up in Salem and has traveled back and forth to Greece and Australia.

Although Goodman admitted that stand up paddle boarding is something that is relatively new to Marblehead, she was quick to point out that it is an established and very popular pastime in countries all over the world.

Her time spent learning from some of the SUP greats, she said, left her with an urge to bring it home and share what she learned with North Shore residents.

"I saw something in their passion and love for stand up paddle boarding," Goodman said. "So much so that I felt absolutely compelled to  share it with my hometown and community."

Goodman said she and Douroudis have seen their client list triple in the past year as interest in the sport itself, as well as their on-water pilates and yoga classes, has really taken off.

"Our new location is comfortably located right here on our own private beach near the Marblehead causeway," Goodman said. "This spot is ideal, it has all  the space and freedom our clients look for coupled with the type of scenic waterfront beauty that Marblehead is famous for."

Goodman said each on-water fitness class has between 12 and 15 people per instructor and are held at a variety of times.

"Whether you're an early-riser and up at the crack of dawn or don't get home from work until late, we can accommodate you," she said.

It's the combination of exercise and relaxation that you'd only find out on the open water, she said.

"Something about getting your workout on while being out in the open ocean with the sun on your back and the sound of the ocean in your ears really heightens the whole experience," she said.

Sharing Goodman's fondness for stand up paddle board work-outs is Marblehead resident Mandy Caruso.

"It is a workout unlike any other. It works all your core muscles as you both work the muscles and focus them on overall balance. It is a full body assault but in the most beautiful serene center," she said. "Sarah Junk's class is a challenge but amazing, I'm an addict!"

What would Goodman say to someone who has never stepped foot on a stand up paddle board and was nervous about getting started? Don't be.

"What we find is that when they get out there on the beautiful open water and they're in the experienced hands of our trainers, their fears melt away," Goodman said.

Residents interested in making reservations can do so by calling 978-882-2109 or by emailing SUP East Coast Style at supeastcoaststyle@gmail.com.

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