Pop-up sauna, yoga massage and paddleboarding in Norwich this weekend
- Credit: Norfolk Paddleboards
During the summer, stand-up paddleboarders became a common sight along the River Wensum in Norwich.
As many people are discovering, being out on the water, surrounded by nature can have huge benefits for both body and mind.
So it’s little surprise that stand-up paddleboarding is one of the fastest growing sports in the world.
To mark the changing season and the move into autumn, Norfolk Paddleboards is holding its first wellbeing weekend, Equanimity, at its base at the Red Lion Bishopgate on Saturday, October 9 and Sunday, October 10.
Norfolk Paddleboards was founded by Lee Tayler who started out buying 10 paddleboards during lockdown last year.
It quickly grew. Now, as well as giving paddleboarding lessons and hiring out boards, Lee has created a thriving paddleboarding community in the city, where like-minded people regularly come together to paddle and socialise and give their wellbeing a boost.
“People are just loving being at one with the water and the way that it relaxes their mind,” says Lee, who estimates that around 2,000 people have been out stand-up paddleboarding with Norfolk Paddleboards in Norwich this summer.
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“They’re just concentrating on the paddle stroke and forgetting about everything else that’s happening in the world.”
Equanimity will see Lee teaming up with health and wellbeing practitioners to help people to set themselves up for the cooler, darker months ahead.
“We’ve had a great summer and now it’s about taking the good bits of summer and utilising everything you got from that and moving into the next season,” he says.
Sessions cost £25.95 and include a paddle and a wholesome food box from the Red Lion Bishopgate.
There will also be treatments on offer (charged separately) in pop-up pods by La Lune Domes, including massage by Tom Sutton of Revive Ayurvedic Yoga Massage and mindfulness sessions with Alexandra Birrell.
Plus, Sauna Box will be bringing along their wood-fired sauna in a converted vintage horsebox.
“There will be about an hour and a half on the water,” says Lee. “And that will consist of a nice relaxing paddle and chatting to people. Then in the middle of the paddle, we’ll get people sat on their boards or to lay on their boards and just have a moment to take in their surroundings and be at one with themselves. And then we’ll have a nice, gentle paddle back.”
While summer is over and there’s a noticeable chill in the air, if you’re properly equipped you can still get out and enjoy the benefits of the water.
“The river temperature is still warm at the moment, because it’s had the summer to heat it up,” says Lee. “The issue is the wind-chill, so layers are key. You can wear sports leggings, a sports top, maybe a long sleeved top and then a nice windproof jacket as well, just in case it gets a bit nippy.
“As we move further into winter, people will need to start looking at wetsuits and that type of thing.”
Lee is passionate about helping people discover the wide range of health and wellbeing benefits of paddleboarding – from getting in tune with the seasons to feeling physically stronger.
“It’s about taking the benefits of what it feels like to be out on the water, moving with the water,” he says.
“The trees have started to turn now and they’re beautiful and the smells that it creates is wonderful. We’re really lucky to be where we are on the river and have the beauty that’s water right in the city centre.
“I think a lot of people feel that they have to travel to get this type of experience, to feel that they’re outdoors and within nature, but we are able to create it here, in the NR1 postcode.”
Find out more at norfolkpaddleboards.com