Inflatable Yoga Board – Explained by Julia Tauber

The all new 11’2 x 40″ Astro Yoga board is a first in the industry. The idea came from Julia Tauber and she explains here why she came up with it and the need to have such board in SUP. With a full EVA deck pad, a paddle holder and a bungee carrying handle, you can take your yoga poses onto the water.

Look for many more innovative designs by Starboard in the near future.


16.10.2013 Gölnitz,Stephan – Starboard is the brand with the most different types of SUP boards. Now they offer a special yoga-board, which can also be used as a “normal” SUP. The idea comes from Austria and we have interviewed the “inventor” about it:

© Lisa Cichocki
The new Astro Yoga in action

The brand-new Astro Yoga is with 11’2”x40” not only a yoga-island but also has the size of a comfortable touring board. Julia M. Tauber-Lewisch had the idea for it, born out of a lot of experience in giving SUP YOGA lessons in Vienna and at the Neusiedlersee (Austria). Hi Julia, your name is not so well known in the SUP-scene, but now as you are the first woman with your “own” SUP at Starboard 2014 this could soon change. How does this feel?
Julia: I have to admit that I am not the first woman with her own SUP at Starboard, there has already been the NRG fitness board 2013 by the former teamrider Nikki Gregg. But having the first Stand Up Paddle Board specially designed for yoga with my name on feels really great. Especially as SUP YOGA hast become a big trend since its beginning about 3 years ago. Could you please describe what kind of board that is? What are the particular features?
Julia: With a size of 11‘2 x 40‘‘ and fully covered by a soft EVA deck the board provides pleasant stability and maximum of comfort for yoga or other fitness exercises. The paddle holder is a unique feature and is placed at the tail in order to offer not only physically but also visually a surface similar to a yoga mat – for this reason we also designed the carrying handle at the side of the board and not like with most of the boards in the middle. The “core” plays an important role in yoga and therefore it was even more important not to distract the middle by accessories. It was also crucial that the board is inflatable so that you can easily carry it wherever you want.

© Lisa Cichocki
Carrying handle at the side, so that it does not disturb during yoga How did you get the Know-How?
Julia: My professional background comes in fact from cultural management, but I think that`s just what helped me make this idea happen. In my job as a cultural manager I am used to implement different ideas at its best. I love yoga & water sports. From windsurf I came to Stand Up Paddling. But to be honest, I don’t really like paddling a race, while expeditions or yoga on a SUP are magic I think. 3 years ago I had the idea to offer SUP YOGA in Austria, and together with a yoga teacher we created “markamri – SUP YOGA”. The experience we made with the yogis in our lessons have shown what expectations a SUP YOGA board has to fulfil. Can this board also be used for normal paddling?

© Lisa Cichocki
Stable and safe.

Julia: Of course, and not only that – I can really recommend a picnic on the board. Perfect for cruising and chill out, you will not win a race with it – but that was not the idea behind. How does such a work of development look like? Is it just writing an Email to Svein saying: “Hi I am Julia and I know everything about, could you please bring my idea in production”?
Julia: Well, maybe not written that directly, but it was a little bit like that. When I had the idea I immediately sent Svein an Email with quite concrete suggestions and reasons for. The next day I already had the answer: “Yes, the idea is good, let’s do this”. During a meeting in Spain we worked on the concept and finalised the last details in many Emails. We tested the prototype at my home spot in Austria, then the board went in production. Why yoga? What’s so special about yoga “on board” compared to yoga on land?

© Lisa Cichocki
“for relaxing”

Julia: Yoga on a SUP board is a strenuous but also a very meditating workout for body and soul. The instability of the “ground” – the water – especially strengthens your core, balance and flexibility. Yoga on water does not excuse any mistakes and needs your full concentration and mindfulness. The energy you feel from the water is lovely. It feels really special if for example you see the sparkling of the water in your “downward facing dog” or being gently rocked into “savasana” by the small waves. Water can really lead to inner peace. Are there more men or women in your lessons?
Julia: More women, like it is most with yoga. I think men are afraid of falling into the water ;-). Give me three reasons why I should come to one of your yoga lessons.

Julia: Because you are not afraid of falling into the water (though I have to mention that hardly any of the students fall into water without purpose).
Because you love water and are looking for a workout that focuses on your body & soul.
Because yoga on water is a unique experience and challenges you every time differently due to weather and water conditions. When having a board with ones name on – do you never have to work again?
Julia: My grandfather was honoured with a laurel wreath for his artistic work as a director of a theatre when he was younger. While he was quite proud of that my grandmother said “from this we cannot buy anything, I can just use the laurels in the soup”.
With my name on the board it is similar… I am very excited that there is a “Julia Tauber” Astro Yoga, but I am also happy that I still “have to” work and can go on in developing new projects and ideas.
Thank’s Julia and good luck with the board!

Julia in the internet:
Interview: Stephan Gölnitz