It is the time of year for fun on the river to begin in the Quad Cities Area. From boating to kayaking, to just bellying up to the Mississippi for an afternoon in the sun, many of us enjoy the activities the river has to offer. This year Abby Webster-Moran and her team at Indigo Wellness have something new to offer into the mix: Stand Up Paddle boarding.
Stand Up Paddle boarding, or SUP, is essentially just that – one stands up on a long board with a paddle similar to what you would use in a canoe, and away you go. This will be the second season that Abbey’s company, Flow SUP Co., will be offering lessons and demonstrations to our area.
Before Flow SUP Co., Abby and her husband, Shannon, have been quite busy running three of the local yoga studios located in Moline, Rock Island, and Davenport, under the umbrella name of Indigo Wellness, promoting “A creative approach to fitness and wellness”. They opened their first studio in 2006 and have slowly been growing since, as the Quad Citians’ involvement in yoga grows as well.
Abby’s interest began in message school in 1999 though her mother was also into yoga; her past and present sparked an interest that blossomed into a life’s passion. She began teaching in a small room at Serenity Salon and Day Spa in 2004 but had dreams of owning her own place, somewhere the she could really reach out and educate the community on what yoga can really offer. Back then, those practicing were a bit exclusive and those not practicing thought it was “new agey and out of the ordinary”, and Abby wanted to change that, to make yoga more approachable, more accessible for everyone.
When she first opened, she was teaching 13 classes a week! She began recruiting other instructors and convinced her husband, Shannon, to give it a try. “At first he hesitant and slow to come around, now he has far surpassed me in his practice!” As their shared love of the practice grew, as their message spread across the QCA, people began to listen.
“Whatever you’re looking for, we invite you to reach out to us and communicate. Let us know your needs and allow us the opportunity to place you with the right instructor(s), massage therapist(s), and more! Find your Self…inside Indigo!”
Now, with three locations offering a variety of different ways to practice, their story is nothing short of a success.
The Moline location offers not-hot yoga with message services available; the Davenport and Rock Island locations offer hot yoga, where the practice room is warmed to 103-105 degree with 30-40 percent humidity (this is my personal favorite!). It gives the yogi (term for one who practices yoga) the opportunity to further breathe into stretches and poses as the body warms up; your heart rate is elevated, thereby burning more calories, and you flush out all sorts of toxins from your body.
Now, the next generation of practice is here: SUP. Abby first tried it in 2013 and instantly fell in love and knew that our river community would love something like this. So, she went into serious research mode and decided to open a new business, she was going to become a long board paddle dealer and instructor. She traveled to San Diego to train, designed and ordered her boards, and had her first season last year on the Rock River, just behind her family’s home in Rock Island.
However, while a beautiful space to practice, there she was at the mercy of her environment. She was limited to just one location and if the river was too high or too low or it was too windy, she couldn’t practice….her solution? A cargo van for “Eco Tours”, the newest addition to her business, and now she can take her boards and SUP wherever the terrain allows!
The cost is quite minimal at $15 an hour, $10 for any additional hours, and she also has group rates. Abby will meet you, give you instructions and help ensure you feel safe and secure on the board. All the equipment is included with the rental agreement, including life jackets. It is a fun way to enjoy an afternoon. And you don’t have to do yoga on the board if you don’t want to…and there’s a good chance you won’t even fall in, the boards she uses are specifically designed and weighted with balance in mind.
Now if you happen to fall in love with SUPing, Abby can also sell you a package deal that includes a board, paddle, and strap retailing at about $1200. There are used options as well that would be a little cheaper. Before that, though, I do encourage you to grab a few friends and give it a try, its fun, relaxing, and a new way to experience the many water ways the surround us here in the Mississippi Valley.
The best way to reach out is on Facebook, each one of Abby and Shannon’s ventures has a page: Indigo – Moline, Davenport, and Rock Island, as well as one for Flow SUP Co. The two websites are informative as well….for yoga and for Flow SUP Co.
Whether its on the water while SUPing or in the studio on your mat, Indigo Wellness and Flow SUP Co. are great Quad Cities businesses headed by some really fantastic local people. They’re team will help you have a fun, positive experience that’s satisfying inside and out.