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Darien, CT, 06820


Thumbs up stand up paddle board and land yoga classes, trainings and retreats by Danielle Brown. 


Come in, exhale, leave better

Danielle Brown

That's the motto for Exhale Spa in Stamford, CT - Come in, exhale and leave better. Located next to the harbor, this luxury fitness studio will be offering Stand up Paddle board classes again this summer. I think it's part of what makes our area so neat - the influx of water options and the vibrant community, jazzed and ready to Launch.

Summer time is relished for its preciousness. Fitness on a paddle board can be a marker of just how far you want to get "out of the box" and celebrate the warm life by the sea. 

For the second year in a row, I'll be teaching SUP Yoga in conjunction with Exhale and SoundWaters in Harbor Point.

Sign up, Play, And make Note - summer can be magical. 

Photo by: Robert Sturman ~ Artist / Photografia

Photo by: Robert Sturman ~ Artist / Photografia

Jam on

Danielle Brown

Are you in for a summer night of community celebration? A July sunset to the beat of music by the water that incorporates shopping, art and movement? Well then, put your hands up! Facebook and other promotions are teeing this up to be another awesome Jam Sesh. I just got my ticket and I hope to see you there.  

Join  Lululemon   Athletica Greenwich ,  Exhale   Spa Stamford ,  Megan Kuczynski  and  Aimee Elsner  on the Harbor Point Boardwalk in Stamford.  Friday Night Jam on July 22nd at 6PM.  Photo by: Lululemon Athletica Greenwich

Join Lululemon Athletica GreenwichExhale Spa Stamford, Megan Kuczynski and Aimee Elsner on the Harbor Point Boardwalk in Stamford.

Friday Night Jam on July 22nd at 6PM.

Photo by: Lululemon Athletica Greenwich

Wanderlust 2016 - Snowshoe, West Virginia

Danielle Brown

you know how sometimes the anticipation pales in comparison to the actual event? This time was like that.

I cautiously asked three college girlfriends if they would travel with me to the Wanderlust Festival in Snowshoe, West Virginia. Not only did they leave their families for a long weekend, take their businesses mobile and say yes to the Fest Request, but they were also wonderful roommates and the best fest partners that I could have asked for.  They were supportive and funny and ambitious and adventurous and fun. 

We breezed through a 9 hour road trip each way into the high peaks of West Virginia. Even when the cell service abated, the chatter never seemed without pause. Only on the way home, housed with sea legs from three days on the boards and sore muscles from long holds, did we call "mercy" and tune into a few podcasts until it's talk, prompted our talk - even more. 

Thank you to Boga Yoga and the Wanderlust Festival for having me teach six wonderful classes again this year on a SUP board. Thank you to all the students that took a ThumbSUP Yoga class and provided such joy by bearing witness to your immense accomplishments and good nature. And thank you to Kendra, Tucky and Giada.

What can I say? I'm so looking forward to next year! 

More pictures to be added shortly. 

Psst. Hey you.

Danielle Brown

It's been a rough few months. Lying tight on the side wall. Pretty cold. Not as cold as last winter, so I guess I shouldn't complain. But I'm as stiff as a board and come to think of it, really, really bored.

I'm watching the paint dry in those old cans, with the dust and the rust. Not much color on any given day. A perpetual gray with the floors of dirt and the film of loss held under a pretense of storage but let's face it, long since forgot.

Bikes in hibernation, no bouncing kid to their seat. A stray ball or seven, the yellow fuzz worn to the hue of the sun without heat. Slack fishing lines never pulled taut except in a misstep to retrieve the last beer from sometime last year.

Musty blankets to sheet the innumerable paint jobs planned. Tools a'plenty, like sentimental golf shoes, saved for that one day. There is nothing to do, but remember the waves.

I've got my old friend, Paddle, by my side. Not much of a companion but he'll make do until we ride. 

And you give me an occasional glance as you pass on through. The ruckus of that cranked chain for the door marks the coming and going.  And the coming and going. And the coming and the going

until one fine day

there is a pause.

Hey! Are the trees full of leaves? Is the water warm enough for toes? So, are we ready now? Put me in coach, I'm so ready to go. 


2017 SUP & Yoga Retreat

Danielle Brown

It's 24 degrees in Connecticut. They say April is the cruelest month. And I get it. So I am warm weather dreaming today and really excited that the dates have been set for the 2017 SUP & Yoga Retreat to the Bitter End Yacht Club in Virgin Gorda, BVI. All details will be coming soon but for now, warm thoughts of island adventures ahead and sunshine days on boardS and by the sand. #supbeyc

Wanderlust Snowshoe

Danielle Brown

I'm happy to be going back to teach SUP yoga at the Wanderlust Festival this June in Snowshoe, West Virginia - where the commute to the boards includes a chairlift ride and the sun tucks in over the mountains. Lake Shavers presents a mist on the early hour and reaps the sunshine in the afternoon.

Classes for SUP Yoga and so much more are available for pre-registration now at:

The draw to the water is compelling.

Young, Old, every experience on a paddle board is new. The nature abound guides a course. It can be more than fulfilling to touch into that power..  balance, even momentarily, between personal agenda and nature's unveiling and perhaps suddenly you'll do something as remarkable as - Stand up on water.

The attached video, with Fellow teachers Ashlee Fehsenfeld and Sarah Tiefenthaler, expresses some of the other musings from A board And that wild West Virginia early morning Lake.

2016 SUP & Yoga Retreat to the Bitter End Yacht Club

Danielle Brown

Every morning at the Bitter End Yacht Club I woke before the alarm. New themes each morning to plan for, outings outlined in the mind, sequences that heal and intrigue  permeated with a smile. Then there was a consideration of the breeze and a calculation of those boards and where to think? Perhaps another moment in this cozy bed or better yet, that softly weathered hammock, beckoning from the deck. 

"Beep beep beep beep" a fruitless sound, not here but left well back in the room. 

In February of '16, seventeen men and women from Ohio to the shores of CT and a twosome with a pirate ship in DC (this, I do not fib!) traveled and trekked by sea and air craft to Virgin Gorda isle.  BEYC's second annual SUP & Yoga retreat made special from seventeen's ambition, grace and heck of style. 

It was something to remember. The photos below are but a sliver. Thank you for capturing it all so well, Mar Javierto, of ishootbvi. I'll upload here and there as I continue to plow nostalgically through the pile. 

See you next year, my forever friends. The alarm, I will not need. 

Take Your Daughters To Yoga Day

Danielle Brown

"What are you doing", Gigi exclaims. 

Often, when I am moving around the kitchen, in a warrior posture or staring intently at a boiling pot, my daughter patters over to watch.  

You know the benefits of yoga- how it makes you feel more centered, balanced, receptive and true.  So why not share some tools to our girls to have and employ? 

In this informal, fun-filled workshop, we'll encourage expressive postures, loving partner work and an introduction to Pranayama and the theory of Yoga.

It's Yoga through a girl's eye.

Meet me + g on the mat. #justgirls

Yoga On Board - Power & Motoryacht Magazine

Danielle Brown

OH B(U)OY!!!! On newsstands now!!!!!! Yoga on Board: "A Way for Boaters to Stay Limber, Toned and Strong, on the Boat or Off."

I hope this article is clear and helpful in suggesting some of the plethora of options available to stretch and strengthen on your next voyage. 

Many thanks to Jason Wood and Power & Motoryacht Magazine for their vision, edits and production of this piece and the Yoga On Board video. It has been a boatload of fun to work with you. 

ThumbSUP Yoga has a new website

Danielle Brown

New web design, content, layout and illustrations. 

The new look feels appropriate for the business today. I hope it's helpful in summarizing ThumbSUP Yoga current offerings and fielding some F.A.Q.s.

The logo was a "do-dad" but now it holds greater meaning. It's two boards at the ready, stacked on the rack or crossing in the sea. Or the reflection of one board to view the significance of a pair. Colossal fins are in supply to straighten and stabilize a sunrise to sunset journey. 

Welcome to the new site.

I appreciate your feedback, thoughts and suggestions. 



at the beach

Danielle Brown

This is the third summer of teaching yoga under the pavilion at the town's beach. Along this coast, the winter was rough. Snow was abundant and heavy, like a dark cloak of sleep. And while restful in a state of mere endurance, I am excited to be teaching classes again outside. The sun is shining down and the water is enticing. At this open air space, the warm breeze of jubilation feels as limitless as the sky. 

musings on a sup board: on point

Danielle Brown

Once and awhile, like today, for instance, I feel like I've drifted from median. Seen from the outside or taken on paper, everything appears hunky dory. All the ducks are in order and I am present and accounted for. Yet I feel off-axle. Today, it's the whelm of a sentimental thought. I am reeling in headspace.

Often, when I teach SUP, after we've completed dryland, launched and the class is standing with ease, I'll suggest students lose their balance a little. With your feet wide on the board, press down on one foot then the other to
create a rock.
Go on now.

As the board shifts from side to side, the body instinctively kicks in. The core firms and the toes might grip. The knees bend to reduce the center of gravity and the quads may hammer for control. It can be scary! Rocking fro from the momentum of rocking to. As the board leans one way, the opposite foot leads the charge to regain balance. It's active and unsettling when the foundation starts to shake.

Like a good roller coaster, the down-swing feels indeterminate as the climb is cresting. But in its essence the contra sway of a sup board is on par with its brethren. A properly fitted board in length, width and composition will promote buoyancy and all else being equal, there will be no more than a comparable opposite reaction to the sway. I believe it is Newton's Second Law of motion that says so.

I'll usually suggest that students feel the edges of the movement because 1. it will help when we play with yoga later and 2. because buried beneath the worries of falling and the busy work of the body brashly trying to steer the ship, there is a sensation of liquid balance. Once the toes ease and the legs stop trying to be the boss, there is an understanding of great ease and an intimate relationship regained with nature.

The opposite of the freeze frame, or "stuck" gymnastic dismount. On a SUP board, we are reminded that there is a litany of balance. It's a spectrum of points on the rock with a rolodex of symmetry. Sometimes cresting, sometimes waning. It's a constant give and take but a smooth undercurrent is supporting a sound board and equanimity is all the while current.

The board wants to right itself, but will you let it?

Yoga Playdate

Danielle Brown

In the hustle and bustle of the holidays, my dear friend Donna and I treated ourselves to a day together playing in New York City. It seemed impossible and I worried about timing, but we slapped the To Do List to the backburner, wrestled the clock for an opening and brushed aside doubt. And I am so glad that we did. (That's me, beaming on the right.) The highlight of the day, which I still label a treasure of a gift bestowed, was a spirited, beat bumping yoga class at Laughing Lotus taught by the saucy and sweet, Dana Trixie Flynn.

I don't recall the exact theme. And I couldn't tell you how many times I nodded along, in expression of solidarity of all those themes expressed. I remember my body, how the thoughts landed in conjunction with the words and how I felt a synergy. Yoga can be soft and slow, quiet and solo and it could be an electric. I love that range and I love an occasional circuit breaker party.  This is  Donna , showcasing her Be Bold themed prowess. (Look where she just happens to be pointing). Don't you just love that wall?? It's in Laughing Lotus' "dance hall" room. Disco ball included!

I don't recall the exact theme. And I couldn't tell you how many times I nodded along, in expression of solidarity of all those themes expressed. I remember my body, how the thoughts landed in conjunction with the words and how I felt a synergy. Yoga can be soft and slow, quiet and solo and it could be an electric. I love that range and I love an occasional circuit breaker party.

This is Donna, showcasing her Be Bold themed prowess. (Look where she just happens to be pointing). Don't you just love that wall?? It's in Laughing Lotus' "dance hall" room. Disco ball included!

donna ll.jpg

Lesson remembered: always leave a little space, for possibility. You're invited to the party. RSVP yes sometimes.

What other classes should I take in NYC? #yogatrapolis

Something Different

Danielle Brown

Once the bulk of the snowman wrapping paper have left with the recyclables and even the trimmings seem to have lost their luster from too much merriment and impalement from the scurry. After the icing has aged to a coat a crackling cookie with its compadres left caking the fibers of the rug. And the hung stockings pfft, once more depleted, used and discarded for the treats that they held. At this point the carols seem taunting, and so does that cookie. It was a good Christmas. It's time now to move on. Prickly, commando needles tell me so, as they bomb past rubbed clay ornaments to fort along the floor.

I like it here. The interlude. It's quiet and the family is well fed. I burrow into my space of the well-worn fibers of the brown, friendly sofa. I drag up to cheek the best, plush blanket built for four or wound twice for one. My body, beneath the plush, synthetic fibers relaxes until sleep, which has been so eluding lately, closes in. And I drift lightly into its warm embrace. Dreams come easily, but are not easy to discern. I come to barely and confirm a resignation with these words: "aw, you sunk my battleship."