Tommy Bahama + Self Magazine #1


Hello my friends!  I’m super excited about today’s post- it’s the kick off of a series of four and something I worked really long and hard to produce and am very proud of!  And by long and hard I mean 15 personally instructed yoga sessions with my very favorite yoga teacher, as well as 5 weeks of daily yoga sessions, a couple of training sessions with Tommy Bahama stand up paddle board expert Brennan Rose, and many hours of shooting at the beach.  I did all of this so that I could partner with Tommy Bahama and SELF to give you some inspiration for your wardrobes + beach days, introduce you to my new love Stand Up Paddle Boarding, pass along a few tips for those of you new to it who’d like to give it a shot, and instruct you on the exercises that I did to prepare my body for the super fun workout that paddle boarding is (it quickly became my FAVORITE way to get in a workout)!

So now that I’ve talked it up, see below for some beachy wardrobe inspiration (we had so much fun shooting this that I now think I only want to shoot on the beach!).  Also, click through to see a peek at my tutorial with Brennan, what he taught me, and the exercises with detailed instructions below.  And look forward to three more of these posts to come- each with exercises to strengthen a different part of your body.  Even if you’re not near any water or stand up paddle boarding is nowhere near your future- these exercises are perfect for an at-home workout to tone you up and build strength and flexibility. I hope you love!  xx- Sarah  {Photos: Lou Mora}

SHOP THIS POST: Shirt, Swimsuit, Sweater, BraceletPaddleboardSunscreenRashguard, Swimshorts,Bikini top

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Getting started stand up paddle boarding: carry your board into the water and float it on its side until you’re in deep enough water that when you flip it over (tail end towards land) the fins don’t hit the bottom.  Climb onto the board and get your balance on your knees first (stand up paddle boards are very large and buoyant so it’s not nearly as hard as I thought it might be!)  Once you feel stable, stand up (if you need to stabilize further- place one foot near the top of the board and one towards the back- balance is found front to back initially).  Once you feel comfortable, bring your feet back together, towards the carrying handle, and spread them wide.  Move around a little while you’re in shallow water and get a feel for it- you’ll feel like a pro in no time!


Hold your paddle at the grip handle and then a comfortable distance down from that so you can reach it into the water.  Use your core, back and lats to paddle- if you just use your shoulders you’ll burn out quickly (learned this from experience as well!).  Reach forward with your paddle and complete your stroke when the paddle reaches your body.  Switch your hand position when you switch sides of the board to paddle for steering or fatigue purposes!  Keep an eye out for boaters, boat wake and whatever else may be around AT ALL TIMES!  This part is especially important.  Brennan says “never turn your back on the ocean!”  Be alert and aware of your surroundings, and especially so if you’re in the open ocean (a protected cove or bay is a great place to learn to stand up paddle board!)

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Getting your board out of the water can be as easy as it is getting in- flip it on its side and walk it in until you’ve hit land!  Ok, now it’s time to work out those glutes!!!!


Chair Pose:  Begin with you feet together, lengthen your spine as you raise your arms above your head, engage your abs and bend your knees as if you were about to sit in a chair.  Check to make sure that you can see your toes- your knees should stay behind toes at all times.  While in the pose, squeeze your glutes and concentrate on keeping your shoulders down. Hold for 5-10 long breaths.  Repeat 5 times.


Lunges: Starting from standing, place hand on hips and step one foot approximately 3′ behind you, bending both knees until the back knee comes close to the board.  Front knee should stay behind toes at all times.  Abs should be engaged, back straight, and looking straight ahead.  Repeat ten times on each leg.


Glute Raise:  Begin on all fours, hands directly below shoulders and core engaged.  Lift leg, squeezing the glute muscles, until leg is parallel to the ground.  Repeat ten times on each side.


Glute Bridge Lifts:  Lying on your back, place feet flat hip widths distance apart and palms flat against the board at your sides.  Pushing down into your heels, lift your hips by squeezing your glutes.  Keep abs engaged at all times to protect your lower back.  Raise and lower 10 times.

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Reader Comments

    • Sarah Yates|

      Thanks Chelsea! I think one pieces are super cute too- and sometimes they’re so much more flattering on me! Good luck with your purchases!!! xx

  1. Tereza|

    These pictures are super cute and you have one smokin bod! Good job on all the yoga and paddle boarding!

    • Sarah Yates|

      Thanks so much Tereza! I hope to bring a lot more fitness inspiration to the site as I continue working on my own! 🙂

  2. Heather|

    I had no idea Tommy Bahama had such cute swimwear for women. Thanks so much for the rec. BTW, you look stunning!

    • Sarah Yates|

      Thank you Heather!!!! SUCH cute swimwear! You should head into a shop if you can, everything is always better in person. 🙂

  3. Kaycee|

    Thanks for all the fitness inspiration! I’m loving it and it’s coming at the perfect time. Thanks for keeping it fun and interesting.

  4. Kathy|

    Awesome! …….. Excellent workout, fabulous shots and BEST swim suit of the season! i love mine!

  5. Heather|

    You look fantastic, Sarah! What a fun experience. Congrats on the whole collaboration. Gorgeous inspirations!
    xx, Heather