Back in Ahwatukee Foothills after moving to Pennsylvania to teach yoga, Carol Ann Marusiak is now preparing for a new adventure: a stand-up paddle board race.

Hosted at Tempe Town Lake this weekend, Marusiak will participate in the Stand-Up Paddle Board races on the lake Saturday morning, a sport she said is gaining popularity.

“It’s a fairly new sport, but it’s growing,” said Marusiak, who has worked at local health clubs like Gold’s Gym and other studios.

Stand-up paddle boarding looks almost exactly as it sounds, racers stand on top of their boards and paddle in a motion similar to kayaking.

“It’s an amazing workout, you have to use your entire core as well as your shoulders, legs and feet,” Marusiak said.

If that isn’t hard enough, Marusiak will also be teaching a blend of yoga and stand-up paddle boarding for the city of Tempe.

Essentially performing yoga on a paddle board in the water, Marusiak said the workout’s intensity is increased.

“You work so many muscles already, and then you add on the yoga part,” Marusiak said.

Though she is just racing for fun this weekend, Marusiak said she hopes the sport will gain more popularity, and encourages others to try it out with yoga in her upcoming classes.

“It’s starting to come around, and it’s certainly the right time of the year,” she said.

The Stand-Up Paddle Board races will be at Tempe Town Lake, near Rio Salado Parkway and Mill Avenue, starting at 11:30 a.m. for women and 11:45 a.m. for men.

For more information about the races or Marusiak’s summer classes, visit and search for “classes and leagues.”

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or Follow her on Twitter @dmartinezAFN.

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