How are surfing and yoga related?
Yoga and surfing come hand in hand. Yoga complements surfing perfectly as it creates flexibility, builds strength, and balance. Strength, flexibility, and balance are key when out in the water.Yoga is great for building core strength, stamina, mental focus, and better breathing techniques. Yoga gives you a full body stretch which is very beneficial for surfers. Your muscles constantly contract while in the water and they benefit greatly from yoga, as it lengthens and loosens the muscles, unwinding any knots that were accumulated while surfing. The mental focus and breathing help reduce stress, which can come in handy during times of big waves or in other situations. For the true surfer or the true yogi there is a connection with each that goes beyond the physical. Connect the rhythm of the ocean to the rhythm of the breath and rhythm of the body. Yoga is a great way to stay in shape both physically and mentally. It’s so important to practice yoga before paddling out at sea, so you can align your chakras, find mental clarity, and stretch the body.
Why surfers should practice yoga?
Learning how to control and connect to you’re breathe is the biggest benefit surfers will receive from practicing yoga. Most people aren’t aware of conscious of how they are breathing. They breathe through their mouths taking short surface breaths. Yoga promotes long and deep breathing in and out through the nose. With every breath you fill up your lungs up to capacity, filling the body with prone and energy. This way of breathing is extremely beneficial in relieving fear in big surf while also giving you great lung capacity to handle being held down by waves. When the breath is calm and controlled and the mind is at peace, you can get through any situation. If you can control your breath, you can control your mind. If you can control your mind, you come closer to controlling your body.
5 postures to improve your surfing
1. Downward Facing Dog
Downward Facing Dog a posture that is good for the entire body. It stretches the spine, shoulders, legs, and calf muscles, while building strength and toning the arms and legs. This posture helps relive stress and prevent any back pain.
2. Upward Facing Dog
Upward Facing Dog lengthens and increases flexibility in your spine while opening up the chest, throat, shoulders, and front of the thighs.
3. Warrior II
Warrior II is similar to the stance surfers take as they stand up on their board. This posture benefits the entire body. It strengthens and stretches the shoulders, legs, hips, and groin. Warrior II helps with balance while creating concentration and balance as it’s held. This posture energizes the entire body, increases stamina, concentration, and a peaceful state of mind.
4. Locust pose
If there was a pose created just for surfers then it would Locust pose. Locust strengthens and lengthens the entire spine, core, chest, and gluteal muscles. It tones the back of the arms and legs. This posture is great for surfing because it provides a gentle back bend which helps with strengthening the arch of our lower backs- the same part of our backs we use to paddle before take off on a wave.
4. Boat pose
Boat pose is a the perfect pose to strengthen your core while also challenging you to balance. This pose gives you the opportunity to focus on your breath. It is essential to breathe deeply as you hold this pose, feeling the muscles burn. Lengthening your breath and concentrating on each inhale and exhale is the best way for clearing the mind of clutter and focusing on the present moment.
Incorporating Yoga into your Surf Routine
Once you start incorporating yoga into your daily life, especially before and after surfing, you will find that you feel healthier, more connected to your being, and more flexible.
Any aches and pains from surfing reduce immensely. The more you practice yoga, the more you will see similarities in surfing and yoga, as they are both about connecting to a flow of energy. Yoga connects to the energy created from your body through the breath and postures while surfing connects to the energy and rhythm of the ocean and Mother Earth.