As a yoga teacher who surfs on occasion, I have realised that being on the surfboard out in the water gives me the same feeling that comes from being on my yoga mat. Surfing allows me to connect with nature and be truly present in the moment, the same way flowing with my breath and connecting with the body brings me to the here and now!
Having taught yoga to surfers at surf and yoga retreats and at Costa Dulce, here are a few ways yoga compliments surfing so beautifully!
Yoga helps to stretch the whole body and improves flexibility in the hips and hamstrings which is highly beneficial for popping up and manoeuvring better. Stretching also helps to open up any tight muscles and reduce stiffness preparing your body for better surfing. Surfing can be hard on the body and stretching before you surf reduces the risk of injuries.
Pose for flexibiltiy : Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutations)
Yoga engages the full body and uses body weight – strengthening the core, arms, shoulders and lower back muscles by holding and repeating poses. All of which are used when surfing! A Dynamic Yoga Flow before surfing helps to increase muscle strength and endurance that are needed when you’re out in the water whether paddling or popping up on your board!
Poses for strength:
Navasana (Boat Pose)
Virabhadrasana III (Warrior III)
Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand)
Adding breathwork to your practice allows you to stay present and calm when you’re out catching waves. Yoga makes you more aware of your surroundings, making surfing a safe experience and less dangerous for yourself and others surfers.
Breathwork for Focus : Close down your eyes, bring your attention and awareness to your breath, concentrate on slow, deep breathing. Quiet down the mind and disengage from any distracting thoughts and sensations.
Balance is the key when it comes to surfing. Balancing yoga postures challenge you to keep your balance, build stability and help you get steadier on your surfboard over time.
Poses for balance:
Vrksasana (Tree pose)
Natrajasana (Dancers pose)
Garudasana (Eagle pose)
5. Staying Present
Yoga inspires us to surrender to the present moment and become fully immersed in the flow. Staying present helps us connect with the ocean and surf better.
Combining yoga and surfing helps me to go with the flow, not just in the water but through life too. These are just a few things that tie yoga with surfing and what better way to experience it than treating yourself to a surf and yoga retreat? Combine your love for surfing and daily yoga classes on your next surf holiday with Costa Dulce