If you’re an enthusiastic surfer, whether professional or intermediate, you’re constantly looking to improve your game and gain the extra edge that would help you surf faster, better and higher than others in the same water as you. While learning the right technique is important at this stage, it’s also important to look after your body and improve it with exercise to increase your performance. And what better exercise to pair with surfing than yoga?
Why they go together
Look up some surf holidays. They’re bound to be paired with yoga retreats. While doing yoga has some rewards that surfers could benefit from (that will be discussed later), the reason the two physical activities go together is that of the similarities in their philosophies. Yoga is about getting you in touch with your body, matching your rhythm of breath and body shape.
Surfing is about syncing yourself to the wave and riding on it wherever it would take you. Both symbolize going with the flow, and both limit the amount of will one has over the exercise you can’t force a wave to get the wave you want it to in the case of surfing, you have to listen to it. Nor can you force a specific pose on your body, only find its depth. It’s no surprise they fit.
How yoga can benefit surfers
Yoga has some great benefits for any person that practices it, but for surfers, it holds some especially rewarding merits. Since yoga focuses mainly on your core muscles, you end up with stronger balance and more control over your board. Your stamina is improved with the way you learn to control and maximize your breathing.
Yoga also clears your mind and helps you focus, something which is indispensable to surfers who need a sharp, alert mind to be able to catch waves at the right time. This is why the best surf schools and surf camps have yoga sessions, and why your private surf lessons instructor would also recommend it to you.
Poses to try for surfers
While doing any yoga would improve your surfing game, some poses would benefit you more than others and therefore should be added to your daily routine. There’s the plank pose, which puts you in a position similar to the one you get in during your initial phase in popping up.
Then there’s the Eagle pose, one where you learn a greater control over your balance when standing up, which will no doubt end up helping you when you’re standing on the board riding an actual wave to keep your balance. You should also try the Locust pose, the Downward-facing-dog pose and the Four-limbed-staff pose to help strengthen your muscles and core.
Some things to remember
You want fast results. Now Yoga will eventually help you achieve your goal, but you have to be patient with your body. Yoga is far from an aggressive sport, farther than any sport actually, and forcing yourself into difficult poses to get faster results will NOT work in your favor. Take your time and ease into it. You’ll find you don’t need to put in much effort after a while, both in yoga and while surfing.
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FB: @Alberto Escobar