Why Yoga and Surfing Go Together
Fact: Yoga and surfing go together.
Fact: Making yoga a habit before suiting up is a beneficial time investment that your body and mind will thank you for later.
Fact: Professional surfer Kelly Slater implements yoga into his surf routine to help him stay centered and strong. He shares, “A lot of my injuries come from stiffness. I wanna have longevity. I wanna be 80 years old and be really strong and fit.” Slater finds himself falling back into the flow of yoga when imbalances occur in body and mind (stillstoked).
So now you’re asking how exactly yoga can improve your surfing?
Benefits of Yoga for Surfers
Turns out it takes more than a wet suit to help you warm up properly.
Think about it, a focused mind and lean body are required in order to get on a wave and stay on it. Surfing demands a lot from your body let’s be honest, the salt water and sun combination can be downright exhausting.
Getting better takes a lot of practice. But what about the things you’re doing to improve your surf skills while out of the water? Yoga is a great way to do something nice for your body and mind that ultimately will continue to help you get better at surfing!
Benefits of yoga include:
- Reducing risk of injury
- Building core strength
- Increasing flexibility and range of motion
- Improving balance
- Increasing stamina
- Correcting imbalances
- Energizing the body and mind
Benefits of Breathing
Okay, one more thing before we get into the best poses for surfers. Let's talk about breathing really quick, because it’s such an important key to allowing yoga to benefit your surfing.
While doing each pose make sure to inhale deeply through your nose into the rib cage, letting air expand into your chest. Next, exhale again from your nose, drawing your belly in. Never hold your breath while practicing your yoga poses.
Nose breathing while difficult to adopt as habit, creates a slower exhalation and allows your lungs to extract more oxygen from your breath (Thebodyholiday). Ultimately, deep breathing will help increase your lung capacity, and this will come in handy when a big set rolls in. Teaching your body the breathing basics will calm your nervous system if a big wave or sea creature gets you panicked out there.
Top 5 Yoga Poses for Surfers
Pose #1: The Downward Facing Dog
Warming up with this widely-recognized stretch will help strengthen the wrists, arms and shoulders. These muscles will come in handy while for paddling for the wave of your life.
Pose #2: The Upward Facing Dog
Transition easily from the downward dog to the upward facing dog. This pose gently stretches the spine, vertebrae by vertebrae. This new found flexibility in your back with allow you to pop up quickly and effortlessly while dropping in.
Pose #3: The Tree Pose
Holding the tree pose takes balance and focus to master. As you practice moving in and out of this pose with complete control over your body you will improve your balance and stabilize the hip joints. This stability will prevent you from cutting your ride short.
Pose #4: Warrior II
The warrior II benefits the entire body by improving balance and warming up the hips and legs. Make sure to switch and get both sides!
The warrior II will increase your balance while surfing, along with stamina and concentration.
Pose #5: The Plank
Finish it off with a plank. When the waves are firing, you will want your core to be also. You are basically doing a plank anyway when you push yourself up right before hopping on a wave.
Hold your plank for at least 30 seconds. This position will build core strength and stability. The plank also increases endurance and body control which you will want out in the water.
Look Good While Doing It
Yoga is for the experienced surfer, the beginner surfer, for men and for women. Take 15 minutes out of your day and watch your surfing improve like you watch the tides roll in and out.
We know, the better you look the better you feel. Feeling confident in your gear can help increase motivation!
Whether you choose to do yoga on the beach before a surf session, at home, or in a studio, look good while doing it.
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