Most of us don't associate yoga with surfing, as they're just two different activities, but surprisingly, engaging in both can have a dynamic effect on each. Let's think about it for a second.
The whole point of surfing is to get up on the board and ride the wave with ferocity. Turns out, this requires focus, a clear mind and a strong, lean body -- three benefits that yoga has touted for years. Learning to breathe, clear your head, and hold strengthening poses to engage necessary muscles, is an ideal out-of-water practice for nailing the ride you're seeking in the big blue.
Common Goals and Ideals
Increasingly, those who practice yoga and those who surf find themselves with loads of goals and ideals in common, as both groups tend to gravitate toward taking care of mother earth and finding peace from within. In addition, surfers and yogis both work tirelessly to take care of their bodies and maintain peak health, as is required for their respective activities.
A constant yoga practice doesn't just promote a healthy body; it creates one, and commanding the powerful waves of mother nature would be near impossible without the discipline and bodily control that a successful surfer, and athlete, exhibits.
Pre-Board Yoga Stretches
Here’s another tip. Yoga is awesome all around, but there are definitely certain poses that almost cater directly to surfers, and some of them can even be used as pre-board stretches.
From stretches for the entire body to strengthening poses for target surfer areas (think lower back, hips and core), check out the Eagle Pose, Squat Pose, Boat Pose and Locust Pose, just as starters. Naturally, a more experienced yogi will find other poses helpful, but we’re assuming that surfers spend most of their time in the water, not on a mat, so these few poses are most effective for training those muscles.
How Yogis Can Benefit From Surfing
Likewise, surfing can translate into an outdoor, watery extension of an existing yoga practice. Just as yoga poses can serve surfers, yogis can experience a whole new level of focus, intensity and simultaneous fun atop a surfboard, and they’re the perfect athletes to try the sport. (Paddleboard yoga, anyone?)
Already masters of the form needed to successfully ride, new surfers with yoga backgrounds can streamline all focus toward catching the perfect wave and look good doing it.
Yoga and surfing may not have always been connected in practice and in the mind, but over time and development of both lifestyles, it's become more and more clear that the two aren't so separate after all. Short of a deathly fear of ocean water, if you’re already involved in one activity, there’s no reason not to give the other a try!