6 Ways Yoga Improves your Surfing

IMG_8605

1. Flexibility – Surfing is an extremely dynamic sport using multiple parts of your body to catch and ride a wave. We as surfers need to be strong but also flexible. Yoga is a great way to increase flexibility which will allow you to move fluidly in the water and recover faster from a hard day’s paddle. Lengthening the spine and loosening your limbs can add that extra reach when scrapping for a bomb on the outside.

2. Balance – Have you ever ruined a would-be-amazing wave if you just held your balance? A weekly Vinyasa flow will improve overall strength and balance. Learning to engage your muscles properly in connection to your breath can drastically increase your ability to balance and and adjust on the wave.

Take-off

3. Awareness – Being constantly aware in the water is crucial to catch waves and stay safe. You are thrown into survival mode the moment you hit the water and having an increased sense of awareness is something you want in your repertoire. The practice of awareness is foundational on the mat. Sharpening this keen ability and learning to connect to the ocean will help your timing, anticipating outside sets and reduce struggles in the impact zone.

4. Breathing – Yoga is about connecting the breath to your body-mind. It brings you to a state of calm when your body is in distress and allows you to react efficiently in times of extreme adrenaline. Slowing the breath and calming your nerves in a tense moment in the waves can vastly improve your ability to navigate the situation safely and efficiently. Yoga trains you for these moments, developing a strong relationship between breath and body. Remember the next time you’re caught inside face to face with a big set, relax, deepen your breath, and stay calm.

IMG_8604                        Photo: @barrel_junkie

5. Self Control – When that big set comes and you’re being tossed around in the water, can you allow yourself to relax? You can’t fight the waves, they will always win. You want to stay calm and relaxed in the moment of chaos. You can learn this sort of self control on the mat. You push and challenge your mind and body which sounds extreme, but in actuality these can be moments of tranquility. Yoga will help you to find that tranquil place.

6. Recovery – The ocean won’t wait for you. Preparing physically for your surf sessions is important, but recovery is just as important. A regular yoga practice will help your muscles and joints recover quickly from the physical stress of surfing and keep you fit and able to take as many waves that mother ocean sends your way.

Recommended yoga regimen for avid surfers:

2 active yoga classes a week- Vinyasa, Ashtanga Vinyasa, Hatha
These classes will help you build strength, flexibility, breath control, balance and mental focus.

2 passive yoga classes a week- Yin, Restorative Yoga
These classes are very slow and meditative, focusing on deep stretching that will keep your recovery time low, the body loose, and mind relaxed.

*Try a Yoga class at Riffs Studios in La Jolla, CA. Document your surfing and yoga routine using the GoSurf Accessories Mouth Mount and a GoPro camera.*