Here are our top five yoga surfing poses: The common thread between yoga and surfing? It is not to be pursued on the weekends, or just in the summer. It is not a sport we play like basketball or lacrosse. It is a lifelong commitment. A lifelong commitment that requires practice, patience, and more practice. And the amazing thing is, that each experience is diverse, creating a one of a kind adventure for each of us.
We pay attention. To the waves. To our bodies. To our breath.
We show up raw, we are not in control, and let something much larger take over. We experience joy. Joy that, at times, cannot be contained. We laugh. Smile. Laugh some more. Euphoria swells, yet we feel a sense of overall calm.
We mess up. We fall down. We fail. And this keeps us humble.
But, we continue to paddle out. We continue to step back onto our mats. We practice.
The benefits that a yoga practice can have on surfing are remarkable. Whether it’s through strength, flexibility, and balance. Or simply just breathing better! Breathing is the first practice in yoga and can contribute positively to overall health and better surfing. It is important to keep the mouth closed, breathe deeply and slowly, through the nose. It’s a sounding breath, one that mimics the rhythm of the ocean waves.
Surfing puts pressure on the lower back, closes the chest, and stiffens the hips. We asked friend, and pro-surfer, Randy Townsend for a few of his favorite poses.
Pose 1: Adho Mukha Svanasana – Downward facing dog
Lengthens hamstrings and calves.
Stretches shoulders, hands, arches of feet.
Strengthens arms, upper body, legs.
Relieves back pain, fatigue.
Calms brain and nervous system.
Pose 2: Urdhva Mukha Svanasana – Upward facing dog
Stretches chest, shoulders, abdominal muscles.
Strengthens spine, arms, wrists.
Helps relieve fatigue.
Pose 3: Eka Pada Rajakapotasana – One Legged Pigeon
Stretches thighs, groin, psoas muscles.
Stretches chest, shoulders.
Pose 4: Balasana – Child’s Pose
Stretches hips, thighs, ankles.
Gently relaxes core muscles while passively stretching the muscles of the back, torso.
Reduces stress, fatigue.
Pose 5: Ananda Balasana – Happy Baby
Releases lower back, sacrum.
Opens hips, inner thighs, groin.
Stretches the hamstrings.
Relieves lower back pain.
Calms the brain.
Helps relieve stress and fatigue.
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