Posts In: Riding Waves

Riding Waves and Meditation

January 24, 2017
Riding Waves and Meditation

Ocean Waves

Riding Waves and Meditation: Since childhood, we have had a general understanding of ocean waves – waves have different heights, waves travel, waves break with power.  We understand that each wave is different, some more powerful than others, coming in sets of 3 or maybe 6. 

Ocean waves are energy.  Energy that has traveled thousands of miles until reaching the coastline and breaking into whitewater. The highest point of any wave is the crest, while the opposite is the trough.  The face, or front of a breaking wave, is the vertical distance between crest and trough.

Brain Waves

Just like an ocean wave, every thought and emotion has it’s own signature energy.  Your brain is comprised of a tight network of nerve cells, all interacting to generate an electrical field, waves of electrical states being formed by your nervous system.  It’s helpful to think of brainwaves as ocean waves – the low frequency waves settle in the trough, with a slow sense of calm, while the higher frequency brainwaves rise in the crest, with excitement and anticipation.  The face of the wave is where the higher and lower frequencies mix, cohere and create. 

Our brainwaves change according to what we’re doing and feeling. When slower brainwaves are dominant, we feel tired, sluggish, or even dreamy. When higher frequencies are dominant,we feel alert, wired, or hyper-sensitive. As proven by quantum mechanics, however, these energetic waves or frequencies can be changed.  When you overlay an opposite shaped wave on to an original wave, the original wave is straightened – essentially canceling out the characteristics of the original wave and shifting the energetic signature.  Any process that changes your perception, changes your brainwaves. 
Let’s extend this now to understanding the mechanics of changing thoughts or emotional patterns. Consider identifying an exact opposite, and positive thought, to counter a negative thought.  To explain this further, and perhaps simpler, take a moment to consider the word stress. Now, consider the word relax. Do the same with the word sad, and now happy.  It sounds simple, and it is. And with nearly 60,000 thoughts per day, the power of positive thinking can truly impact and change lives.
Riding the Waves
The practice of yoga and meditation have long proven to alter brainwaves and create a sense of calm, peace, and overall happiness.  In isolation, meditation frees us from worry and mental discomfort, creating an inner peace and clarity that enables us to understand our thought patterns and emotions. We learn to control our minds, regardless of external circumstances, developing a balanced mind in constant equilibrium.  

With the hectic pace and demands of modern life, finding time and space to meditate, is a challenge.  However, studios like MNDFL, are hoping to make it simpler.  MNDFL, New York City’s premier meditation studio, exists to enable humans to feel good. For about $20, you can book your cushion for a 30 minute session within this studio space designed to make you feel like you are at home.  The studio features expert teachers from a variety of traditions, offering simple techniques in an accessible manner.  

If a group class isn’t your thing, start with a fifteen minute breathing meditation at home to overcome your stress, find balance and inner peace.  Settle comfortably, seated or laying down, and begin to cultivate awareness of your thoughts and distractions that arise in the mind. Notice the waves, the troughs, the crests, the energy.  With this awareness, gently guide your attention to your breath, seeking its normal rhythm and pace.  As you breathe out, let go of the negative and distracting thoughts. As you breathe in, allow positivity to envelope your whole self, acknowledging each blessing and inspiration.  

I love riding waves and meditation, and the practice isn’t simply another wellness trend.  And there is no right or wrong.  It can change your perceptions, patterns and waves. It can change your life. It certainly has changed mine.

Please feel free to connect with us if you would like to learn more about personal  yoga sessions or benefits of riding waves and meditation in group sessions. 


top five yoga surfing poses

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.

Energizes body.

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.

Opens lungs.

Helps relieve fatigue.

Pose 3: Eka Pada Rajakapotasana – One Legged Pigeon 

Opens hips.

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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