- 04 May 2011 | Surfing
Yoga has entered the world of surfing. The traditional physical, mental and spiritual postures from India have been adapted for surfer's training and fitness.
Wave riders have learned that many yoga workouts and moves are very useful for a complete physical exercise and to avoid injuries.
The yoga stretches and techniques could be done before and after the surf session. Surfers will boost their energy, stability, endurance, confidence and performance while keeping extremely focused for each single wave.
Yoga helps paddling and standing up faster. At the same time, these Hindu and Buddhist poses will help board sports enthusiasts to recover their bodies after each ocean sessions. There are several yoga postures and exercises you can try in your surf life.
The Padmasana, or "Lotus Pose", is a classic yoga seated pose and requires open hips and consistent practice. It calms the brain and stretches the ankles and knees. The Bharadvajasana I, or "Bharadvaja's Twist", is gentle tonic twist for the spine and the abdominal organs. It is great for beginners and calms the nervous system.
The Adho Mukha Svanasana, or "Downward-Facing Dog", is one of the most widely recognized and famous yoga poses. It's a rejuvenating stretch and strengthens the wrists, arms and shoulders. This is one of the poses in the traditional Sun Salutation.
The Utthita Parsvakonasana, or "Extended Side Angle Pose", is a stretch along the top side of the body, from the back heel through the raised arm. It opens the hip joints, stretches the groins and releases the shoulders and neck. The Utkatasana, or "Chair Pose" works the muscles of the arms and legs, but it also stimulates the diaphragm and heart.
The Virabhadrasana II, or "Warrior II Pose" increases stamina, while the "Dolphin Pose" is great to open shoulders and also strengthens the core, arms and legs. The Ustrasana, or "Camel Pose", improves the flexibility of the neck and spine and relieves backache.
The "Sphinx Pose" releases stress, provides energy makes the spine flexible and the Paschimottanasana, or "Seated Forward Bend" does the complete stretch of the entire backside of the body from the back of the head through the heels.
The Salamba Sirsasana, or "Supported Headstand", improves respiration, calms the brain and strengthens the body. The Supta Virasana, or "Reclining Hero Pose” stretches the knees and intensifies the stretch in the thighs and ankles.
Finish your yoga session with Dhyana, or "Cross-Heart Kirtan Kriya Meditation", a mantra meditation that practices mind control and encourages a renewed sense of peace and balance.
Rochelle Ballard, Taylor Knox, Brian Conley, Garrett MacNamara, Tom Carroll, Holly Beck are all pro surfers that share a passion for yoga in their surfing lives. Ballard, a former WCT surfer, has even released an instructional DVD, "Surf Into Yoga", with relevant sequences for surfers. If you want to deepen surf yoga, take a look at Peggy Hall's "Yoga for Surfers", here.
The yoga postures identified above can been seen and learned, here.