Yoga has become very popular among surfers in recent years. There has always been a certain harmony between yoga and surfing. Two contrasting leisure pursuits create a rare synergy. Over time, yoga and surfing have become more complimentary as both have become more popular in the 21st century.
Surfers yoga is the perfect way to level up your skills or loosen up your aches if you enjoy the sport. In terms of core strength, reducing back pain, calming the nervous system, improving flexibility and responsiveness on pressure, there are a couple of yoga poses that are best known for these benefits.
In general, poses that appear to mimic surfing are good for surfing, but there are a few other poses as well which will compliment your surfing. Here are the best yoga poses for surfing.
Yoga practitioners and non-yogis alike are familiar with this classic pose. Bend down and place your hands shoulder-width apart in front of you while keeping your feet firmly planted behind you. This will strengthen your wrists, arms and shoulders as well as stretch out your back and hamstrings.
Don't force planting your feet because you could pull a tendon if you do. Keep your feet in line with your hands. You will feel the stretch in your back, arms, and hamstrings. As you breathe into the pose, it lengthens your hamstrings, which are usually shorter as we age.
This pose, also known as the cobra, looks just like a pop up. Face straight ahead, place your hands on either side of you and your legs straight behind you. Pull yourself up until your elbows lock and your shoulder blades are down. Standing up on your board mirrors this pose. Practicing the cobra will make your pop-up a more seamless move.
Be aware of how your body is feeling before beginning the poses and breathe deeply to fill your lungs before exhaling to calm any tension. Grasping your knees with your arms at your sides or facing outwards is a standard cross-legged pose.
As this pose is combined with breathing, it is less chill than it appears, as it opens up your hips to prepare them for the more intense poses that come later. You can also try the Lotus Pose to stretch out your knees and ankles, which will help you catch the next wave with less pain.
There are other poses that open up the hips, such as the Pigeon Pose, however, this pose has the added benefit of counteracting imbalance while stretching the neck, shoulders and groin. In this pose, you lunge forward with your right leg, cross your left arm over the right leg, and touch the ground.
You'll be lifting your right leg straight back behind you with the heel facing up, and your weight on your toes, while doing this. This pose will help you improve your balance which will help make those long drawn out carving turns much easier.
You might be surprised to learn that most of the time spent surfing involves paddling, especially if you're not used to judging the swell before taking off.
Several rotator-cuff muscles are lengthened and strengthened while performing this pose, which improves range of motion while paddling. To go deeper into the pose, extra care should be taken when extending any pose.
Designed to mirror the stance of a triumphant surfer riding a perfectly peeling wave, the Warrior II pose trains surfers to stay focused, strong, and agile. Transitioning from Warrior II to III simulates keeping balance while surfing.
Warrior II requires standing flat on the ground with feet shoulder-width apart, bending one knee forward, keeping the thigh parallel to the ground, and stretching the other leg straight back. Put your arms parallel to the floor, one in front and one behind you. It's a holistic pose for elite surfers as it opens your chest and shoulders while stretching your legs, knees and groins.
Lastly, this pose is a great one for maintaining a surfer's physique. Your core will be strengthened and you will encourage your abs to work hard. You can raise both legs together at once or raise one leg at a time and point it above your head. Hover your arms on either side of your legs. As you duck dive the waves, this pose increases your control of pushing the board away from you and bringing it back again.
Take a look at some of these surfers yoga poses and see how they affect your surfing over time. At the very least, you will notice that your surfing will improve marginally. At best, your surfing will improve by leaps and bounds. You'll be able to thank yoga when things improve.