Can you really mix an Eastern practice with a Western water sport? What if someone informed you that a regular session of Yoga can boost your efficiency? Wouldn’t that be great? Yoga isn’t as uninteresting as you think. What’s even better is that the rewards are well –documented, even surfing legends such as Kelly Slater and Gerry Lopez are regular practitioners of it. According to yogajournal.com, nine-time world champion surfer Kelly Slater practices yoga regularly as a cross-training and can touch the top of his head to his heels in a glorious Rajakapotasana (King Pigeon Pose). Gerry Lopez, Mr. Pipeline himself, had a helpful article in Surfermag where he talked about how yoga can save your surfing.
Yoga provides for a quicker pop-up
Yoga fully stimulates your lower abdominals. In addition, it offers tremendous hip flexibility that you need to support yourself during pop ups. According to an article by matadornetwork, Chaturanga Dandasana or Four-Limbed Staff Pose can help your core, triceps and back. Not only that, the Eagle Pose exercises your upper back and shoulders – necessary for long paddling sessions.
Yoga teaches you the way to breathe properly
… that makes you healthier. Surfing is a very strenuous sport both mentally and physically. You’re out there, paddling all day to capture a big wave and when you do, you have to make sure that you keep yourself “centered” to relish the ride as long as possible. You need to recognize that with proper breathing you allow yourself to take the right amount of oxygen that you need to maintain your peak performance.
What exactly is a proper breathing? Let Gerry Lopez discuss it to you:
“Breathing is the first thing we do in this life. When done properly, breathing can really contribute positively to your overall health. But so many of us forget how to breathe. We become mouth-breathers and take really short, shallow breaths. When you breathe like that, you’re not getting the oxygen you need and you won’t be performing at your highest level. You could spend a lifetime studying how to breathe properly, but here’s a few quick points to keep in mind: Keep your mouth closed, and breathe in deeply and slowly through your nose. Let your breath fill your entire lungs and then exhale slowly.” (surgfermag.com)
Be flexible thru Yoga
Contrary to other fitness regimen, Yoga has more stretching and conditioning routines which promise a prolonged surf time for you. Actually, Garrett McNamara shared his experience in an article entitled “How Yoga Helped Me Surf My Way To A World Record?” . According to him, practicing yoga will enable you to develop your flexibility. As a result, it will make you more immune to fatigue.
Yoga raises your concentration plus your state of mind
Let’s admit it, there are times when the big waves are almost non-existent. You normally take more time waiting on the beach or paddling just to catch the next big wave. Being a yoga practitioner, you can convert these bland moments into focused meditation. Simply, you tend to understand a little more about life and how it is like surfing in which the big waves (feast) and the small waves (famine) are part of nature. Do you need to improve your skills? Then why don’t you try to join your nearest yoga class or consider online video lessons as a start? If the pro’s do it , then so can you. We found a surf vacation that lets you grow your surfing skills coupled with yoga practice, offered by All-Star Adventures (allstartrips.com) This company delivers fantastic surf vacations with instruction and surf camps to suit your needs. Check out their Surf and Yoga retreats…those look really awesome.