We asked yoga instructor Lucy from La Luna Yoga to give us some tips on how yoga can benefit our surfing, here’s what she had to say.
Yoga is a practice for the mind, body and soul. It combines the power of the breath (Prana), yoga poses (Asanas) and meditation. So how can yoga help you improve your surfing skills? Yoga and surfing compliment each other for these reasons.
When you practise yoga, you use ujjayi breathing (also known as the ocean breath) this helps you focus your attention inwards. This awareness brings you to the present moment, so when riding the wave you are fully emerged in the experience.
Yoga is a full body workout. The more you practise, the stronger your body will become. This strength will help you whilst paddling back out, popping up and maintaining the power once you have caught the wave. Helping you with tricks and turns, giving you an all round awesome time in the water.
Yoga improves your flexibility, warming up all your muscle groups and stretching into some of those muscles you may not use day to day. When taking this on to your board, you will find you will be able to move with more fluidly. It will give you a greater range of motion, helping you to make the whole of your surf flow more easily and to be more enjoyable.
Some of the poses (asanas) require balance. By practising balancing moves in yoga, this will help train you to be better balanced when you are catching that wave, increasing the length of your ride.
Try these poses to improve your surfing
Tree Pose : Vrksasana
To start, stand with your feet together. Move the weight into your right foot and guide the left foot to either ankle, calf or thigh of the right leg.
Be mindful of not placing the foot on the standing knee.
Inhale, raise your arms wide above your head, bringing your index finger and thumb together to a create a Mudra with your hands.
Repeat on the opposite side.
Benefits for your surf practice:
- Balance on the board
- Focus when riding the wave
- Leg strength
Cobra : Byujanagasana
Lie with your stomach on the mat. Keeping your legs together, push down on the tops of the feet. Inhale, place your elbows underneath your shoulders and push your chest upwards.
If your neck feels comfortable, take your gaze up to the ceiling.
Benefits for your surf practice;
- Paddle strength
- Helps to pop up to standing
- Increases back strength
Hands to feet : Padahastasana
Legs are as wide as your hips.
Start with a forward fold, gently bend your knees and place your hands underneath your toes. Inhale, keep a flat back, exhale, fold downwards. Depending on how this feels, you may start to straighten your legs.
Let the head hang heavy, having no tension in the neck.
Benefits for your surf practice:
- Warms up the hamstrings
- Increases flexibility
- Boosts mood – so you feel extra happy before catching a wave 🙂
Low lunge: Anjaneyasana
Take a wide step back with your right foot, placing the right knee down on the ground.
Inhale, raise the arms above the head, perhaps encouraging a gentle back bend.
Repeat on the opposite leg.
Benefits for surf practice:
- Stability on the board
- Back strength for paddle power
- Core strength for turning on the board
- Full body stretch for extra mobility in the water
La Luna Yoga based in Newquay, Cornwall was established in December 2018 with the idea of sharing the magic of yoga to students of all abilities.
Knowing that on or off the mat, yoga will enhance your life and everyone around you. As a teacher I genuinely feel blessed to share this with everyone that steps into my class.
Follow Lucy on instagram @lalunayogauk to find out about events, classes and workshops that are happening near you.
Date of the first Yoga for Surfers event in October will be released soon, so watch this space.
Love and light
La Luna Yoga