Additionally, the motions and positions surfing take you through can often lead to aches and pains, particularly in the hips and back. A dedicated yoga practice can take the sting out of these issues, opening you up and making you stronger on the board.
Surfing is a demanding sport as you’re battling the might of the ocean and it’s full-body workout often leaves you with some aches and pains. Preventative measures through yoga can be incredibly beneficial, but first you need to know what to target.
Any yogi will be spending quite a lot of time in downward facing dog, and that’s because it’s so beneficial. Down dog opens your shoulders whilst strengthening your upper body through your wrists and arms, giving therapeutic benefits to the surfer whilst building essential strength. The tougher variation is Dolphin Pose which works those shoulders even more.
Upward facing dog stretches out your lower back so it’s great for any stiffness or pain you feel down there. Surfers often end up hunched when riding the waves so regular up dogs are going to keep you fresh. Cobra is a great variation on this pose, where you keep your legs and pelvis in contact with the floor, generating a deeper stretch.
A common feature of every workout routine, the plank strengthens your core. This is essential for surfers who spend their whole day rising out of this position. A strong core is going to do wonders for your stability on the board. Shifting from downward facing dog to the plank and back is a great exercise for surfers in itself.
Also known as chaturanga, this is a challenging pose that really gets your upper arms working. Lowering from a plank by hinging your elbows and really staying in control is likely to get your heart rate up and your body shaking. This is the reverse movement to the press-up you’ll find yourself doing in surfing so it’s super applicable to surfing.
This one’s going to look familiar. The warrior stance is basically where you find yourself once you’re up on your board. You’re going to have your back leg straight, your front leg bent at the knee and it’s important to remember to keep centring your front knee, opening your hips. Whilst you’ll surf with one dominant leg forward, remember to practice warrior two on both sides!
This hip-opener is going to strengthen your stance and reduce the risk of injury on your surfing days. Pigeon pose gets your hips, glutes and pelvis working together to allow greater extension. Try to let your hips sink into the floor with every exhale to work your way into a deep stretch.
Eagle pose is the ultimate test of balance and focus - two elements that are key to a good surf. You’ll find yourself on one leg, with the other wrapped around your grounding foot, arms interlocked in front of your face. You get a great stretch through the back and shoulders whilst forced to concentrate on balancing - try focusing on a single spot in front of your face. Eagle pose requires a lot of grit, and it’ll help keep you up on your board.
Introducing just fifteen minutes of yoga into your day can have a huge impact both physically and mentally. Try developing a short routine with yoga and practice at the same time each day, once it’s built into your habits you’ll find it easy to stick to. That means that when the surf’s up you’ll be ready to catch those waves.
Guest Blogger:Vanessa Kearney is a writer and editor at Assignment Help and Next Coursework. She’s a major yogi and it was whilst studying ashtanga in Goa that she discovered surfing. Both have become dual lifelong passions.