The key to surfing is strength, balance, patience, and calmness. Although without sand or the sea, the practice of Yoga is all about just that — clearing the mind, while also centering the body. Many stretches and Yoga poses are greatly beneficial for the sport of surfing, enhancing the specific muscles needed for paddling, standing up, and even controlling the board while catching waves. Yoga is also the best and most natural solution to most muscle aches or pains after a long day of surfing. If you are a surfer below are the yoga poses for surfing that you need to do before setting your foot in the water.
1. Forward Fold with Interlaced Fingers
Benefits: While not only stretching the legs, thighs, and hips, this pose is also one of the best for stretching the shoulders and upper arms. This pose is great for stretching out the biceps after a long day of paddling and pushing waves.
a. Stand about four feet apart, with your feet parallel.
b. Interlace your fingers behind your back, inhale and open the chest.
c. As you exhale, fold forward. Keep your back straight, and bend from the hip.
d. Reach your interlaced fingers toward the ground in front of you.
e. If you have a partner, you may ask them to help you further this stretch by gently pushing down your hands toward the floor.
2. Locust Pose
A lot of surfing is about back strength, as paddling and pushing is a key to getting better at catching those waves. Our back muscles are rarely used in our day-to-day life, and many Yoga poses target reversing that deterioration. Locust pose is an easy pose perfectly improving those specific muscles. Challenge yourself and improve your back muscles by increasing the amount of time you hold this pose each time you do it.
a. Lie down on the mat, with your arms to the side.
b. On your inhale, lift up your shoulders and feet. Try to also keep your chest off the ground, point your heart to the wall ahead of you, and keep the chin up.
Kick it up a notch with these different variations:
I. The Superman
– With your arms stretched straight in front of you, lift your shoulders and heels for deeper strengthening of the shoulders.
II. Alternating arms and legs
– Target different muscles in the back by lifting opposite arms and legs, first right arm and left leg, then switching.
III. Bow Pose
– Grab your ankles behind your back. Then lift up your shoulders and knees. Try to keep the knees close
3. Plank Pose
A lot of surfing is also about a strong core. One of the best poses for improving the core is holding a plank, both either with straight arms or on the elbows.
The key is keeping the hands or elbows just beneath the shoulders, and to keep the whole body straight from the ankles to the shoulders.
Do you get bored holding poses? Make it dynamic by lifting one leg at a time, or coming up and down from hands to elbows.
4. Standing Bow Pose
This pose doesn’t just look good on Instagram — mastering this pose improves your balance and core, while also stretching your hamstrings and legs.
a. Stand with your feet hip width, arms to the side.
b. Inhale, grabbing your right ankle joint with the right hand at the same time. Keep the knees together.
c. Raise the left arm straight up, look forward at a stationary object to keep balance.
d. As you exhale, reach your left arm forward, while stretching your right arm and leg up.
e. Hold the pose, take a few long, deep, and calm breaths.
f. Repeat on the other side.
If this pose is already too easy for you, take it a step further by attempting to do it with your eyes closed. 😉
5. Twisted Downward Dog
Downward dog is one of the most beneficial Yoga poses. It improves your flexibility, stretching the legs, hamstrings, while simultaneously strengthening the arms and shoulders. It’s also a form of inversion without the strain of a headstand or shoulder stand, bringing blood flow to the face and brain. Kick it up a notch with a twist, which not only stretches the body and spine, but also further strengthens the arms.
a. Start from a plank pose, with arms directly beneath the shoulders and your toes tucked.
b. Lift your hips up until you’re forming a straight line from the palms to your tailbone, keep the legs straight, forming a perfect triangle with the ground. Push the heels down to stretch the back of the legs.
c. On your next exhale, reach your right hand to touch your left ankle, twisting the spine. Take a few deep breaths in this stretch.
d. Bring your right arm back to the Downward Dog position, then repeat the same twist with the left hand.
Too lazy to read? Watch a video version of Yoga for Surfing:
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