Yoga for surfers

Updated: Jun 14, 2021


Posted:25.05.2021 By Sara Garrido Delgado
Under: Magma Yoga


Yoga and surf are a perfect match because you need to develop common skills in both practices. By combining both activities, you can improve in each practice applying the knowledge acquired from both to obtain the best results.

STRENGTH

Yoga helps to strengthen all the muscles as every practice combines perfectly a balance that works for your complete body. Yoga works with a large muscle group especially, those which are very important for paddling in surfing such as the shoulder girdle, the back, the abdomen and the legs. Moreover, through working with intermuscular coordination through flowing through different postures the whole balance system is trained, that is very helpful for surfers.


FLEXIBILITY

Flexibility is one of the key elements of good physical health because of increasing mobility and the range of motion in muscles and joints. Yoga is known for increasing a practitioner’s flexibility by connecting certain poses with the breath that allows you to go deeper in the pose.


BALANCE

Balance is essential in both practice surfing and yoga. It is influenced by strength, flexibility, focus and breathing. After practicing yoga allows surfers to improve their performance in the water, from more efficient paddling to being faster in the takeoff or in the performance of a harder maneuver.


BREATH & FOCUS

Concentration and clarity of mind are important if you want to have good results in both activities. Yoga practice connects the mind with the body through movement and breath. Pranayama, is a yogic breathing technique that it´s very helpful for surfers to control their energy and knowing how to don´t panic and breathe if they have a big wipeout. This mindset allows surfers to be aware and focus on the activity, allowing them to be just in the present moment.

Practice yoga and you will notice the huge improvement in the water. Here is a yoga sequence for surfers. It´s recommendable to do it before or after surfing.


Balasana - Child pose

Sequence


1. Sit on your knees, release the tops of your feet to the floor and bring your knees wider than your hips, big toes touching.

2. Walk your hands forward and extend your spine.

3. Take several slow breaths into your belly and chest.


Benefits

· Gently stretches the lower back, hips, thighs, knees, and ankles.

· Relaxes the spine, shoulders, and neck.

· Increases blood circulation to your head, which may relieve headaches.

· Calms the mind and central nervous system.




Uttana shishosana – Extended puppy pose


Sequence


1. Sit on your knees, walk your arms forward keeping them shoulders distance apart with palms facing down.

2. From here allow your upper thoracic spine to towards the ground.

3. You can rest your forehead on the floor.


Benefits


· Stretches the upper back, spine, and shoulders.

· Opens the chest.

· Helps release tension in the shoulders and neck.





Tadasana - Mountain Pose


Sequence

1. Stand straight and keep some distance between feet.

2. Press feet flat on the floor.

3. Engage your shinbones, bring your knee cup up engage your tights.

4. Tag your tail bone-in.

5. Hands should be hanging alongside your body next to your hips, active arms, hands and fingers.

6. Roll your shoulders up back and down, creating more space between your ears and shoulders, and an open chest.

7. Lift your chin, and Drishti which is your visual focal point is looking forward or at your nose.

8. Make sure your center of gravity in the middle of your body so you don´t lean forward or back or to the side.

Benefits


· Improves body posture and balance.

· Tone your buttocks and abdomen.

· Strengthens your ankles, knees, thighs, arms, and legs.






Uttanasana - Standing forward fold


Sequence


1. Start in Tadasana/Mountain pose.

2. Inhale as you raise your arms.

3. As you exhale, engage your thighs, pull the belly in and bend forward, hinging from the hips.

4. Bend your knees if you need it.

5. Place your hands/fingertips on the floor, in front or next to your feet.

6. Let your head hang, keeping the neck relaxed.

7. Lengthen your spine as you inhale. Soften deeper into the pose as you exhale.


Benefits


· Stretches the back of the legs, the hips and spine.

· Strengthens the legs, thighs and knees.

· Balances the nervous system, calms the mind.

· Relieves tension in the lower back when practiced with bent knees.






Virabhadrasana 2 - Warrior 2


Sequence


1. Start in mountain pose. Step your feet are 4–5 feet apart depending on the body. Place your right foot at a 90-degrees angle so that your toes are aligned with the top of your mat. Pivot your left foot inward at a 45-degree angle so that it’s positioned behind you.

2. Extend both arms to the sides so that they are parallel to the ground, palms facing down.

3. Bend your right knee and align it over your right ankle in 90 degrees, making sure your knee doesn´t move forward past your ankle. Activate your core muscles as you sink your hips, making the center of your body down not forward.

4. Turn your head forward to watch your right middle finger.

5. Hold for 3-5 breaths, come back to the start and repeat the same process on the other side.


6. Benefits

· Stretches and strengthens the legs, feet and ankles.

· Stretches the hips, groin, shoulders and chest.

· Boosts concentration and stamina.

· Helps to open the lungs.






Utthita parsvakonasana - Extended side angle pose

Sequence

1. From warrior 2, lean forwards, keep a distance of 4-5 feet between the legs, stretch your arms to the sides keeping them parallel to the ground

2. Turn the whole body toward the left, bend your left leg, keeping the right leg straight.

3. Place your left hand on the ground or your forearm on top of your right knee, palm facing down and stretch the right arm up.

4. Fix your gaze onto the right hand or right forearm.

5. Hold for 3-5 breaths, come back to the original position and change to the other side.

Benefits

· Strengthens and stretches the legs, knees, and ankles.

· Stretches the groins, spine, waist, chest and lungs, and shoulders.

· Stimulates abdominal organs.

· Increases stamina.






Phalakasana - Plank pose

Sequence

1. Come to a push-up position, hands and shoulders should be in line.

2. Spread the fingers wide apart with the middle finger pointing forward, press into the palms with the arms are straight. Tuck the tailbone under so the legs, hips and torso are one straight line. Press the crown of the head forward and with the toes tucked, press the heels back.

3. Breathe and hold for 1-4 breaths.

4. To realise bend the knees to the floor into child pose.

Benefits

· Plank pose builds upper and core body strength

· Lengthens the spine and strengthens the low back muscles.






Bhujangasana – Cobra pose

Sequence

1. Lie on the floor on your belly. Extend your legs behind you with the tops of your feet on the floor. Place your hand’s palm down on the floor a couple a bit away from your shoulders. Squeeze your elbows towards your body rather than letting them splay out to the sides.

2. Press firmly down through the tops of your feet and your thighs. Draw your tailbone toward the ground.

3. On an inhale, reach your chest forward and up. Draw your shoulders away from your ears.

4. Stay here or press into your palms and begin to straighten your elbows. Keep your legs engaged as you lift your chest forward and up.

5. Stay in the pose for up to 30 seconds.

Benefits

· Strengthens the arms and muscles of the back.

· Increases flexibility in the spine.

· Stretches chest, shoulders, lungs, and abdomen.

· Stretches and massages internal organs.






Adho mukha svanasana - downward facing dog

Sequence


1. Come onto your fours, hands are shoulder distance apart and straighten the spine.

2. As you breathe out, lift the hips up, straightening the knees and elbows.

3. Make sure your fingers are open and pressing down the floor. Your shoulders are away of your ears, your tail bone is towards the sky, your toes point straight ahead and your heels are pressing down.

4. Hold the downward dog pose and take long deep breaths. Look towards the navel.

5. Exhale, bend your knees and release the pose.


Benefits

· Leaves you energized and rejuvenates the body.

· Lengthens the spine, strengthens the muscles of the chest increasing lung capacity.

· Brings strength throughout the body especially the arms, shoulders, legs, feet.






Garudasana - Eagle pose


Sequence


1. Start in mountain pose (tadasana), standing tall with your feet together or hip-width apart, and your hands at your sides.

2. Bend your knees to lower your hips down and back as if sinking down.

3. Shift your weight onto your right foot, and lift your left foot, crossing your left knee over your right knee. If possible, hook the top of your flexed left foot around the inside of your right ankle.

4. Squeeze your legs together to maintain balance.

5. Once your legs are established, cross your arms in front of you — left arm under the right — bend both elbows, and try to press your palms together.

6. Lift your elbows to shoulder height, keeping them bent at 90 degrees.

7. Hold the pose for five breaths, and reverse the sequence to return to mountain pose. Repeat with the opposite crossing of legs and arms.

Benefits


· Good for arthritis and back pain.

· Strengthens the muscles of the feet and toes.

· Increase focus and concentration.






Eka pada rajakapotasana –One legged king pigeon pose


Sequence

1. Begin with kneeling on the floor. Stretch out your right leg behind you. Bend your left knee such that your left foot comes close to your right pelvic bone with your toes pointed out. Lean slightly forward to puff out your chest.

2. Take the support of the ground by placing your hands on it for balance.

3. Look in front and maintain a steady gaze.

4. Hold the pose for 30 secs and repeat. This is the pose for beginners If you are an advance practitioner you can lay your torso down for a deeper stretch.


Benefits

· Stimulate of internal organs and deep stretching of glutes, groins, psoas, abdomen, shoulders, chest and neck.

· It works as a shoulder and chest opener, as an opening hip joint and lengthening the hip flexor.

· Helps alleviate sciatica pain and treats urinary disorders.

· Improves posture and alignment of the body and enhances overall suppleness.

· Alleviate lower back pain and any kind of stiffness in the back.