Top 7 Yoga Poses to Improve Your Surfing
There is a lot of synergy between yoga and surfing, so practicing both just makes sense. Here are top seven yoga poses for surfers looking to get an extra edge.
The physical benefits of yoga also complement the flexibility and power needed to have maximum fun and prevent injuries when surfing. Below are 7 poses that will make your arms and back stronger, help you avoid the nagging lower back pain so common in surfers, and maybe help you look hotter in a bathing suit too.
How are surfing and yoga related?
Yoga complements surfing perfectly as it builds strength, flexibility and balance. All of these are key when out in the water. Specifically it’s great for building core strength, stamina, mental focus and better breathing techniques. The mental focus and the breathing help to reduce stress, which can come in very handy in big waves or other hairy situations. For the true surfer or the true yogi there is a connection with each that goes beyond the physical. One could even compare the rhythm of the ocean with the rhythm of the body. Physically yoga is a great way to stay in shape when the surf is flat, prevent injuries, warm up before paddling out and to stretch out the body after a long surf session.
“Downward-Facing Dog” is a rejuvenating stretch that strengthens the wrists, arms and shoulders. It is one of the most widely-recognized and famous yoga poses. It consists of standing with hands and feet on the floor, the sitting bones pointing to the ceiling and heels touching the ground. Knees, arms and back are stretched, forming an angle. A variation of the pose, known as the “Dolphin Pose”, is also great to open shoulders and to strengthen the core, arms and legs.
This is a great pose that strengthens your Abdominal muscles, improves balance, stretches your hamstrings, strengthens your spine and hip flexors.
Tree pose is one of my favorites. It strengthens the thighs, calves, ankles, and spine, stretches the groins and inner thighs, chest and shoulders, and drastically improves sense of balance.
Upward Facing Dog
Cunterclockwise, as though you’re doing the backstroke. This counteracts the forward reaching you do while paddling. It stretches the inter-costal muscles between each rib, which can eventually increase your lung capacity.This awesome pose strengthens the arms, wrists and abdomen, and increases the flexibility of the spine along with releasing stress and providing energy.
Plank is an excellent pose for gaining strength and stability in your core and your shoulders. This will help you build the power for your pop-ups (surf-ese for getting on your feet). Start on all fours, placing your hands directly under your shoulders. Gently spread your fingers apart, grounding all four corners of your palms. Tuck your toes under and lift up behind your knees to straighten your legs. You want your hips and shoulders at approximately the same height. Draw your abdominal wall up to support the entire length of your spine. Your tailbone lengthens in the direction of your heels as your pubic bone moves toward your navel and your navel extends toward your heart. Keep your neck long and breathe.
Warrior II Pose
The “Warrior II Pose” increases stamina and concentration, stretches the hip, groin, and shoulders, relieves backaches, and improves circulation and respiration. Stand with feet apart, one knee bent toward the front and the other stretched to the back. Arms are outstretched; parallel to the floor.
Lie on your belly and place your hands right under your shoulders. Your legs are either together with the ankles touching or hips-distance apart. Lengthen your buttocks toward your heels and extend and reach through your legs and spread your toes. Inhale and, on an exhale, press the pelvis down and lift your hands, chest and feet off the ground. Lift with the whole of the spine not just from the back of your neck and keep the legs active and strong. This will help keep space in your lower back and keep you from compressing and jamming up the lower back.