Author: Chloe Markham
I was absolutely crap at yoga once.
I found yoga because I wanted to surf better. Yessss I wanted to look better in a wetsuit too, you got me.
I was an overweight teenager and I’d seen one too many surf films and got a stupid idea in my head that maybe I could do that too.
But I couldn’t. Not really.
I was overweight. I was unfit. I couldn’t lug my 8ft board up and down the cliff at Cayton Bay without suffering what, in my head, was a complete heart failure. Not to mention getting my stiff hips and shoulders into a damn wetsuit, or nailing a pop-up, or even paddling out.
And there was some whisper in my head that told me I would only get worse if I didn’t do something about it.
So I tried running and it hurt.
I tried fitness classes and they hurt.
Everything just hurt and mostly bored me senseless.
And I didn’t know what to do.
But I was reading these surf mags, or blogs, or something (this was about 2008 so Insta had yet to ruin our universe) and an amazing pro surfer called Rochelle Ballard was talking about Yoga For Surfers with a teacher called Peggy.
Ok, yoga? For surfers? Maybe THAT’S what I need?
And so, being a tight, skint Yorkshire teenager with an older brother who knew how to use Pirate Bay, I found a bootleg copy and downloaded it for free.
The first time I tried Peggy’s class it was SO hard.
My back hurt, my wrists couldn’t support me, I felt out of breath, my legs wobbled, and my balance was, well, unbalanced.
But there was something about it that was different to the other fitness stuff I’d tried before. I was encouraged to focus on my breath and state of mind. I could slow down, and practice something in layers rather than all at once. There was an energy to it. And I felt just incredible afterwards. Zero boredom.
So I continued. And I got better, more capable, more open, fitter, stronger, and I understood the whole thing better.
That was nearly 15 years ago and I’ve never looked back.
And ok, while I can get out of a wetsuit in the driving seat of a Toyota Aygo whilst driving it (not my proudest moment, but still, I’m sort of proud), carry an even bigger board for longer, pop-up easier, paddle better, and surf with more ease, I’m never gonna be able to surf like Rochelle Ballard.
But that’s ok.
My life is easier, calmer, and *way* more joyful for this yoga thing.
Not to mention all the rad folks I’ve met along the way.
This isn’t about the yoga. Not really. It’s about living better and easier every single damn day.
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