Author: Chloe Markham
The Yoga Rev’ was actually founded from my desire to be a better surfer. I really *was* terrible. And I was the kid that hated sports, so running, the gym, or jumping about in my bedroom doing burpees never cut it for me. But I knew I needed to do something if I wanted to cart my 9’2″ log up and down cliffs easier, make a pop-up without face planting the board, paddle stronger, and stay out longer.
Now, after almost 15 years of a (mostly) online vinyasa yoga practice, I’m now the strongest, most capable, and fittest I’ve ever been. I’m still a shit surfer, and that’s ok, but that’s not the point…
Want to take your surfing to the next level or just generally find it all a bit less challenging? Here’s how yoga can help.
Better range of movement
For newer surfers, it’s all about the pop-up, and our hips play such a big part in that explosive action. Get your hips open in poses like warrior one, high and low lunge, and pigeon (supine, king, and standing all count), and your pop-up will thank you. A better range of movement in your shoulders from yoga poses like eagle pose or even down dog will also mean your paddle strokes will be reaching further and deeper, all contributing to an easier and better overall surfing experience.
Improved strength and fitness
Yes doubters, yoga really *can* improve your fitness. Try a consistent vinyasa yoga practice every other day for a month and you’ll see marked improvements in your ability to paddle out (and back in), to surf consistently better, to lug boards back up cliffs, and to stay out longer. Shoulder strength, core strength, leg strength, quad strength – all of this via poses like boat, chair, and crow – will help you find every aspect of your surfing improve. From beginner surfers to more advanced, a regular, strong yoga practice will give you the edge on your fitness and help you see marked improvements in your time in the water.
Increased lung capacity
Breathing is number one in your yoga practice. Over time, it’ll become natural to breathe longer, deeper breaths and, especially if you’re regularly practicing any form of yogic breathing like 3-level breath, or 4-7-8 breath, your lung capacity will only increase. This means you’ll find it easier to deal with hold-downs and wipeouts, and who doesn’t need more of that!?
An easier state of mind
All that breathing won’t only improve your lung capacity. You’ll also improve on your ability to stay calm, focus, and relax, helping you deal with bigger sets, make decisions quicker, and generally be a better overall water-person. It helps that you’ll be way more chill about the post-surf nose waterfall in the confectionary aisle of Sainsbury’s.
Feel like adding online yoga to your movement practice? Come join the TYR community here, or get a free half-hour yoga session with me here, and start to understand how this easy-going, vinyasa-style yoga practice can really help you improve your time in the water.
Still as shit at surfing as me? That’s ok, too. The best surfer out there is the one having the most fun, right? (And, actually, I tend to think the same about the yoga practice, too.)