Yoga for Surfers

If you love Yoga like we do, you know that it is just such a good add-on to your sports routine because it is keeping you strong, flexible and balanced at the same time.

Yoga is the practice of tolerating the consequences of being yourself. – Bhagavad Gita

These things you should consider, especially in your early days of practicing yoga:
1. Avoid doing extensive stretching poses right before you jump in the water, because the current biomechanic knowledge implies, that your muscle is not able to perform „explosive“ power after long static stretching, which can result in minor performance or even injury. So do some Yoga after surfing or with a pause before surfing.
2. If you do a more dynamic flow without holding the asanas very long and very deep, you might consider a short practice as a warm-up routine.
3. If you haven’t done any Yoga before: no problem, just watch your body during the exercise and make sure not to hurt yourself. To get the most out of it, it is advisable to take at least some yoga lessons before doing video/book based yoga: the teacher can look at your poses and adjust them if not correct.
4. Don’t forget to keep breathing. Your inhaling and exhaling is the metronome of your movement.

Yoga is not about touching your toes, it is what you learn on the way down. –  Jigar Gor

These yoga poses are especially helpful for some key points in surfing, kite- and windsurfing:
shoulder strength, core stability and hip flexibility.
You can do them separately or in a wonderful yoga-flow-style (the video is in the making!)

meet Julie
Julie is a surfer, kitesurfer and yoga teacher, as well as a Bodywork- and Thai Yoga Massage therapist. She is based on the German Island Fehmarn in the Baltic Sea. Being a trained sports scientist, she puts an extra focus on the gentle awareness going into and holding the position (asana) in her yoga classes.

Follow Julie on Instagram @julies_om and visit her website

Come and join your Surfers Yoga with Julie!

Child’s Pose
Begin in child’s pose sitting on your heels and resting your head on the floor, make sure you relax your shoulders, you can support your head with your hands as a pillow if you like. Take a few deep breath getting ready for your practice, setting an intention, or just simple take a moment to feel your body. Child’s pose is also always a good position to take a break during your practice and relax your lower back.

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Start in table top position, bringing your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Make sure you spread you fingers wide to support your wrists.
On your exhalation come to cat position by pulling your navel in and round your upper and lower back, pushing the mat away with your arms. On your inhalation do the opposite-cow position: arch your lower back, widen your chest and gaze forward, your shoulders away from your ears, giving your upper body space. Continue for a few breaths.

Come to the neutral table top, tuck your toes, engage your core and lift your knees just a few centimeters from the ground. Hold that position for a few breaths.

Diagonal Table top
In neutral table top straighten your right leg by pushing your heel away and pulling your toes to the front. Make sure both hips are one level and you don’t arch your lower back! Finding your core strength again bring your left arm straight in front and spread your fingers, hold this diagonal line for 5 breaths, then change sides.

Downward facing dog
Come to cow position again, tuck your toes. With the length in your upper body and with bend knees lift your hips to the sky, gaze to your feed and relax your neck. Your upper body is straight, for that allow your knees to stay bend in the beginning.

Straighten your hips and bring your shoulders over your hands, creating a long strong line in your body. Don’t arch you lower back – keep your core engaged!

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Lying on your stomach bring your hands under your shoulders. Your legs are straight and your big toes press into your mat. On your inhalation lift your upper body away from the ground, without using your hands too much. Keep your neck in line with your back, and draw your shoulders away from your ears. On the exhalation lower down again.

Back to downward facing dog.

Step forward from downward facing dog, keeping your knees bent.

Standing Half Forward Bend
On an inhale lift your back half way keeping it straight, your shoulders again away from your ears, support yourself by bending your knees if needed.

Standing Forward Fold 
On an exhale bend forward, relaxing your neck. You can bend your knees slightly.

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Standing Pose
Roll yourself up to standing pose Tadasana: lift your chest first, than your head, than your arms over the side – deep inhale, and bring your arms down next to your body on the next exhalation.

3-Legged Dog
From downward facing dog lift one leg up to the sky, keeping your hips parallel, and pushing your heel away from you. Take a deep inhalation.

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Core Strength:
From 3 legged dog bring your knee towards your chest by coming to plank pose and round your back. On the inhalation straighten your leg again for 3-legged dog. Repeat 3 times.

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Warrior 2
From 3 legged dog now bring you upper foot between your hands, knee above your ankle and turn you back foot 90 degrees outside. raise your upper body and spread your arms. keep your front leg bend. Relax your shoulders and gaze forward to your hand. Draw your navel in and keep your weight on both legs. Stay for 5 breaths.

The ending position. Lie down on the floor, arms spread in a natural angle, palms facing upward, cover yourself with a blanket, and relax completely. Let your breath flow in a natural rhythm. Stay for at least 5 Minutes.

When you own your breath, nobody can steal your peace. – anonymous

Yoga-Surf-Leggings by Josea Surfwear, First 3 pictures: OM&meer