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How Yoga Can Make You a Better Surfer

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To be a talented surfer you need to have core strength. You need to understand balance. You need to be able to control your breathing. And most importantly, you need to be mentally in control. To develop these necessary surf skills out of water, turn to yoga.

You heard that right. Surfing and yoga have way more in common than you may realize. Practicing yoga a couple days a week can help build up these strengths, and can even keep you fresh in the off months when getting on your board isn’t an option.

Strength & Flexibility

Why you need it:

It’s no surprise that you need to be physically fit to master surfing. You need to be able to push yourself up onto the board and your core needs to be able to withstand the power of the waves. Of course, flexibility also comes into play, having a larger range of motion makes it easier to master new skills and take on larger waves.

How yoga helps:

Yoga builds physical strength by lengthening muscles, relieving physical tension, and toning the body - all of which allows our muscles to work more efficiently and effectively. Practicing yoga also increases range of motion which will allow you to twist farther, dip lower, step wider etc.

Balance

Why you need it:

Okay, this speaks for itself… no balance, no surfing. If you can’t find your balance on the board, catching a wave is going to be extremely complicated. And once you’ve caught that wave, you’ll need to be able to stay steady no matter the strength of the waves or force of the wind.

How yoga helps:

Many yoga practices require you to hold a position for long periods of time. Depending on the difficulty of the position this could be on one leg, on your hands, or even on your head. Many of the movements help you develop your center of balance and teach you to combat outside forces to remain balanced.

Breathing

Why you need it:

The ocean has its ups and downs, as does surfing. You’re guaranteed to get knocked down and depending on where you’re surfing you may be knocked down for a while. It’s important to learn how to control your breathing, especially in a stressful situation.

How yoga helps:

The foundation of most yoga practices is breathing. They teach you to monitor your breathing and to be conscious of when you’re breathing and how. Being able to utilize each breath to its full potential can help to relieve stress and create peace of mind in a difficult situation.

Mental Strength

Why you need it:

Using your muscles and fighting water resistance make surfing a physically draining activity. But it also can be mentally wavering, especially if you’re getting knocked down repeatedly. It’s important to find a way to detach yourself from negativity and stay mentally in control.

How yoga helps:

Yoga focuses on awareness, patience, and growth. The practice encourages you to be self-aware and focus on the present. When you’re frustrated or distracted yoga helps to bring you back to your body and breathing to detach yourself from negative thoughts.

Yoga develops strength and flexibility, it improves your balance, increases your performance, and it helps mental strength in every aspect of your life. It works the whole body and mind. It requires you to work every joint, muscle and fiber to improve all of your body’s functions. It’s simple, improve yourself out of the water, and you’ll be more successful in the water. So go grab a mat and get started!