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Surfing and Yoga- Five Good Reasons Why This Combination Works

Jul 14, 2008
Surfing is one of the most thrilling sports there can be on sea. But unlike most sea sports, it does not require machinery of some sort. All you need in surfing are: a board, surfing gear, rippling waves and a sense of adventure. But just like any other sport, surfing can also drain your energy and patience. It can be grueling especially to the neophytes, as it requires perfect mind and body coordination. To have a body in total harmony with your inner self to get your body in the best surfing condition, surfers will recommend one thing and that is to practice yoga!

You might think that surfing and yoga are far out from each other but you are wrong. Both have similar concepts that really blend well to give you a better life. Here are five reasons why surfing and yoga is a great combination.

1. Yoga and surfing have a common denominator. They are ways of life.
Yoga is more than an exercise as surfing is more than a sport. Both are ways of living that help make people attain a fuller and more complete life. They also help you know more not only about yourself but also about your surroundings: yoga seeks enlightenment of your spirituality while surfing makes you one with nature. The yoga world is also similar with a surfing moment; a place of freedom, a place of peace, a place without time... Either way, you become your better person as you completely immerse yourself in the activity and in the process, rest your mind and spirit to release your fullest.

2. Surfing without exercise such as yoga can have health repercussions.
Although surfing is a good exercise, it is not perfect because it is not completely symmetrical. Surfing does not work all body parts as it concentrates only on some especially the shoulders and arms. In the process, the rest of the body does not get its proper exercise. That is why it is always recommended that surfing be paired with a form of exercise that gives emphasis on stretching such as yoga. Yoga can work the body parts that are not frequently worked out in surfing. With that, you are ensured that you have a complete activity for your entire body.

3. Yoga will teach you patience in surfing.
Starting to surf may be difficult to some people who do not have the skill of balance pros have. However, with a little more practice, you can gain more knowledge about reaching your body's equilibrium but this may take time. Some may learn to surf in only a few days but some may take several weeks or months with a very long learning curve. With the help of yoga, meditation and breathing can make you become a more patient student surfer. The extended patience that you gain from practicing yoga can also be helpful while waiting for those surf quality waves to practice on.

4. Yoga will increase your strength and flexibility on the board.
Yoga can enhance your self-awareness and make your body and mind exist in perfect harmony. Yoga will sharpen your concentration, enabling you to attain perfect equilibrium. Because yoga includes stretching and different forms to be followed, it will improve the flexibility of every part of your body. Flexibility is the key to constancy on top of the board while surfing a wave. Flexibility gained by practicing yoga also helps you move with more freedom, balance and comfort. And in this area, it is obvious how yoga can really be helpful.

5. Yoga will help you improve posture and breathing.
Just like in yoga, proper posture and breathing is also important in surfing. You reach maximum performance when your body has proper amounts of oxygen taken in and is in the proper position. With yoga, you will learn to breathe and pose better. Yoga benefits such as minimized tension on the body especially on the back and the shoulders can maximize surfing performance. Proper breathing and posture will give you strength and balance that can increase stability while you glide on the waves.

Surfing and yoga is a perfect complement that assists in excelling each other to higher levels and that is why most surf schools have yoga activities as well. The pair not only enhances your spirituality and physicality but also harmonizes your mind and body in perfect balance. So the next time, before you surf, practice a few minutes of yoga and breathing. Then you'll realize that surfing is not only a purely physical activity but can have spiritual liberation effects as well.
About the Author
Me-Shell Mijangos (http://www.swellwomen.com/founder/html) a surfer who first began surfing at the age of 30. She is the founder of an all inclusive women's surf camp called SwellWomen. Two years ago, she started SwellCo-ed, a Surf and Yoga Experience for women, men and couples. She hopes to surf with you in paradise soon! Visit her SwellBlog!
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