How to use yoga to improve your surfing skills
It goes without saying that the best way to improve your surfing is to get into the ocean and surf. But there are many great ways to improve your surfing skills on land in between your sessions. Here we list our top 8 yoga poses that will help you become an overall better surfer.
Yoga and surfing aren't an unusual duo. The two share physical aspects like balance and flexibility, as well as mental ones. Adding yoga to your daily or weekly routine will make you stronger and more comfortable on your board. It can even make you feel calmer in the water. For some, both these practices are also spiritual. Yoga is a cultural and spiritual Indian practice that's over 5 000 years old. Yoga can be explained as a discipline or a way of life that connects the body, mind and spirit.
Why is yoga good for surfers?
By continuously practising yoga you can improve your surfing. Some benefits include a wider range of motion, improved breathing and a lesser risk of injuries. Antonia Tauscheck has been practising yoga for twelve years and became a yoga instructor six years ago. Outside of the yoga studio, she surfs as often as she can.
– Yoga is really helpful for surfing because you have the physical side of yoga where you improve your strength, stability and flexibility. We need a lot of flexibility in our hips, shoulders and ankles as we surf! Strong shoulders are also important for paddling and doing pop-ups. In yoga, you work your core a lot, and in surfing a strong core will keep you stable on the board when you paddle.
Then there's the mental side of yoga.
– While doing yoga poses you focus a lot on your breath. During the day we tend to just breathe into our chest and not breathe fully down to the belly. By taking deep inhales and exhales you calm your body, which is super helpful if you have a wipeout or if you dive through a wave.
Surfing is a demanding sport and if you start surfing without the flexibility and core power it will be even more challenging for you. Therefore you can use yoga as good preparation to get physically and mentally ready for the waves. But it's also great to practice as a warmup at the beach.
8 yoga poses that will help you to get better at surfing
Here Antonia shows and comments on some of the best yoga poses that you can practice to improve your surfing skills. The names of the poses are written in English and in Sanskrit.