24 Dec 5 reasons how yoga can benefit your surfing
Yoga is for yogis and women right? Wrong. While it’s true that many Power Living students would call themselves dedicated yogis, many of them wouldn’t. They’d say they’re soccer players, surfers or swimmers. But although their main sporting activity doesn’t involve a mat they wouldn’t be without yoga as part of their training routine.
In fact, it’s our students who physically push their bodies through soccer, CrossFit, swimming or surfing that often tell us how much doing yoga has improved their performance on the pitch, with a barbell or in the ocean.
Here we’re talking about the amazing benefits of yoga for surfers – better balance, breathing, focus, strength and more. It’s no wonder top surfers like Gerry Lopez, tell their fellow wave riders to try yoga!
Yoga Compliments your Surf Training
We know how every minute you spend on the yoga mat can complement every minute you spend on your surfboard. Like surf, training yoga is about way more than the physical – both yoga and surfing connect us to nature, balance our emotions and combine body, mind and spirit.
Whether or not you’re a surfer here’s 5 big reasons to give yoga a go:
1. Strength and Balance
You know that big group of deep muscles in our mid-section called ‘the core’ and those secondary hard to target muscle groups? Yoga strengthens them, big time. This increased core stability and strength means better balance, posture, power and co-ordination. Not to mention stability that other surfers will envy. That’s right, all of the physical things that make you powerful, confident and strong on a surfboard.
2. Injury prevention
A weak core makes every day movement, let alone surf training, risky – as the body needs this strong foundation for mobility. But the overall strength gains and strong core that come from yoga makes your entire body more powerful and balanced. This de-risks time on your surfboard and helps keep you injury free. Less injuries equals more time in the ocean.
Yoga has always been about mind benefits – like mental clarity and inner serenity. These mental benefits carry through to the waves. As long-time professional surfer Gerry Lopez says, “If you can find your focus and clear your mind you’ll progress more. The older you get, the more your mind gets filled with all of the little things and it becomes increasingly hard to just focus on the moment and what’s in front of you.” Learn to focus your mind through yoga and you’ll find it easier to concentrate and be in the present moment of every wave.
Yoga builds flexibility – put simply practising yoga brings a better range of motion to your entire body. This makes you more agile and means you’ll be effortless in moving your body and your surfboard to ride the waves, especially the big waves!
The main focus of yoga is the breath – yoga teaches you to breathe properly. Something all of us active people can benefit from – perhaps no more so than surfers. Why? Slow controlled ‘proper’ breathing strengthens the lungs, increases circulation, lowers heart rate and gives your body the oxygen it really needs. There’s more – it also reduces fatigue and activates the parasympathetic nervous system. No surprise then that after 60 years of surf training Gerry Lopez knows how learning to breathe properly is critical, “It’ll calm you down when you’re stressed, relax your body, and tighten your focus”.
Yoga at Power Living
Whatever your sporty side entails, yoga can help you improve – so consider adding a little time on the mat into your training schedule. This is where we can help. Check out the timetable at your local Power Living studio. You won’t look back!
Written by Laura Porter