04 Apr How to balance a surf and yoga lifestyle
Written by Katie Fowler
Are you a surfer wanting to increase flexibility? Adopting a routine involving stretching and yoga can make all the difference when you’re on the next wave. Here’s an insider look into one of our favourite ambassadors, Elias Black, and why he decided to prioritise yoga into his daily routine.
Power Living: So Elias, what does your typical morning look like?
Elias Black: 7.00am Probably dreaming still. 8.00 Usually up and about. First thing in the morning, I have a big glass of water or a tea and check emails and messages. 9.00 Probably the most productive part of my day, often reading or doing online study for my Diploma of Fitness. 10.00 In the kitchen poaching a few eggs, on a call and getting ready to get out the door. 11.00 Off doing whatever it is I have on that day. My routine varies a lot but it’s generally between shooting, training clients, or down the coast somewhere finding a wave.
PL: What is your favourite class at Power Living?
EB: I love the heated vinyasa classes. I find them the most intensive and effective for opening up tight muscles and increasing ROM (range of movement).
PL: What is your favourite yoga pose?
EB: Warrior three although I’m sure my technique could use a little/a lot of work! I really like the hamstring stretch in this pose and I find it oddly satisfying.
PL: How long have you been practicing yoga?
EB: My past yoga practice is peppered – my longest stint was towards the end of last year during training for an amateur boxing fight. I found yoga imperative to my training in order to stay loose and limber in my hips and to open up my shoulders and upper back. After seeing its effectiveness in functional exercise and performance, I put a far greater emphasis on continuing the practice more regularly.
PL: What one thing do you do everyday?
EB: Exercise. I have to exert myself in some way to be satisfied at the end of the day, no matter what the discipline. It’s just a matter of breaking a sweat and remaining active and functionally healthy.
PL: How do you think yoga has affected your surfing?
EB: All old surfers practise yoga. I’ve noticed this on my surfing travels. There will be older guys in their 60s or 70s shredding and, through my own curiosity, I have found they all practise some form of yoga. So I knew it was essential for longevity in the sport I love so much and vowed I would begin practising it before I turned 30. At age 28 now I’ve already begun to feel and experience the creaks and pains of pushing my body to its limits in weight lifting and fight training. Yoga has been a way to dial back the damage that’s already done and shift my focus to functional and mobility, which has greatly and positively impacted my performance in the water. To surf after hitting a 1RM in deadlifts compared to a surf after doing a 75 minute intensive yoga class tells you all you need to know about the benefits of the practice and its effectiveness in opening up the body and limiting injury. Stoked.