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YOGA for Surfers by Grace Van Berkum
Yoga is an ancient healing technique that is so much more than just stretching and touching your toes . The right style of yoga will improve your surf, AND improve your life!
1. Yoga helps to relax and release tension in the muscles. Who doesn’t want tension release in the body?! Yoga helps your body relax and move with more ease and fluidity, and less pain. Releasing tension from your muscles also means faster recovery time. Faster recovery time means more efficient time in the water.
2. Yoga helps to increase core strength and overall flexibility resulting in better balance, more strength, and more power. Without a strong core, performance declines and injuries occur. Yoga helps to strengthen major muscles and stabilizing muscles. When your secondary muscles becomes stronger, your entire body becomes more balanced. This means better body awareness in the water. This also means less injury.
3. Yoga helps to improve range of motion. Better range of motion means longer time on waves, less soreness, and less injuries. Better range of motion means more agility and more ability to synch your movements with the waves. Hell yeah dude!
4. Yoga helps to centre the mind. Training your mind is just like training your body. It takes time and consistency. When you learn to focus your mind and stay in the present moment, you bring that focus to the water so you can ride the big waves. More focus=bigger waves. You also bring that focus to other activities in your life.
5. Yoga helps you sleep better. Quality sleep means more energy in the water, and faster muscle recovery and repair. Quality sleeps means a calmer nervous system which leads to less stress. All of these things will make you a better surfer.
6. Yoga helps you breathe better and more efficiently. Proper breathing strengthens the heart and lungs, trains the diaphragm, increases circulation and detoxification, and minimizes lactic acid build-up. Optimal oxygen intake and optimal carbon dioxide removal will also help to energize your body to maximize performance. Proper breathing will also help to stimulate the parasympathetic system to calm the body and mind, and lower blood pressure and heart rate.
7. Yoga helps to detoxify internal organs and balances metabolism. Stretching, twisting, and compressing the internal organs from yoga stretches, combined with proper breathing, facilitates faster toxin removal in the body. Steady toxin removal means a good working metabolism and a top notch, lean body. When the metabolism is optimal, body weight is optimal. The better you feel, the more time and energy you have on the water. The more time on the water, the better you get.
8. Yoga will help you become a lean, powerful machine and master of your board. Start adding yoga to your practice and training and watch how your surf, and life, changes for the better!
Grace is a passionate yoga teacher and plant-based nutritionist who teaches various yoga and nutrition retreats and workshops in Nicaragua. She works with surfers and athletes around the world and is passionate about the benefits of yoga and proper food for increased performance in sports, and in life.