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How to Maintain a Surf Yoga Practice when down in the dumps

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How to Maintain a Surf Yoga Practice when down in the dumps

Last week I depicted, to be honest it was more of an elaborate description, the movement of an infantile south west swell as it wrapped around the sand of one of my favourite Kerala points, ‘Ed’s wave’. To be fair to those readers currently land locked or in the midst of an extended flat spell, lets just say day 2 of this swell gazumped day 1 for perfection. Noteworthy was the behind the rock barrel section, which emerged more cavernous and treacherous than the day before.
By Day 3 the swell had backed off slightly, although no less perfect, but something else was at play. My energy levels felt low; I had an increasingly sore throat, accompanied by a delicate sniffle. Now at this point if I was the proponent of a more leisurely, self paced suburban inducing recreation such as tennis or golf I would have pulled up stumps, made my apologies to friends and headed home for a little nap nap. As a surfer this logical thought process goes out the window when presented with uncrowded waves. High on an epidural cocktail of testosterone and endorphins, I quickly told myself that these symptoms are at worst a first world dilemma, so get out there and get barrelled!
Since that decision I have spent the last 4 days give or take aching, sweating, sniffling, sweating, convincing myself the worst is over before descending back into coughing, spluttering, night insomnia followed by day hibernation. Mental note, listen to my body next time.
By Day 3 of this process I decided to re-introduce some very gentle yoga movements to combat my flu and sedentary related neck, shoulder and general spinal stiffness. This brings me to the purpose of today’s blog. When you are feeling low on energy, be it from sickness, stress or overworking how do you go about maintaining a regular Surf Yoga practice that gives you energy rather than takes it away. Below I have listed some useful principles and tips:
1. Lay low on the strength work: Strength exercises require more exertion and energy on both a mental and physiological level. While feeling down focus your attention on gentle flexibility postures. When you feel your mojo return, reintroduce the strength.
2. Open the neck, shoulders, middle back, ribs and lower back regions.
3. Extended lying and sitting will tighten the thigh/psoas region, therefore include a posture/stretch that keeps this part of the body free and easy.
4. The Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF) can become restricted when feeling unwell or flat, leading to increased neural or nerve-based tension. Slow flowing movements that open the chest or heart space and arch and round the spine maintain movement of the CSF, thus reducing spinal aches and pains.
After applying these principles the past 2 days I can honestly say that when I hit the water today for a paddle, although my energy was still a little low, my body had no residual tension.

I look forward to seeing you on the mat, or in the water!



Ryan Huxley is the co-founder and program creator at Surfbodysoul, a website that provides safe, effective, holistic, scientific e-book exercise programs catering for surfers of all age, level and experience. Ryan is a qualified Physiotherapist, Exercise Physiologist, Advanced Yoga and Pilates instructor. His list of pro surfing clients includes Fergal Smith, Chippa Wilson, Anthony Walsh, Paige Hareb, Emi Cataldi & Rusty Miller.


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