Each year you head on your surfing holiday and wonder in those colder months how to maintain your surf fitness. When the water is cold and the surf is less than perfect, getting in and freezing your boots off is that last thing you want to think about. A great way to maintain your fitness for your next surf holiday, if you don’t want to brave the chilly waves, is to incorporate some yoga into your surf workout. And believe me, you will notice the difference with how much you progress and get to enjoy the waves on your surf holidays. Our in-house yoga teacher has put together some poses for you to practice, which she likes to include in her personal practice and when teaching on her surf yoga holidays and surf-specific yoga classes.
Downward Facing Dog – Adho Mukha Svanasana
- Lengthens hamstrings, and calves
- Releases tension in the spine, especially the lower back
- Strengthens core, shoulders, upper body
- Calms the brain and nervous system
- Bring yourself onto your hands and knees. Tuck the toes underneath and push the hands into the ground.
- Bend the knees to bring the hips towards the heels, keeping the back as straight and extended as possible.
- Lift your hips towards the sky and bring the heels towards the ground.
- Straighten the legs, activating your core.
- Keep reaching the hips towards the sky and pushing the ground away with your hands, arms are straight. Try to keep your shoulders away from your ears.
TOP TIP! If you are tight in the hamstrings or your back begins to round, don’t worry about straightening the legs, keep the suckers bent! You will get more lift in the hips which will feel awesome for the lower back!
Plank Pose – Kumbhakasana
- Full body workout!
- Teaches patience and determination
- Strengthens all areas of core, not just the main stomach muscles we come to know so well!
- Hands are directly underneath shoulders, keep the arms straight.
- Tuck tail bone under to activate the core.
- Push away with the hands to not let the shoulders and chest collapse.
- Reach the heels towards behind you.
TOP TIP! Look directly at the floor, this the neck long and a natural extension of the spine and reduces any strain in the neck.
Garland Pose – Malasana
- Releases through the lower spine, soothing back aches from ‘surfer’s back’
- Stretches the inner thighs & increases mobility in the back & ankles
- Strengthens core muscles
- Bring feet hip width distance apart and bend knees until hips are close to the floor.
- If the heels are not touching the floor, walk the feet outwards/place a blanket/block/book underneath the heels to support.
- Lift chest and do not allow it to collapse to activate through the core.
TOP TIP! Ensure knees are not falling inwards – press elbows against inside of thighs to help open chest and thighs
Chair Pose – Utkatasana
- Strengthens core muscles, thighs and calves
- Stretches shoulder and chest
- Stand with your feet hip width distance apart and lift the arms above the head.
- Bend the knees to bring the thighs as parallel to the floor as possible, move your weight into the heels. You should be able to wiggle your toes off the floor.
- Tuck the tail bone underneath, this lengthens the lower spine and engages the core.
TOP TIP! BREATHE! You will definitely feel the burn on this one if you hold for a longer period of time so remember to breathe! It will help get you through it.
Boat Pose – Navasana
- Strengthens the core, hip flexors and thighs
- Increases flexibility in hamstrings
- Reduces stress
- Sit on the floor with your legs bent in front, feet on the floor and back straight.
- Lift through the chest and lean back slightly, so you are balancing on your sitting bones.
- Lift one leg at a time, keep the knees bent to start, shins perpendicular to the floor.
- Stretch your arms alongside the legs, parallel to each other and the floor.
- Without compromising the straight back, see if you can straighten both legs
TOP TIP! Make sure that the lower back does not collapse by lifting out of the hips and the sternum.
Enjoyed these? Watch this space for more yoga poses and surf fitness tips to help improve your surfing. Or get in contact with our team to chat about including some surf yoga classes, when planning your surf and yoga holidays in 2018!