Surfing and Yoga go hand to hand, we all know this. But what lots fail to realise is that yoga and meditation are a part of the same thing and the practise of mediation is the most important part of ‘yoga’.
The stretches or ‘asanas’ practised during yoga compliment the physical aspect of surfing greatly, but the mindfulness achieved through regular meditation will help you find that ‘quiet place’ and will help ease the frustrations that sometimes come along with surfing.
Surfing and meditation are also very similar sensations. The rhythmic movement of paddling out; this repetitive motion when partaken with pure focus is meditative, this is meditating. The physical paddling and surfing itself is about sensation and feeling, how your body feels on the board, how you feel floating on the water, the gliding into the wave and visualisation of riding down the line or under the curl of a barrel. It’s all very sensitive and if you focus on being in the water and just surfing, that white noise, or rampant thoughts that we all have will cease to exist or at least quieten for this golden moment.
There’s no magic trick to mediation and when surfing you will get that line from your favourite tune stuck in your head playing on repeat, but if you are aware of this, mindful of this and just simply bring your awareness back to the activity (surfing) you are meditating.
One key aspect of meditation is breathing. Breathing is something we do unconsciously, but when we start to take control of our breathes we can take control of our mental and physiological state. This is very useful for amping ourselves up to surf or even wind down after a hectic day.
I’ve nicked this breathing technique from a Dr Andrew Weil, that encourages relaxation and is great at helping you get to sleep. I also tried it last night as I was firing all sorts of ideas round in my head and minutes later I was asleep. It works!
It’s known as the ‘4-7-8’ method and this is how you do it:
1. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a soft ‘haaaaaaaah’ sound, made by constricting your throat slightly.
2. Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four.
3. Hold your breath for a count of seven.
4. Exhale completely through your mouth, making the ‘haaah” sound to a count of eight.
5. This is one breath. Now inhale again and repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths
When you wake up tomorrow, be sure to thank us!