Let’s Go Surfing!

bondi-bandits-surfs-up

The Surf’s up! Let’s get our favourite rashies on and let’s go surfing!

But before jumping into the ocean, here’s a few tips that I find helpful, as a fellow surfing yogi, to get limbered up so you are not too sore the next day!
1) Knees to chest and twist
yoga-knees-chest-sup
Start on the floor hugging knees into the chest to open hips in Apanasana.
Benefits:
  • Releases and strengthens your hip flexors
  • Strengthens your back and releases any tension in your spine as you press your spine flat against the floor
  • Great for your digestive system as it compresses the organs
Straighten one leg out at a time to stretch your hip flexors so you’re more steady sitting on your board out there and looking cool out in the ocean! 🙂
Take knees to one side to get a nice twist into the back body. Take the arms out to warm up the shoulders and gaze to opposite side to feet to stretch your neck. Repeat on the other side.
yoga-supine-twist
Benefits:
  • Warms up and releases the back
  • Opens the shoulders
  • Lengthens the spinal muscles for that cobra action in the ocean
  • Helps calm the mind so you can be more focused to catch those waves

Tuck chin to chest and rock up and down the spine to massage the back body and come to sit up.

2) Eagle (Garudasana) arms and Cow legs (Gomukasana)
yoga-eagle-arms-2
Bend your right knee and take the foot to left hip and left foot to right hip.
Take your arms wide and wrap the left arm over the right and cross at the elbows and draw palms together. Lift elbows and press hands away for a great stretch to the shoulders and upper back.
Hold for 5 breaths and repeat on the other side.
Benefits:
  • Opens the outer hips to help sit up on the board and keeps IT band free of inflammation
  • Stretches and increases flexibility to the legs to pop up on that wave
  • Stretches and opens the upper back and front of the shoulders for paddling fitness
  • Strengthens the shoulder and arm muscles, which will help your paddling
3) Cat cow (Marjaryasana)
yoga-cat-cow-poseyoga-cow
Come onto all fours and exhale round your spine and bring belly to spine and tuck chin to chest. Inhale lift head and open heart 5 breaths.

Benefits:

  • Stretches the back and neck
  • Lengthens the spine
  • Strengthens the shoulders and wrists
  • Increases blood circulation
  • Calms the mind
  • Eases back pain
4) Downward dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
yoga-downdog
Release hands to floor shoulder width apart and tuck toes under and press into a downdog, which stretches the whole body from head to toe.
Benefits:
  • Stretches the shoulders and calf muscles
  • Builds strength while toning the arms and legs
  • Lengthens and straightens the spine helping to prevent and relieve back pain
  • Relieves stress by helping to calm the nervous system
 5) Lunge with quad stretch
yoga-lunge-hands-interlaced-shoulderyoga-lunge-bent-knee
Step your right foot between your hands and drop your back knee to the floor. Interlace your hands into a fist behind your back.Take a few breaths to drop into your hips, especially if they are tight.
Then bend your back knee and take your right hand to the top of the left foot to open the thigh and hip flexor; rest your back leg on the soft area above your knee, not the kneecap.
Repeat on the other side. Then step up to the top of your mat.
Benefits:
  • Opens tight hip flexors, common in surfers, to straddle your board
  • Prevents pulling on pelvis and compressing lower back
  • Opens your shoulders to strengthen your paddle fitness
  • Bending the knees stretches your thigh muscle for more flexibility
6) Palm tree
yoga-palm-tree-circles
Stand with your feet hip width apart and interlace your hands into a fist above your head.
Lean to the right then left and repeat for 5 breaths. Then do circles with your hands.
Benefits:
  • Stretches the side body
  • Releases tension in the back and shoulders
7) Standing trunk rotations
yoga-sway-sides-shoulders-upper-backyoga-sway-sides-shoulders-upper-back-2

Walk to top of mat and roll up the spine into mountain pose, Tadasana.
Stand with feet hip width apart and swing the arms from side to side.

Benefits:

  • Warms up spine increasing blood flow for better manoevre in the surf

8) Wide legged forward fold (Prasarita padottanasana)yoga-prasarita-arms-interlaced-front-viewyoga-prasarita-arms-interlaced
Take legs wide and interlace your hands into a fist behind your back.

Open the shoulders onto the back, open the chest, breathe in and fold forward on an exhale and fold over your legs.

Benefits:
  • Stretches your hamstrings to help you pop up
  • Opens your shoulders for all that paddling!
  • Swing the hands from side to side to get a better stretch, like flossing between your shoulder blades! 🙂
Then release the arms and take one hand to the opposite leg to get a further twist between the shoulder blades and lower back.
yoga-prasarita-windmill-shoulder
9) Goddess shoulder opener
yoga-goddess-shoulder-openeryoga-goddess-shoulder-opener-2
Keep legs wide, turn your toes out and bend knees to open hips.
Take your hands to thighs and drop left shoulder and turn and gaze over your right shoulder
Benefits:
  • Opens shoulders and hips
  • Nice rotation in upper back to release tension
10) Standing poses, Warrior II & Side Angle pose
yoga-side-angle
Turn your right foot out 90 degrees and turn your back foot to 45 degrees. Bend the front knee and open your arms out to your sides.
Take a few breaths then take your right elbow to your knee and take the left arm straight over your left ear. Do big circles with your arm to loosen up the shoulders.
Benefits:
  • This is similar to surfing! Strengthening the whole body.
  • Strengthens and stretches the legs, hips, groin and shoulders
  • Helps with balance while building concentration and balance
  • Helps energise the whole body as well as increase stamina and concentration
  • The side body gets a great stretch and the shoulders and arms

Repeat on left side then step to top of your mat.

11) Figure 4 glute stretch
yoga-figure-4
Stand with your feet hip width apart and bend right leg and take foot on top of the left knee, opening the right knee out to the side. Sit back like you want sit on a chair to counterbalance lean forward. Take 5 breaths and repeat on the other side.

Benefits:

  • Increases blood flow to activate the glute muscle for more power in the legs
  • Stretches the glutes and hips
  • Helps balance when on the surfboard.

12) Squat (Malasana)
yoga-squat

Take your legs wide and bend deeply to sit between legs with hands together, elbows against your inner knees
Benefits:
  • Strengthens lower half of the body
  • Opens up the hip flexors
  • Stretches and strengthens the back of the lower legs as well as the back and neck muscles
  • Helps to prevent cramps in your hips while in the water from sitting on the board for long periods of time
  • Great for toning the legs
13) Cobra pose (Bhujangasana)
yoga-cobra
Lie on your belly and take the hands to the mat under the shoulders. Press the top of the feet into the floor and lift your head and chest into a baby cobra.
Benefits:
  • Great for strengthening and opening the lower back
  • Strengthens back muscles and warms up body for paddling which can take a toll on your lower back
 14) One legged pigeon (Eka pada rajakapottanasana)
yoga-pigeon
Stretch back into downward dog and step your right knee to your right hand and take the foot across the front of your mat.
Straighten your left leg out long behind you. Open the heart to open the spine then fold forward over your leg. Take 5 breaths and repeat on your left side.
Benefits:
  • Stretches the thighs and hips
  • Opens the groin and the hip flexor muscles while opening and releasing the chest and shoulders
  • Increases blood flow to your groin and hips

15) Head to knee pose (Janu sirsasana)
yoga-janu-sirsasanayoga-janu-sirsasana-2

Roll onto your left buttock and bring the right leg forward, taking your left foot inside your right inner thigh. Lengthen the spine and then fold over your right leg.

Take 5 deep breaths and repeat on your left leg.

Benefits:

  • Stretches the hamstrings and lower back
  • Twist through the lower abdomen and back to release and stretch the muscles

16) Let’s Go Surfing!

Grab your board and you’re ready to go surfing!!

yoga-ready-to-surf

References:

http://www.schooloftheworld.org/10-best-yoga-poses-for-surfers/
Yoga Journal
The Inertia

 

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