Updated: Nov 22, 2021
Let’s start this off on the right foot; there will be no namaste, ohms or spiritual awakening mentioned in this article. Yoga has a heavy stigma attached to it that many believe yoga is practised by spiritual gurus and Russell Brand only. Yoga still holds the value of being too ‘woo woo’ in today’s culture, arguably those gurus and Russell Brand shout and rave about yoga from the top of their lungs, however, you can practise yoga and not feel enlightened.
Where does this connect with surfing? Surfers want to get the best out of their surfing in and out of the water. Most, if not all, surfers train on land to help with their performance. Conditioning and strength training play a huge role in getting more out of your time in the water. The logic is simple; train when you are out of the water and expect to see results in the water. If you simply don’t train and just rely on surfing and surfing only as an exercise, then your surfing improvement will move at a much slower pace.
As great as it is to move some weight when there are no waves, your flexibility and balance also play a big part in surfing. From paddling out, popping up, and performing your cutbacks, flexibility and balance play a key part along with strength. Too often, surfers head out in the water who are too stiff in their body movements, which can affect their performance. For increased flexibility and balance, practice yoga.
The benefits of yoga alone are enormous. Gentlemen, if you believe that yoga is only for females and is non-masculine, then you are just fucking weird. Google the benefits of yoga and you will see a huge range of benefits from increased strength, balance, flexibility, more energy, and managing of stress. The benefits of yoga alone should not be dismissed and have been backed with countless studies and data that simply cannot be ignored.
The benefits of yoga can be seen in just as little as two 20-minute sessions per week. The more you practice, the more you will see results. The best part is that yoga can be practised in small areas and requires little to no equipment. Grab a yoga mat and thanks to today's technology, e.g. your phone, you can pick one of the millions of YouTube videos that run through a yoga session, that’s it! Obviously, there is the option of visiting a class or practising hot yoga, but for now, just keep it simple.
If you surf, I urge you to try yoga for just 30 days and see if you notice any improvements in the water. This can be structured any way to suit yourself, whether it's 10 minutes daily to just get it over and done with, or a couple of longer sessions per week for when you have the time. You might see changes in just as little as a week, a little grounding and more flexibility for certain, for those suffering from back pain, yoga is for you. Below are some videos we use regularly.