Surfing is an extreme sport that demands you to be physically and mentally fit. When surfing, we are dealing with mother nature which means a lot of uncontrollable variables. Adrenaline is pumping, and our muscles are working under a high level of exertion, all while we need to control our breathing.
A great way to be prepared for a surf session is to have a simple pre-surf yoga routine that activates your muscles, calms your mind, and centers your breathing. Yoga allows our mind, breath, and body to align and connects us to the present moment. Many people have a wrong perception of yoga and only see it as this spiritual “hippie” slow practice that enables you to touch your tippy toes. But jokes aside, yoga is so much more!
In our opinion, yoga is the perfect complementary sport to surfing, besides hitting the gym for some surf strength training. Allow us to explain why.
Yoga for surfers
Yoga is much more complex than many would think. Yoga consists of flows that combine movement (Asanas) and breathing (Pranayama).
You can find different yoga routines for surfers. Some will energize you and get your muscles pumping, so you are prepared for your surf session. Others yoga asanas are good for stretching sore muscles and calming your body after an intense surf session.
Yoga will improve your surf performance in many different aspects, from enhancing your physical strength for paddling and flexibility when performing maneuvers to holding your breath during a wipeout and keeping your mind calm.
Dynamic Yoga before surfing
A good pre-surf yoga routine will help prepare you and make sure you get the most out of your session.
Before paddling out into the lineup, you want to prepare your body for surfing. Your pre-surf yoga routine should mobilize and activate your muscles without over-tiring them. A good warm-up for surfing will prevent injuries, just like you know it from any other sport. However, you don’t want to be doing a lot of static stretching before your surf session, as it will sedate the nervous system and be detrimental to your performance.
It doesn’t mean you should not prepare yourself for surfing. Instead, we recommend you focus on some dynamic stretching or a warm-up that activates your muscle groups used in surfing. You will find several good yoga exercises that are beneficial for your warm-up, such as the active yoga styles like Vinyasa and Ashtanga.
So now, let’s show you a simple pre-surf yoga routine that will activate your muscles and prepare your mind for catching waves all day!
3 simple Pre-surf yoga exercises
Implement these three yoga exercises in your pre-surf warm-up, and see the improvement in your surf performance.
1. Sun salutations:
A great way to start your pre-surf yoga flow is by performing some sun salutations.
For this purpose, we recommend the yoga exercises:
- Surya Namaskar A or Surya Namaskar B (sun salutation A or B), where you connect movement with your breath. Try doing a minimum of 5 rounds.
2. Standing Poses:
Now that your body is awake, it’s time for some standing poses. These yoga poses are more intense and require strength activation, which will activate your muscles for surfing.
Some of our favorite standing poses for surfers are;
- Triangle Pose (Trikonasana),
- Warriors Pose I & II,
- High Lunge Pose.
They don’t require too much strength, but it is a great asana to relax your shoulders and open up your spine before a surf session.
Try to hold these poses for a minimum of 5 breaths.
3. Balancing Poses:
The last yoga poses we recommend doing before surfing is; Balancing poses.
Adding a few balancing poses to your pre-surf warm-up will help increase focus and improve stability, which are two important factors in your surf performance.
The Tree Pose is the essence of a good balancing asana. Some of our favorite balancing poses for your pre-surf routine are:
- Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose)
- Warrior III Pose
- Chair Pose (Utkatasana).
4. Meditation before surfing (bonus)
Last but not least, take some time to clear your head before surfing with a quick meditation/mindfulness session. Being in the right headspace will keep you calm, which is important in different aspects of surfing, from wave selection to handling a wipeout.
Listen to your breath and observe your body. How are you feeling? Are you calm, tired, or anxious? Being in control of your breath and mind will make you feel more in tune with the ocean so that your senses are prepared for any situation and ready to react.
You can try some deep breathing exercises to reduce stress and sharpen your focus, or an exercise like double breathing if you need an energy kick before surfing.