The best Yoga poses For Surfers

Surf traning


Yoga is the connection of the body, mind, and soul. It is the self-knowledge of our inner essence and contemplation of our true self through movement (Asanas) and breathing (Pranayama).

Believe it or not, yoga has a lot of similarities with surfing, and it can highly impact your performance in the water. That’s why we recommend, that you start adding a yoga practice before and after your surf sessions.

Yoga for surfers - why is it important?

Surf and yoga have many similarities, and they complement each other perfectly:

  • For example, surfing teaches us to be present and to focus on the moment. You don’t want to get wiped out, because you were thinking about what to cook for dinner, you need to align your thoughts with your performance. Likewise, being present in yoga is a must once you step onto your mat.
  • Breathing is another important part of both Surf & Yoga, when you get caught by a wave and wipe out, you need to hold your breath for some seconds. Breathing also plays a part while practicing pranayama before your yoga sequence. Breathing is our natural way of connecting with our body, and it is essential in both practices.
  • Progress is made step by step, another beautiful lesson that both surf and yoga teach us. You might not catch a wave on your first day of surfing, and you might not touch your toes with your hands during your first yoga class, but the importance is on the progress and staying consistent. This is a crucial lesson, on your way to become an advanced surfer or yogi.
  • Every day is different, there will be days where you will catch perfect waves throughout your surf session, and days where you can’t even reach the lineup. Some days you will feel strong, flexible, and fearless, and other days your body is sore and you might need a more relaxed yoga practice. In both Surf & Yoga, you will experience ups and downs, so you must learn from both aspects.
yoga Balance Headstand

How can I integrate yoga into my surf training?

There are several types of yoga, which are very different from each other, so first it is very important to observe your body and adapt your yoga session to your energy levels and the current state of your body.

  • Pre-Surf Yoga: Before going into the water it’s highly beneficial to take time for an active yoga flow, which could be Vinyasa or dynamic Hatha style, including a few rounds of sun salutations to warm up your body and prepare your muscles for the surf session. 

    Surfing is a very complete sport, so it is important to put attention to every part of our body: shoulders and arms that we will use for paddling, the core which will help us with “the pop-up”, and legs for riding the waves. You can add a short 15-20 minutes pre-surf yoga sequence, and meditation before your session to improve mobility, consciousness, and focus for your surfing session.

  • Post-Surf YogaWhen we get out of the water we might feel exhausted and tired, but it is very important to dedicate a few minutes for our surfing stretches to avoid soreness the morning after. A slow yoga practice such as yin, where poses are held for a longer period, and movements are slower; is very recommended to restore your body after an intense surf session. Try adding this simple post-surf yoga sequence to your surfing days. 

Try out a specific yoga program

For those of us who are new to yoga, trying out a specific program could be good, since it takes a lot of knowledge to know what exercises will be beneficial for your surf training. Following a specific program by a yoga teacher, will guarantee the right focus and help you to easier build a strong consistent routine.

This is our favorite yoga programs for surfers:

Yoga For Beginners

By - Abi Carver
  • A 15-Day Foundational Course
  • Video Instructions

Yoga with Sally

By - Barefoot Surf Tutorials
  • 7 Comprehensive Tutorials
  • Video Instructions
For surfers

Fitness & Mobility with Michelle

By - Barefoot Surf Tutorials
  • 7 Comprehensive Tutorials
  • Video Instructions
For surfers

Yoga For Strength

By - Abi Carver
  • 15 Minutes x 15 Days!
  • Video Instructions

What are the best yoga poses for surfers?

Balancing Poses

Balance is an important skill for surfers! If your mind or your body is not balanced, it will be hard to stand on your board, and you will fall again and again. That’s why we recommend you to add into your yoga for surfers practice, a few balancing poses.

There are endless options to chose from. If you are a beginner, you can start working on your balance with easy asanas such as tree pose or one leg standing. However, if you are more experienced, inversions are a great way to work your body and mind balance.

yoga warrior pose for surfers
Why are they good for surfers?

As it’s obvious, the main benefit is improving balance, which will rebound in your surfing. However, that’s not all. Balancing poses increases overall strength in the body, specifically in the core, which enhances your balance. Having strong core muscles will help you to maintain your position on the surfboard. Last but not least balancing poses increases focus, which is essential when trying to catch waves.

Downward Facing Dog and Dolphin

Downward Facing Dog might be the most popular Asana in yoga and with dolphin, its advanced version (same pose placing the forearms on the floor) they are recommendable surfing stretches for both before and after your surfing session.

Why are they good for surfers?

They strengthen arms, shoulders, and wrists and elongates the shoulder area. But they are not limited to the upper body – they also stretch the hamstrings and calves.

After surfing, it is a good yoga pose to release back tension and stretch the spine, so stay for 10-15 breaths, and your lower back will thank you! This Asana is considered an inversion as the head is lower than the heart, which also encourages blood flow.

Heart Openers

They are poses that expand your chest and rib cage to provide postural benefits. In this category, you can find beginner surf stretches such as cobra and upward facing dog and more advanced asanas like camel and wheel.

Yoga cobra pose for surfers
Why are they good for surfers?

When we are paddling on our surfboard, we need to bring up our chest and neck instead of collapsing over our shoulders. It’s a great practice to add some heart openers to our pre-surfing warm-up, so the body is ready for the paddling posture.

These asanas increase stamina and strength in the back muscles, which are particularly important for surfing. They are called heart openers as they are related to the Heart Chakra located on the chest, opening this chakra will benefit our daily posture, and it will create space for love and compassion.

Flexibility asanas

As we mentioned previously, surfing works the whole body, and it is so important to work on flexibility, not only for the arms and shoulders but also for the legs and spine as well.

Flexibility poses are perfect for post-surfing yoga to stretch the whole body, so you feel lighter after your surf session. Leg and hip stretches for surfers are the asanas of pigeon and frog. We can stretch the arms staying a few seconds or even minutes seated with eagle arms, and a plow pose (Halasana) will release your back tension after surfing which is a counterpoise to the paddling posture.

Arm Flexibility for surfers
Why are they good for surfers?

Physical flexibility is very important in surfing to prevent joint or muscle injuries, but also to feel more agile and fast while performing turns and maneuvers.

Now that you know the benefits of yoga for surfers, choose your favorite asanas and surf stretches and improve your surfing level!

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