10 yoga stretches to improve your surfing

Yoga for surfers, photo by Yoga Journal

As a surfer, wouldn’t you like to be able to surf for longer without getting tired, have more strength and flexibility and better balance, get a quicker pop-up, relax your breathing and sharpen your mental focus?

Yoga can help you do this. Pro surfers know that yoga keeps their performance constantly improving and aids in preventing injuries.

Here are 10 yoga poses for surfers that will improve your strength and flexibility, give you better balance, and help you avoid the all-too-common lower back pain. Remember to warm-up before heading out to the water, and stretch for 5-10 minutes after surfing. Your body will thank you.

1.  Downward-facing dog: Benefits: Strengthens and tones the arms and legs, stretches shoulders and calf muscles, lengthens and straightens the spine helping to relieve all over back pain.

Yoga pose downward dog for surfers 

2. Locust Pose: Benefits: Stretches the chest, shoulders and abdominals, and strengthens the upper and lower back, arms and legs. This is a non-aggressive backbend that helps build the spinal support for all of the back-arching you do when paddling for waves.

Yoga pose Locust 

3. Eagle Pose (arms only): Benefits: Stretches upper back and shoulders for long paddling sessions.

 Yoga pose Eagle arms

4. Squat / Garland Pose: Benefits: Opens up the hip flexors and strengthens the back; ideal to prevent hip cramping when sitting on your board for a while.

 Yoga pose squat

5.  Plank Pose & Chaturanga Dandasana: Benefits: Core, triceps, back. This pose will help you pop up faster and stronger.

Yoga pose Chaturanga Dandasana

6. Warrior Pose: Benefits: Stretches your hips, groin and shoulders, strengthens and stretches your legs, ankles and feet, and builds stamina, balance and concentration.

 Yoga pose Warrior

7. Upward Facing Dog: Benefits: Elongates and increases flexibility in your spine, opens your chest, throat, shoulders, and the front of your thighs.

 Yoga pose upward facing dog

8. Boat Pose: Benefits: Strengthens your core, and helps with deep breathing, focus and balance.

 Yoga pose Boat

9. High Lunge: Benefits: Stretches and strengthens your legs, especially thighs, knees, ankles and psoas muscle; opens the groins and hips, and lengthens the spine.

Yoga pose High lunge

10. Happy Baby Pose: Benefits: Releases tight hips, hamstrings and back muscles.

Yoga pose Happy Baby

Surfing and yoga in Costa Rica

Surfing Santa Teresa, Costa RicaGet the best of both surfing in Costa Rica and yoga at Hotel Tropico Latino on beautiful Santa Teresa Beach in Costa Rica. The charming, intimate beachfront hotel specializes in Costa Rica surfing and yoga vacations and retreats. The hotel offers daily Hatha and other yoga classes on their shaded wooden yoga deck right on the beach. Santa Teresa is famous for year-round warm-water surf, pristine beaches and picture-perfect sunsets.

Article by Shannon Farley

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