Author: Kelcey Parker
What if I told you that your surfing will take on a whole new meaning once you have have cultivated physical, mental and spiritual growth. If you're like me, your first question might be "Ok, what's the catch? Do I have to quit smoking and eat beet greens every day?" The answer is "yes," those things are no-brainer's. But the real secret lies in a growing phenomenon that is deeply rooted in history - surf yoga.
Your ability to surf better is directly related to your core strength, balance, your focus and determination and your mental and spiritual well-being. Improving your ability in the water just doesn't happen with out a good surfing fitness program. Yoga is practiced by many of the world's best surfer's, most notably 9-time World Title holder Kelly Slater. Kelly is just one of thousands of surfer's who practice surf yoga as a ritual, and the benefits are obvious; improved performance in the water, improved mental health and improved physical well-being.
Disciplining yourself and getting to know your body in this way may be something new to you, so take it easy at first and then push yourself once you have an idea of where your limits are. Learning what your body is actually capable of will not only surprise you, but will translate directly into more radical turns, faster recoveries from slip-ups and falls, and overall harmony with the waves.
Yoga for Surfers borrows the best poses and exercises from other Yoga disciplines and combines them into a routine that targets specific muscle groups, builds the inner body strength surfers need, and provides the same mental focus lessons that have benefited all peoples for centuries. After becoming familiar with your body's needs, you will develop a shortened routine that you can practice on the beach before every session out. You will come to love this time just before paddling out; your opportunity to bring mind, body and spirit together.
The opening prayer for the practice of yoga reads:
"Because I want more peace of mind and stability in life, I faithfully practice Yoga as it has been passed down by the surf gurus."
I've taken the liberty of adding "surf" into the mantra before "gurus" just for you. Recite it a couple times. Close your eyes and clear your head for a moment. Set aside your worries and inhibitions. Breathe deeply and slowly a few times. Picture yourself flashing the peace sign as you tuck into a perfect barrel. Feel the crystal clear blue water as it spills over your shoulder. Now, relax your body and focus on the words "surf gurus" and you've got it. You're ready to start practicing surf yoga and soon you will be opened up to a whole new perspective on life, and most importantly, surfing.
All surfers are young at heart, but the harsh reality is that the body just doesn't keep up. If you want to continue to surf better, then you need to start looking after your body. Surf Yoga is a whole lot more fun that running on a treadmill, lifting weights, or just plain stretching. Yoga for surfers is really an extension of the sport you already love. Embrace it now, or you may as well start giving away waves to the kids next time you paddle out.
Costa Rica Surf Guru Kelcey Parker has traveled extensively in Costa Rica and around the world. Find out more about some great Surf Yoga retreats and Yoga for Surfers at http://www.costaricasurfguru.com. Find out where to find the best surf and yoga destinations in Costa Rica.