Try these 3 Yoga Poses for Surf Beginners

Paddle - Pup Up - Surf with these Yoga Poses

When it comes down to improving your Surf, there are three major Yoga poses that will make the difference. You will quickly understand that these Yoga asanas perfectly complement your surfing. The three major steps you take in surfing are paddling, pop-up, and surfing down the wave. For every single one of them, I will explain one important Yoga pose in detail, that will help you improve. 

The best Yoga practice to improve your Paddle Posture for Surfing: Locust Pose

In locust pose the whole body is active. Same as with the paddling on the surfboard. Once you have learned and understood that paddling is the first step to success in surfing, you will see a difference in how the body needs to be fully engaged. Paddling is not only about moving your hands and arms through the water to gain speed. Your core and your back has to be engaged too. Moreover: the shorter your board gets, the more your legs and feet will play a role too. 

A good surfer has an upright chest, so he or she can look over the shoulder and shift his/her weight on the board by moving the upper body up and down. It is important not to collapse into the shoulders. The feet are close to each other and the legs are engaged. The body is centered on the board, to have the least resistance and glide steadily and smoothly through or on the water. The core and the back are strong.

This is exactly what you can train for with this yoga pose: 

How to: Locust Pose

start by laying on your belly 
inhale and lift your legs up
toes are pointed back 
squeeze buttocks
shoulder blades pulling towards each other at the back
engage core and back muscles
lengthen through the front body
crown of the head reaching high up

Practise Tip:

Try pulsating in locust pose :
Inhale: lift hand, feet, and chest even more up
Exhale: release a bit (NOT fully to the floor)
Inhale to come back up

Stay in the position for a couple of breaths. Take a few breaths by simply releasing your whole body onto the ground, maybe creating a pillow for your head with your hands. Repeat 3-4 times. 

Pop-up Training with Plank Pose

In Plank Pose you are pushing yourself away from the floor, just as you would on a surfboard during your pop-up. Planks are the ideal practice for everywhere and every time. There is nothing but your body that you need to train. After paddling, the pop-up is the second most important part of surfing, that surf beginners have to internalize and automate. Therefore it is important to train the targeted muscle areas, which are especially the arms and shoulders (but also chest, core, and back). The plank functions as a full-body workout and will give you exactly what you need for a strong and quick pop-up. 

How to: Plank Pose

Start with coming onto all fours (Tabletop position) 
Bring your feet straight out to the back of the mat from here. 
Arms are shoulder with a part, wrist creases parallel to the short end of the mat. 
Palms pushing your body away from the mat
Widen your shoulder blades and think broad, active back.
The feet are parallel, toes are active and grounded. Heels pushing towards an imaginary wall.

Practise Tip:

Release with exhaling and simultaneously bringing your knees onto the ground. Then, slowly lower down onto your belly and rest on the floor, releasing every single muscle in your body. 

Surfing down the line of the wave with Warrior II

If there is one yoga pose that mirrors a surfer well, it would definitely be the Warrior two. This position almost looks like someone standing on the surfboard. This position will not only work on your physical body but also on your mind. It is a very focused pose that will bring up loads of energy and fire within you. Warrior II opens up the hip, helps you to learn how to externally rotate your front knee, and works on your balance. 

How to: Warrior II

front foot 90-degree angle, back foot 45, front heel in line with the inner arch of the back foot
bend the front knee. the knee should be over the ankle
push down through the outer edge of the back foot
back foot formes one line
the knee of the back foot pulling up
keep engaging both of the legs
tailbone reaching down
open hip
strong center
think shoulders away from the ears
relax your facial muscles
send your gaze over the front hand

Practise Tip:

Stay in the position for 5 breaths (5 in- & exhales) and feel the fire arising within you. Come out of the pose by simply exhaling and gently straightening your front foot. Step the feet back together and repeat the Warrior on the other side. 


The best Counter Yoga Pose - Extended Child's Pose.

In Yoga, we tend to counter strong poses with those that are relaxing and releasing. One of the best ones for surfers is Extended Child’s Pose. The connection between the belly and legs lets you strongly feel your breath, which calms the mind and almost works as meditation. By fully surrendering to the ground you learn to let go and breathe space back into your tense muscles. As this pose reminds one of a fetal position it also serves as a reminder that you are safe and supported. 

How to Extended Childs Pose

Come onto all fours, exhale relax buttocks onto the heels, toes pointed back
Belly relaxes onto the thighs
option: knees mat with apart, let upper body drop between legs onto the mat
reach forward with your hands, creating length in the spine and arms
relax your forehead onto the mat
shoulder blades relaxing away from each other
think: Exhale let go of every muscle, sink deeper into the ground with each exhale

Practise Tip:

Release with exhaling and simultaneously bringing your knees onto the ground. Then, slowly lower down onto your belly and rest on the floor, releasing every single muscle in your body. 


Yoga for Surfers

To sum it up: There are of course a bunch of more poses that will support you on your way and will complement your surfing practice. In my 14 Days Yoga for Surfers Course, I will guide you through 14 yoga classes in 30 to 40 minutes, to get you ready for your next surf trip. Locust, Plank, and Warrior II of course play a role there. Go check out the Yoga for Surfers online course and be ready to be prepared for your next surf trip!

Do you want to give your body and mind something back after a surf? I got you covered: With the After Surf Yoga Package, you have 10 videos, focusing on different body parts, that stretch your body, 2 guided meditations to relax the mind, and 2 breathing techniques that support your overall well-being and surf performance.