Land and Sea Join Forces During Yoga for Surfers

Yoga is beneficial to everyone, including surfers.

Land and Sea Join Forces During Yoga for Surfers
Wikimedia Commons/Loveobx23

Many well known yogis have integrated surfing and yoga; similarly, many surfers have combined the two. Shiva Rea, who is a yoga instructor, holds yoga-surfing retreats while Alex Martins, who is a Brazilian surfer, claims that his Ashtanga yoga routine helps him to catch and ride colossal waves the size of six-story buildings.

Suppleness, stability and strength are needed to perform both yoga and surfing; therefore, it makes perfect sense that these two forms of exercise compliment one another.

The land (yoga) and the sea (surfing) join for the ultimate calming experience for those who love nature.

The best yoga poses (asanas) to perform before catching waves

Peggy Hall, who is a yogi-surfer, created a sequence of asanas to perform prior to riding the waves. These asanas are meant to be practiced in the sand right before getting in the saltwater to warm up the body. It is recommended that each pose be held briefly, flowing from one to the next.

While Hall's sequence includes five poses, I have chosen the top three.

Tai chi circles

This first movement is a tai chi movement rather than a yoga pose. Start out by standing up straight and aligning the legs with the shoulders. Intertwine the fingers and reach upward toward the heavens. As you exhale, stretch to the right and bend both knees while bending forward about a fourth of the way down. Continue to circle your hands until you reach the left side. Finish by inhaling as you go back to the starting position. Complete five tai chi circles in one direction, and then perform them on the opposing side.

Parivrtta Utkatasana 
(Standing Chair Twist)

Parivrtta means to turn around in the Sanskrit language and utkatasana means powerful pose. The chair twist is a combination of the chair pose and a twist. Watch a tutorial on YouTube to see how to perform the standing chair twist.

Utthita Parsvakonasana (Extended 
Side Angle Pose) with arm circles

Transition into the extended side angle pose on your left side, allowing your left forearm to lay on the thigh. Rather than holding this pose, circle the arm that is not resting in a backwards, counterclockwise motion, mimicking the back stroke.

Peggy Hall talks about her love of surfing and yoga in a preview of her instructional Yoga for Surfers III video. You will see wave riding motion and yoga poses in this short preview. Yoga for Surfers III stars Peggy Hall, Tom Carroll and Brian Conley.

Choose to surf or do yoga, or choose to participate in both!

More from Rebecca Bardelli:

Couples Yoga Enhances Intimacy

Top 10 Oddest Underwater Sports

Tai Chi Offers Health Benefits Well Beyond Inner Peace

Drawing Inspiration from Championship Surfer Bethany Hamilton

Female Celebrities Getting Their Daughters Involved in Athletic Activities: Witherspoon, Garner and Holmes

Rebecca completed courses in Medical Terminology, Administrative Medical Assisting, and Coding and Billing. She is recognized by the National Healthcareer Association as a Certified Billing and Coding Specialist (CBCS) and Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA). In addition, Rebecca is a former gymnast and is avid about yoga, swimming and other athletic activities.

Note: This article was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Sign up here to start publishing your own sports content.

Updated Friday, Dec 16, 2011