Updated: Jul 19
It's no secret that yoga and surfing go together like a dream come true. A perfect combination of mobility, strength and balance aid in these elements of both but, surfers that turn to yoga gain more than just the physical benefits.
The Surf & Yoga Connection
Yoga and surfing have more in common than you may think. Surfers have long felt the positive effects of both surfing on their yoga and, yoga on their surfing. In fact, you will often see surfers warming up with a few sun salutations on the beach before paddling out and, for good reason. The sequence utilises and warms up the muscles and joints needed in the water and helps you feel ready for action.
But, what if the real benefits were not in the physical actions? What if they were just a tool to gain the magic that happens when you connect the two.
Have you ever experienced that magical feeling where everything aligns? The sensation of the world around you fading away as you get lost in the moment? We often hear of 'flow' in our yoga practise; as the breath, body and mind find union and slip into connection without any force, thought or resistance. It just, flows. Well, surfing creates the same! Safe to say you aren't worrying about your finances when you're riding across the face of the wave - that moment holds your full attention.
In these magical moments, our bodies and brains unite creating a feeling of almost effortless control. When we allow for this flow state, we begin to loose inhibition, embrace fear and the unknown and gain an innate sense of trust in ourselves. Whether it is on your yoga mat or out on the ocean, finding your flow is the key to not just progressing but also, finding absolute joy.
Connection to Self
One of the greatest benefits of a yoga practise is not getting bendy. The increased strength and flexibility may be what drew you in but, it's not what makes you stay. One of the greatest side effects of yoga is the opportunity to really get to know ourselves. Yoga creates a way to understand our body and how it works, how we feel and where are limitations may lie. Furthermore, it pulls into view what brings us happiness and what creates stress in our lives. It even forces us to face some fears!
For surfers, time in the water does very much the same. Just like our yoga practise we get to feel more connected to ourselves and how we feel, push through limiting beliefs and test our bravery. Whether you start on a mat or in the water, this connection is something that will not just effect surfing and yoga positively but, every part of your life too.
Connection to the Wider World
In yoga we learn that we are not separate from nature but in fact, part of it. Our modern worlds have disconnected us to this idea; spending more time indoors, looking at screens and connecting via electronic devices. As we learn to reconnect with ourselves and our own feelings with inevitably find greater connection with the wider world too.
For surfers, being out in the water plugs you directly into the source. There is an almost primeval feeling being part of the power of the ocean and at the mercy of the elements that draws surfers back again and again. In fact, for a lot of people this part holds as much magic as riding waves!
However, the magic really happens when all the action is done; your yoga mat is rolled away and you've finished your surf. The feeling of connection remains and starts to ripple through into your everyday way of life. In no time, you care more about the environment you live in and and the planet you call home because you are aware of your place and role within it. After all, the more time you spend in nature the more you can't help but fall in love with it! That is why our Rewilding Surf Retreats are always based in amazing locations where you can do just that - rewild, reconnect and fall madly in love with the world you live in.
There is a wonderful African Proverb that says 'If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together'. Both the yoga and surf worlds share a sense of community that feels different to others. I mean, it's unlikely that your tennis buddy's have the same kind of connection. We think it is because both of yoga and surf communities share in a hobby/ passion that runs deeper into who they are. We all know that yoga is a spiritual practise but, so can surfing be! That connection to self, the wider world and flow state are powerful things. They become even more powerful when we share and experience them with others. Plus, it's a huge amount of fun!
At Rewilding Surf Retreats, we are passionate about all of these things. That is why our retreats are different to your standard surf adventures - we blend yoga, breathwork, reconnecting to nature and connecting with other people as the beating heart of what we do.
Come and experience the magic for yourself.