Yoga For Surfers: Part One

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posted by Sasha Taylor-North

Get your body warmed up and ready to hit the waves with some simple yoga moves that will have you fluid and focused on the green wall. Vinyasa Yoga is the ultimate companion exercise to surfing as it builds strength, balance and functional whole body awareness and movement. Keep these stretches light before a surf, post-surf the stretches can be deeper and more intense.

Standing Forward Fold
Open the back of the legs with either 1) bent knees hands on thighs; 2) bent knees fingers to the ground or; 3) a full fold with straight legs, straight back and head to knees. Choose bent knees if the hammies are tight or you have any lower back issues.1 Standing Forward bend 12 Standing Forward bed 23 Standing Frward bend 3

Hip opener
Release tight hips and get them ready for squats and power turns, feel the stretch in the glutes of the lifted leg.4 Hip stretch

High lunge
Open the front of the hips and prevent strain as you jump to your feet and crouch to speed along the face. Warm up the front of your shoulders as they prepare to paddle you onto wave after wave. And reach one hand down to gently prepare the spine for your cracking twists and turns.
5 High lunge and shoulder stretch 6 High Lunge twsit

One legged forward fold
Take the hammie stretch a little deeper with three options depending on how tight they are: 1) bent front knee , 2) fingers to the ground, 3) full fold with straight leg and head to knee. Don’t go too hard, easy on the hammies!7 One leg foward fold a8 One leg foward fold b9 One leg foward fold c

Triangle
Open the side waist and important core muscles. Keep it lighter with the bottom hand on the shin rather than round the back.10 Triangle

Reverse Triangle
Don’t forget about the ITB that runs from your pelvis to your shin, your knees will be thankful! Keep it lighter by bending the front knee and not crossing the hand across the shin. Repeat the above sequence on the other side. 11 Reverse Triangle

Horse stance
Release the groins, shoulders and back in one move as you bring some heat to the legs.12 Horse Stance

Downward Facing Dog
Stretch the entire back of the body as feet and hands press into the ground. Bend those knees if the hammies are tight.13 Downward Dog

Plank
Warm up the shoulders and engage the core for action, think gentle press of the belly to the spine and keep that same engagement when you paddle.14 Plank

Cat/Cow
Synchronise the breath with movement, in as you reach the chest forward and out as you round the back. Keep fluidity in the spine!15 cat16

Thread Needle
Open the shoulders and upper back to feel free in your movements.17 Thread Needle

Cobra
Lift up to just where you feel a gentle sensation of the lower back, not more, keep thelegs active with the thighs pulling forward.18 Cobra

Sasha Taylor-North of YogaOne in Western Australia has teamed up with Tonic Activewear to bring you this three-part stretching sequence.