Yoga for Surfers

Surf Yoga

Surf's up, yoga tribe! Hang up your wetsuits and grab your yoga mats, because Everyday Yoga and you are about to dive into the gnarly world of yoga for surfers. Imagine combining the stroke of catching the perfect wave with the zen vibes of a sunset savasana—totally tubular, right? Well, cowabunga! Let's dive into how yoga can up your surf game and make sure your body's as limber as a sea otter.

It's no wonder pros, like Kelly Slater and Rochelle Ballard, use this old-school practice (roughly 5,000 years old!) to complement their surfing skills. Whether you're a Dawn Patrol dude or a Waikiki wahine (female surfer), your surfing will definitely benefit from yoga. Read on to learn some essential tips and tricks.

Why Surfers and Yoga are a Match Made in Beach Heaven

From the sands to the sea, surfing demands agility, core strength, and a chillaxed mind to ride the ocean's rhythm. Yoga's like the wax on your board, giving you that sweet grip for life's big swells. It's the secret sauce for smoother pop-ups, epic balance, and the chill to handle those gnarly wipeouts with a smile.



Yoga's Big Kahuna Moves for Wave Shredders 

Want to hang loose and hang ten? Check out these rad yoga poses that are a total win-win for surfers

Core Strengthener: Plank Pose

Plank Pose

Also referred to as High Push-Up Pose, Plank Pose — Kumbhakasana (koom-bahk-AHS-uh-nuh) — tones the abdominal muscles while strengthening the arms and spine.

  1. Begin on your hands and knees, with your wrists directly under your shoulders.
  2. Spread your fingers and press down through your forearms and hands. Do not let your chest collapse.
  3. Gaze down, lengthening the back of your neck and drawing your abdominal muscles toward your spine.
  4. Tuck your toes and step back with your feet, bringing your body and head into one straight line.
  5. Keep your thighs lifted and take care not to let your hips sink too low. If your butt sticks up in the air, realign your body so your shoulders are directly above your wrists.
  6. Draw your pelvic floor muscles toward your spine as you contract your abdominal muscles.
  7. To deepen the pose, try lifting one leg at a time.
  8. Hold for five breaths, and then slowly lower your whole body onto the floor and rest.

Full-body Strengthener: Four-Limbed Staff Pose

Four-Limbed Staff Pose

One of the main poses in a Sun Salutation, Four-Limbed Staff Pose — Chaturanga Dandasana (chah-tuur-ANGH-uh dahn-DAHS-uh-nuh) — is a powerful strength-builder. It tones the wrists, arms, abdominal muscles, and lower back.

  1. Begin in Plank Pose. Keeping your elbows directly over your wrists, slowly lower your body to hover a few inches above the floor. Keep your back flat. Fully engage your abdominal and leg muscles.
    • If the full pose is too challenging right now, come to your knees first. Then, lower your torso to hover an inch above the floor.
  2. Do not let your elbows splay to the sides. Keep them hugged along your ribcage, pointed toward your heels.
  3. Press the base of your knuckles into the floor. Your upper and lower arms should be perpendicular, bent 90 degrees at the elbows. Do not let your shoulders drop lower than your elbows.
  4. Hold for 10-30 seconds, and then press back into Plank Pose.

Full-body Stretch: Downward-Facing Dog

Downward-Facing Dog

One of the most-recognized yoga poses in the West, Downward-Facing Dog — Adho Mukha Svanasana (Ah-doh MOO-kuh shvan-AHS-uh-nuh) — energizes and rejuvenates the entire body. Do not practice if you have severe carpal tunnel syndrome or are in late-term pregnancy.

  1. Begin in Table Pose, on your hands and knees. The fold of your wrists should be parallel with the top edge of your mat; your middle fingers should point directly to the top edge of your mat. With your feet hip-distance apart, exhale and lift your knees off the floor. Gently begin to straighten your legs, but do not lock your knees. As you lengthen your spine, lift your sit bones up toward the ceiling. Press down equally through your heels and the palms of your hands.
  2. Firm the outer muscles of your arms and press your index fingers into the floor. Lift from the inner muscles of your arms to the top of your shoulders. Draw your shoulder blades into your upper back ribs and down towards your tailbone. Relax your head between your upper arms, but do not let it dangle.
  3. Hold for 5-100 breaths. Gently bend your knees with an exhalation and come back into Table Pose to release.

Balance Challenge: Eagle Pose

Eagle Pose

Eagle Pose — Garudasana (gahr-ooo-DAHS-uh-nuh) — stretches the shoulders and upper back while strengthening the thighs and hips. It also builds balance and concentration. Do not attempt this pose if you have knee injuries.

  1. Begin standing with your arms at your sides.
  2. Bend your knees. Balance on your right foot and cross your left thigh over your right. Fix your gaze at a point in front of you. Hook the top of your left foot behind your right calf. Balance for one breath.
    • Beginners can omit the foot hook and instead cross the leg on top, resting the toes of the top foot gently on the floor.
  3. Extend your arms straight in front of your body. Drop your left arm under your right.
  4. Bend your elbows, and then raise your forearms perpendicular to the floor. Wrap your arms and press your palms together (or as close as you can get them), lift your elbows, and reach your fingertips toward the ceiling.
    • If your palms don't touch yet, press the backs of your hands together, instead.
  5. Hold for up to a minute, focusing on your breath, keeping your gaze fixed and soft. Unwind gently and repeat on the opposite side.

Back Strengthener: Locust Pose

Locust Pose

Locust Pose — Salabhasana (shah-lah-BAHS-uh-nuh) — tones and strengthens the entire back body, strengthens the abdominal muscles, and helps to open the lungs as it stretches the front body.

  1. Begin lying on your stomach with your arms at your sides. Rest your forehead on the mat.
  2. Extend your legs straight behind you. Do not roll your heels inward or outward. Instead, press your weight evenly across the tops of your feet.
  3. Inhale and raise your head to look forward. On your exhale, lift your chest and arms. Keep your arms alongside your body with your palms facing down. Lift your upper spine and reach your arms back toward your feet.
  4. Use your inner thighs to lift your legs up toward the ceiling. Reach straight back through the balls of your feet.
  5. Keep your chest lifted as you widen across your collarbones. Draw your shoulder blades into your back ribs and extend them away from each other.
  6. Gaze at your cheeks. Keep your breath smooth and even.
  7. On an exhalation, slowly release your body to the ground. Place your left ear on the mat and relax your arms at your sides.

Yoga for Surf Stamina: Make It a Daily Wave Ritual 

Amp up your surf endurance without even hitting the water. Roll out your mat for daily dawn patrols or sunset sessions—just 15 minutes can get those surfing muscles stoked and ready to paddle. Regular yoga practice turns you into a lean, mean, wave-riding machine, ensuring the only thing you bail on is stress.

Join the Surf-Yoga Tribe 

Take the plunge into a local yoga for surfers class or follow along with online flows in your boardshorts. It's all about community, dude—share the stroke and the stretches! Find your tribe and surf the mat together. All levels welcome, from groms to the big kahunas!

Roll up Your Sleeves!

Alright, reef runners and beach bums, remember that yoga is the perfect sidekick for surfing. It's the yin to the yang of those wild, watery adventures. So next time the waves are flat, don't get bummed—get bendy, breathe deeply, and prepare for the next swell with yoga. Here's to peace, love, and epic surf—namaste and shaka!

Riding a wave of yoga-inspired tranquility or have some killer surf-yoga tales? Don’t forget to share your epic moments with Everyday Yoga. Let's spread the good vibes like sunscreen and inspire the lineup, one sun salutation at a time. Keep it real, keep it loose, and keep catching those horizon dreamers, you salty sea dogs!

See you on the mat!