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Yoga for surfers, photo by Yoga JournalAs a surfer, wouldn’t it be nice to be able to surf for longer without getting tired, get a quicker pop-up, have more strength and flexibility and better balance, relax your breathing and sharpen your mental focus? You can do this with yoga. Pro surfers are already aware that the practice of yoga keeps their performance constantly improving, and aids in preventing injuries.

U.S. yoga instructors/surfers like Peggy Hall have produced DVDs that tout the benefits of the practice especially for pro surfers. Here are 10 yoga poses for surfers that will make your arms and back stronger, improve your strength and flexibility, give you better balance, and help you avoid the all-too-common nagging lower back pain. Remember to always warm-up before heading out to the water, and stretch for 5-10 minutes after surfing. Your body will thank you.


1. Downward-facing dog: Benefits: Stretches shoulders and calf muscles, strengthens and tones the arms and legs, lengthens and straightens the spine helping to relieve pain in the upper, middle and lower back.

Yoga for surfing, downward dog 2. Locust Pose: Benefits: Strengthens the upper and lower back, arms and legs, stretches the chest, shoulders and abdominals. This is a non-aggressive backbend to help build the spinal support for all of the back-arching you do when paddling for waves and looking behind you.

3. Eagle Pose (arms only): Benefits: Stretches upper back and shoulders for long paddling sessions.

4. Squat / Garland Pose: Benefits: Opens up the hip flexors and strengthens the back. Ideal to prevent hip cramping when sitting with spread legs for a while.

5. Plank Pose & Chaturanga Dandasana: Benefits: Core, triceps, back. This will have you popping up faster and stronger.

6. Warrior Pose: Benefits: Strengthens and stretches your legs, ankles and feet, stretches your hips, groin and shoulders, builds stamina, balance and concentration.Yoga pose Warrior


7. Upward Facing Dog: Benefits: Elongates and increases flexibility in your spine, opens your chest, throat, shoulders, and the front of your thighs. This is an aggressive backbend pose, so make sure you do it correctly.

8. Boat Pose: Benefits: Strengthens your core, and helps with deep breathing, focus and balanc

9. High Lunge: Benefits: Stretches and strengthens your legs, especially thighs, knees, ankles and psoas muscle, lengthens the spine, opens the groins and hips.

10. Happy Baby Pose: Benefits: Releases tight hips, hamstrings and back muscles. Surfing Santa Teresa, Costa RicaYes, you will look silly doing this in public, but the stretch is worth it.

Yoga and surfing in Costa RicaGet the best of both yoga and surfing at Hotel Tropico Latino on beautiful Santa Teresa Beach in Costa Rica. The charming and intimate beachfront hotel specializes in Costa Rica yoga and surfing vacations and retreats. On their shaded wooden yoga deck right on the beach, the hotel offers daily Hatha Yoga and other yoga, dance and movement classes. Famous for year-round surf, Santa Teresa is known for pristine beaches, easy-to-ride waves in warm water, and picture-perfect sunsets.

Article by Shannon Farley

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