The secret to being able to surf with as much looseness and freedom as a super-stoked grommet is simple – it’s called YOGA... A surfers best friend...

I know, I know… if you are a surfer, there may be a voice way back in the back of your brain that says, "I’m just too tight to do that yoga stuff."

What a shame. If you hear some kind of rendition of those words in your internal dialogue then do yourself a favour and silence it. You're missing out on the most intelligent activity that any surfer can do. Surfing without doing yoga is like being trapped in a 5 mm wetsuit. Surfing after you have yoga in your life is like ripping in tropical water in just your boardshorts. No crust. No thick restictive layer holding you back. Man, you will be bionic. Loose. Powerful. Free. Capable of the snappiest turns. Possessing the focus of a Samuri warrior in the most extreme conditions. It’s magic.

One of the main places that we can loose our flexibility quickly is in the shoulders. Doing the following 10 minutes of shoulder openers will not only increase your paddling power, but also extend the lease on your body. Remember – it’s just ten minutes. Enjoy.

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1 – Da Pose: One arm front body stretch:

Why: Stretches primarily the pectoral, deltoids and biceps on one side.


EOIN FINN (yogi, blissologist, ocean worhipper) teaches yoga Vancouver most days and in Tofino on Wednesday Nights

He will be teaching a Yoga for Surfing Workshop in Tofino BC Fri Aug 27th.

Also, If you are into to fun and positive vibrations, check out one of the YES - Yoga, Ecology and Surf retreats.

How: 1 – Hold onto on to a pole with your left arm (the side of your car, a tree, a wall, etc. all work equally well.)
2 – Now lean your weight away from the pole.
3 – Be specific with your alignment. To really isolate the pecs and biceps, move the left side of the body forward and the right side of the body back, so your shoulders stay square.
4 - Also, try and stand as upright as possible with the pelvis in neutral (not tilted forward or back too much)
Hold one minute and repeat on the next side.

2 – Da Pose: Two arm front body stretch stretch:

Why? - Streches both the pectoral, deltoids and biceps on both sides simultaneously.

How: 1 – Hold a towel, or a strap, or a t-shirt with both arms. Choose a width that is comfortable for you.

2 – Slowly draw the towel over your head, so the arms are behind your back.

3 – The body will want to find the path of least resistance by tilting the rib cage backwards. This is because the pecs attach to the ribs. Shorten (contract) the abdominal muscles that attach from the pelvis to the rib cage to bring your front ribs down in the direction of your pelvis. In other words, don’t arch your back.
Breathe deeply for one minute.

3 – Da Pose: Half Moon – side body stretch.

Why? - This stretches the side of the body especially the oblique muscles (which help you twist in surfing), the lats and seratus anterior muscles (which help generate the pulling power when you paddle)

How: 1 – Press both feet down the ground, spread through the toes to really root the feet.
2- Let the right hand hold the left wrist.
3 – On an inhalation, reach upwards first through the hands in order to get the body and spine as long as possible.
4 – Exhale, reach the arms to the right as you press the hips left . Look up and under the left biceps muscle
5 – Don’t "shrug" your shoulders. As you reach through the arms, draw the shoulder blades down the back so you do not create tension in the traps.
6 - Stay aligned. The right shoulder rolls under, the left shoulder rolls back. The Right side of the pelvis presses forward and the arms reach behind you slightly.
Relax and breathe for one minute and repeat on the next side.
The next three stretches can be done in standing, seated or in a kneeling position.

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power or ashtanga yoga develops so much more than flexibility - you will become stronger and more focused