The Yoga - Surfing Connection Video

In this video Patrick thinks about surfing from a yoga student's point of view. It turns out that a lot of the same skills we gain from practicing yoga are key for good surfing! http://www.yogagarden.jp (Music from Reliant K and Yonderboi)
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Hi, this is Patrick. Recently I have been noticing that there are lot of videos on yoga for surfers. This is great. These videos often explore yoga from a surfer's perspective. But what I haven't seen is anything about surfing for yogis, in which surfing is explored from a yoga student's perspective. If you look at the surfboard, you will see a long piece of wood running down the middle called the stringer. This helps surfers know where there body is even when they go to the sides it helps to find an alignment on the wave. Many times you can see the same kind of alignment on yoga mats. So there is obviously a connection between these arts and that's what these videos are going to go into detail about. The first and most important part of surfing is actually catching the wave. To catch the wave you need to keep your board into the water as it picks up speed. You can see here the surfer is pushing his hands into the sides of the board on the waves, keeping the nose down. This allows the board to gain speed with the wave. Essentially this is cobra pose like you might do in a sun salutation sequence. Here on the surfboard you can see, if the surfer paddles, paddles, picks up speed and at the right time, pushes the board down into the wave. So if you do yoga you already know one of the supportive actions for catching a wave, cobra pose. If you watch a really good surfer, seems kind of like magic, all of a sudden they go from lying down to standing up, the compasses. What's happening underneath all that water. Well, there is an action called the pop up which requires arm strength, core strength, speed and balance all together. Let's check that again in slow motion. The arms and shoulders extend strongly at the same time the core sucks the knees and legs under the butt. Strictly do a good pop up but if you do yoga you already have a lot of experience getting knees and the body like that for your sun salutations. You can have even more of a feeling forward if you do a jumping style like this. Surfing instructors are always really impressed by how fast yoga students are best for pop up. Thinking of balance, you think is something like this the body facing forward and the hands out on side. But of course, in surfing or any board sport for that matter, you are not facing forward. You are facing the side. This requires a whole different sense of balance. Check this surfer out as he catches this monster wave. He is doing fine, but you can see right here his center of gravity comes outside the line of the board. Outside that stringer. That's it for him. So in surfing the key balance point is not front and back balance but to two sides, something I called the planer balance as if the body is between two large sheets of glass. If you do yoga you are already familiar with this feeling, the pose is like this. Half bend pose. In this pose the entire body is balanced on one leg, but you still maintain a very narrow plane. Nothing is out of mind. I will show you this pose again on the surfboard and you can see how nothing; no part of the body is go outside the edges of that board. This side to side orientation of balance doesn't come naturally to the human brain which is say used to be front and backwards, but if you practice yoga, you have already the sense of this kind of balance before you even step on the board. Okay so you caught the wave and you popped up. Now it's time to actually ride it. If you watch a good surfer you will see that it is seems almost effortless. Their bodies are loose, their hands are slack, nothing is tense. So how exactly are they maintaining their balance while being so relaxed? The secret is all called the lower joints body. You can see here in tree pose. If I lock my knees and toes. It seems like the whole body falls with. However if I keep my knee and ankle and toes relaxed, it gains a high degree of lightness and flexibility much like a real tree. Real tree is if you go and push and they will bend with you, and the

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