Why is Yoga good for our body and how is it connected to surfing?

“Why is Yoga beneficial for our body, and why is it often associated with surfing?

Many of you are likely aware that we offer yoga classes in our surfcamp. But why do we do that, and why is Yoga frequently linked with surfing? Let’s dive into the history of Yoga, its benefits, connections to surfing, and specific exercises that combine these two distinct sports.

The exact year when Yoga was ‘invented’ is unclear, but scientists have determined it originated around 5000 years ago in ancient India, evolving from early spiritual and meditative practices. There isn’t just one way to practice Yoga; over the years, various schools of Yoga have emerged, focusing on different aspects such as physical postures (asanas) and breath control (pranayama).

But why do people practice Yoga? What are the benefits? Firstly, it’s important to note that the positive effects listed in this text typically manifest more strongly and effectively with regular practice. Nonetheless, some benefits may begin to surface soon or even during your initial practice.

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Let’s start with some specific benefits. Yoga activates the parasympathetic nervous system, thereby reducing stress and potentially improving sleep. Due to the parasympathetic activation, Yoga leads to reduced breathing and heart rate, benefiting cardiovascular function. It also releases muscle tension while simultaneously improving strength over an extended period. Other noticeable body changes include enhanced balance, increased flexibility often associated with relief from back pain. Overall, Yoga may foster body awareness, leading to better posture and increased self-esteem. The focus on the body also establishes a connection between the body and spirit. Thanks to its stress-relieving effects, Yoga aids in managing anxiety, burnout, and can contribute to a brighter mood and increased energy throughout the day, making it beneficial for mental health in various ways.

Over the years, numerous types of Yoga have emerged, each with a distinct focus and approach to practice. If you’re new to Yoga, it’s recommended to explore different Yoga schools to find what suits you best or if you want to practice different types.

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Now, let’s address the question of why Yoga is frequently associated with surfing. One of the crucial elements that bind these sports is the emphasis on balance, strength, and flexibility. Yoga can significantly improve these skills essential for surfing. It can also serve as a warm-up before a session, a post-surf stretch to release muscle tension, or a calming practice to enhance overall body awareness.

For readers curious about its effectiveness and where to start, we’ll introduce some specific exercises helpful for improving your surfing. However, especially for beginners, it’s recommended to start with a Yoga teacher;)

  1. Tree Pose/Vrikshasana (balance)

2. Downward Facing Dog/Adho Mukha Svanasana (strengthens arms, shoulders, deep stretch for legs and shoulders)

3. Warrior Pose 1, 2, and Variations/Virabhadrasana (concentration, endurance, stretching, balance, opening hips and shoulders, improving body posture)

4. Pigeon Pose/Kapotasana (hip opener, prevents injuries, increases hip mobility)

5. Mountain Pose/Tadasana (trains legs, improves balance)

6. Cobra/Bhujangasana (strengthens lower back, opens chest, activates shoulders and arms)

7. Chair/Utkatasana (strengthens tight muscles)

8. Garland Pose/Malasana (stabilization, stretching inner leg muscles, calming)

9. Child’s Pose/Balsasana (stretch for lower back)

10. Knee to Chest Pose/Apanasana (relaxing and stretching for your spine)

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11. Standing Forward Fold/Parsvottanasana (stretches lower back and back parts of the legs).”

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