We caught up with the beautiful and talented Brenda Flores in her home town, Sayulita, Mexico. Brenda recently won silver in the National Longboard Championships and is a dedicated and highly-adept yogi. She shared her best yoga for surfers tips with us and demonstrated four of her favourite pre-surf poses.
What are the main benefits of yoga for you as an athlete?
Playing with balance is something that I enjoy very much and yoga helps me maintain a sense of inner balance. It also allows me to stretch my entire body so that I can be a better surfer.
Which poses do you like to do before a surf?
Before surfing, I like to stretch my arms and legs, I do Cobra pose, as it is similar to getting up on the board, and I sit in Lotus for a few breaths to dial in my concentration.
Which poses do you practice for recovery?
Surfing tightens up my muscles so much that it can sometimes be painful and yoga helps me to release that tension. Some of my favourite poses to stretch out are Warrior 1, Seated Forward Bend and Child’s pose.
How can breathing in yoga improve your surfing?
Relaxing the breath and maintaining calm breathing is essential for surfing and even more so when you’re being rolled by a big wave. That’s why I practice Lotus pose. I close my eyes, breathe in to fill my lungs and exhale until I create a vacuum.
What are your goals with surfing?
My ambition is to win a national and represent my country in the World Championships.
YOGA FOR SURFERS: 4 PRE-SURF POSES
Plank is a great pose to practice before you surf to engage the upper body and activate your core. Check that your wrists are directly under your shoulders and reach back through your heels. Hold the pose for 5-10 breaths, in and out through your nose.
Half-Seated Spinal Twist stretches the outsides of your hips—the glutes and TFL (tensor fascia latae) and loosens up the spine for your turns. Inhale, to lengthen your spine and exhale into the twist. Hold for 3-5 breaths on each side, in and out through your nose.
Eagle pose stretches the outsides of your hips and your upper back muscles. It also helps to dial in your balance and activate your core and glutes. When your left arm is on top, your right leg should be on top and vice versa. Hold for 3-5 breaths on each side, as still as you can.
4. Forearm Stand
Forearm Stand is going to be a distant dream for most of us! But if you have the skills, practising an advanced inversion like this can really great for dialling in your concentration. Hold for as many breaths as you can before coming down from the pose gracefully.
YOGA FOR SURFERS: THE YOGA 15 COURSE
If you are a subscriber, you can head over to SURFER 15—a 15-video course designed specifically for surfers. There are many different parallels between yoga and surfing and the types of people who gravitate to each discipline. Both require significant strength, flexibility and balance but they also share an introspective and meditative quality.
Unfortunately, surfing can be brutal on your body in numerous different ways—from imbalance to misalignment, and instability to overuse, unless that is, you put a serious conditioning and recovery plan in place. This course is designed to:
- Loosen up tight hips and hamstrings.
- Strengthen the core and upper body.
- Stabilise the ankles, knees and pelvis.
- Decompress the lumbar spine.
- Improve breathing efficiency and capacity.
- Enhance balance and proprioception.
- Alleviate lower back, upper back, shoulder and neck pain.
And if you’re not yet a subscriber, what are you waiting for?! Sign up for your FREE 14-Day Trial today.