I have never been a patient learner. This is why I had almost given up on the idea of learning how to surf. ‘The water is too cold.’ ‘The waves are too high.’ ‘I’m just not feeling it today.’, all excuses I used profusely as my husband and friends tried to convince me to rent a board at the beach on our trips.
The truth is, surfing is tough and my laziness coupled with my fear of sucking at it, got the best of me. Yep, fear of failure. We have all encountered it at some point. I just really wanted to avoid the embarrassment of looking like a seal rather than a mermaid on a surfboard. Anyhow, this was fine. After all, my justifications had proven to be quite convincing over the years. They had at least successfully convinced me.
With a 28 degrees Celsius transparent ocean, mellow waves and Michel Roque, one of the best surfers in the country as an instructor at my disposal, I was trapped.
This is until I found myself teaching a yoga retreat at Taíba Surf & Yoga last year and was confronted with the fact that EVERYONE around me was a surfer or at least a surfer to become.
With a 28 degrees Celsius transparent ocean, mellow waves and Michel Roque, one of the best surfers in the country as an instructor at my disposal, I was trapped. Especially when another type of fear started kicking in: FOMO. One thing lead to another and I agreed to ten days of daily surfing lessons with Michel. And it was, to put it into Barney Stinson’s words, LEGENDARY. Or, for less dramatic effect, extremely insightful, proving me once more that shifting my perspective and staying open to new things can lead to unexpected adventures, excitement and joy!
But here is the downside of my success story, my shoulders, neck and back started to feel sore from paddling. To remedy this, I thought of a short sweet post surf yoga sequence that aims at releasing tension in the upper body. It is accessible for everyone and you can support yourself with as many props as needed. Here it is. For you. The release after the effort, the icing on the cake, the passionfruit in your caipirinha. My invitation to you to keep calm and surf on. Enjoy!
But here is the downside of my success story, my shoulders, neck and back started to feel sore from paddling. To remedy this, I thought of a short sweet post surf yoga sequence that aims at releasing tension in the upper body.
Child’s Pose: Kneel onto the floor, and sit back onto your ankles. Keep your knees wide. Big toes can touch if this feels supportive. Lean forward at the waist and place your forehead on the floor or on a pillow. If your hips pop up, don’t worry about it. You can place a pillow on top of your heels. As you stay in the pose for 2-5min, keep inviting your hips to meet your heels. Relax and breathe.
Seated Eagle: Sit on your knees with an upright spine. Make sure your feet rest flat on the ground with soles turned upward, supporting your glutes for the posture. Sitting on a block (or two!) feels very nice in this pose. Then stretch your arms straight forward, parallel to the floor, and spread your scapulas wide across the back of your torso. Cross the arms in front of your torso so that the right arm is above the left, then bend your elbows. Snug the right elbow into the crook of the left, and raise the forearms perpendicular to the floor. Tuck you chin in to create length in the neck. Stay for 1-2min. Switch side.
Anahatasana: From hands and knees position, melt your heart towards the earth to the degree that feels appropriate. Bring your triceps on blocks. Bend your elbows and join the palms of the hands letting your finger tips brush the back of the heart. Hold for 3-5 minutes, breathing deeply into the shoulders, neck, spine, chest and lower back.
Broken Wing Pose: Lie on your belly. Extend your right arm and gently roll onto your right side. Bend your left leg, until you feel a nice stretch on the front of the right shoulder. Place a pillow or a block under the head if necessary and begin relaxing into the pose. Stay for 2min. Switch side moving very slowly.
Half Cow-Face Variation: Sit in a comfortable crossed-legged position on the floor, a pillow or a block. Reach your left arm forward, palm up, and draw your arm towards the sky. Then bend your elbow and bring your hand to the back of your head or in between your shoulder blades. The other hand reaches toward the lifted elbow for support. Stay for at least 1 min on each side then bring both hands to your knees, draw the shoulders slightly back and take five deep cleansing breaths. Either stay in a seated position for a few minutes or lie down on your back for Savasana.