6 Yoga Poses To Try Post-Surf

By Melanie Kiss

yoga post-surf - dominican republic

Yoga and surf work well together; here our our top yoga poses to practice after a surf session.

At The Yoga Loft, our yoga and surf retreat options are among our most popular for individual and group retreats. Both activities use and challenge the whole body while complimenting each other.

When surfing you are using numerous muscles. While paddling out, you use your triceps, biceps, deltoids, trapezius, abdominals, obliques and latissimus dorsi. During pop-up, you use your pectoralis, deltoids, triceps, quadriceps, glutes and gastrocnemius muscles. While surfing across waves you use your hips.

After any surf session, a yoga practice might be in order. A Yin or restorative yoga style practice will really help loosen the muscles you have used during surfing.

Here are six yoga poses that will help focus on those specific muscles used while surfing:

  1.    Pigeon – Eka Pada Rajakapotasana

This posture is a powerful hip opener. Whether you are doing a beginner’s modification or an advanced variation you will benefit from this pose. Pigeon pose is a great way to create flexibility and mobility in the hips, which will help you with your turns while you surf.

yoga post-surf - cabarete, dominican republic
  1.    Warrior 1 to Warrior 2 – Virabhadrasana I to Virabhadrasana II

This transition from Warrior 1 to Warrior 2 is a great way to work on your balance, breath and stretch. Warrior 1 lengthens the calf muscle by having your back foot on a 45 degree angle. Warrior two is also a hip opener great for mobility. Transitioning from 1 to 2 will focus on using your toes and feet and in turn your balance.

  1.    Cow Face – Gomukhasana

This is a great pose to stretch the glutes, deltoids and triceps. Holding this pose for some time really allows your body to go past the superficial muscles and get a deep stretch.

  1.    Thread The Needle – Parsva Balasana

This is a relaxing pose. It stretches the deltoids and loosens trapezius muscle. Shoulders tend to get very stiff and sore from surfing and this pose helps loosen the muscles and relax the joint.

  1.    Downward Dog – Adho Mukha Svanasana

This posture is great for your gastrocnemius, deltoid and latissimus dorsi. Holding this posture and taking deep breaths not only helps you stretch the muscles you used for surfing but helps calm and relax your entire body.

  1.    Hero – Virasana

This is a major quadriceps stretch. Whether you do one-legged and/or reclining, this pose will surely leave this large muscle group relaxed and rejuvenated.

After an intense surf session, sometimes we may experience sore muscles, which is the result of lactic acid build up in your body. Stretching is the answer. Holding yoga poses for a longer period of time, say 2-4 minutes, may help with flexibility and with muscle tightness and soreness.

Yoga is also a wonderful way to practice and work on your balance, which is essential for surfing. But one of the most important aspects of yoga, that is key for surfers, is the breath. Focusing on the breath and practicing calmness and control. Surfers can optimize this practice on and off their boards.