After a big day out on the waves, one of the best things any surfer can do is relax, stretch and breathe to calm the body and mind. Yoga is a fantastic way to reach this chilled state, allowing the muscles to gently repair and restore for the next surf session! Our sunrise and sunset classes at Amouage are full of surfers, all ready to prepare their bodies and minds for the surf ahead or just wind-down after a fun day.
Our Surf Maroc yogis make sure all of our guests receive the best practice for surfer bodies. In our Yoga for Surfers posts, our yogis will be sharing some of their favourite post-surf poses. Today our yogi, Steffi, is focusing on arms and chest poses which are perfect after a long day paddling.
Method: Kneel with knees hip distance apart and press your shins/feet into the floor. Place your palms on your lower back (fingers pointing down). Engage the belly and tailbone then lift the chest and draw your elbows together to open your front and create a backbend. Hold this position as you let your hands fall to your feet then lift your shoulders. Gently untuck the chin and lower the head to look back. Hold for 3-5 breaths.
Benefits: This nicely stretches the chest and shoulders as well as the quads.
Pose: Sunbird/ Extended Table (with one leg bent)
Method: Starting on all fours, lift the left leg and reach out with the right arm. Now bend the left leg and try to bring the left heel to the left butt cheek. Reach around with the right arm and catch hold of your left ankle. Press the left foot into your right hand, and hold for up to 5 breaths, then change sides.
Benefits: Find a stretch in your right shoulder, your left hip flexor and quads.
Pose: Warrior II (with side angle option)
Method: See Humble Warrior for the Warrior leg stance, but make sure hips are facing the long edge of the mat. Start with arms straight as a T-shape, look over your middle finger and hold. For a side angle pose, bring your front arm down to rest on your front leg and the other arm to reach above your head. Hold for 3-5 breaths and change sides.
Benefits: Warrior II is great for leg/hip, and the side angle arms opens and stretch opens up the chest side of the body.
Pose: Cowface Arms
Method: This can be done using a strap if shoulders are tight/sore from paddling. Sitting upright, lift both arms high above the head and start by bringing one arm around like you’re trying to “reach for an itch” between your shoulder blades. Then bend the other arm down behind your head and reach for the other hand or strap. Make sure the top elbow is lifted and hold at least 5-10 breaths, and then change sides.
Benefits: This pose opens up the shoulder girdle and rotator cuff while stretching the biceps and triceps.
Pose: Humble Warrior
Method: Place your legs in the Warrior position – right leg in front with a wide stance, back foot flat at a slight angle and front knee is bent up to 90 degrees. Interlace your hands behind your back, take an inhale and pull hands down lift the chest exhale. Exhale to dive forward and bring the right shoulder inside the front leg. Hold the pose for 3-5 breaths, and repeat with the left shoulder.
Benefits: Great opening for the shoulders, also for the Psoas muscle (for the hips and lower back).
Pose: Supported Reclining Fish
Method: Lay on a bolster, pillow or pile of newspapers if you don’t have classic yoga props at home. Sit in front of the bolster which is positioned in the small of your back. Using your arms and elbows, lower yourself down to release the body into the bolster and let the shoulders melt open. Arms can be either in a T or cactus shape, or if it feels good for the shoulders, then over the head. Legs can be in any comfortable position and hold for as long as you want!
Benefits: This is a heart opening pose which stretches the front of the body and shoulders, perfect after a long time paddling.
Pose: Eagle Pose
Method: Start standing firmly and find a focus point to look at. Bend your knees and bring your weight to your right foot. Lift your left foot and bring your left thigh over your right, and if possible hook your left foot behind your right calf muscle. Bring your arms in front, then cross your left arm under your right. Bend the elbows and wrap the arms and hands to press your hands together (if possible) and reach fingertips to the ceiling. Hold for one minute and gently unravel.
Benefits: Stretches the shoulders and upper back while strengthening the lower body from balancing.
Join Steffi (@therollingyogi) and our other yogis for daily yoga sessions at Amouage, or at Villa Mandala for our Yoga Surf Retreats.
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