Yoga is often wrongly used just to refer to form physical postures or poses. In reality it is only a small part of it. The ancient discipline includes also physical, mental and spiritual methods to bring balance into a person’s life. It’s not about competition, or being able to twist the body like a snake or do headstands and balancing acts. It’s about what each individual gains out of it.
Buddha was asked, “What have you gained from meditation?”
He replied “Nothing! However, let me tell you what I have lost:
Anger, Anxiety, Depression, Insecurity, Fear of old age and death”
Throughout life everybody collects dramatic experiences. In Yoga language those past experiences are called samskaras. Samskaras go very deep in each individual human being. They belong to the realm of the unconscious mind and construct the human personality.
Yoga teaches you to be aware of them and how you can get rid of them by simply noticing them.
Balance poses improve balance, not only in the body but also in the mind. It leads to improved coordination, increased strength and developing stability. Balance is a major key for surfing. As you get older, improved stability and balance results in fewer injuries that come from falling.
Also physical balance is important, because life sometimes seems out of control and hectic, and the balance helps you to cope with it.
- BETTER BREATHING TECHNIQUE
Slower breathing results into tranquillity, because it decreases the stress hormones cortisone and adrenaline. Controlled breathing has been proven to increase alertness and to boost your immune system. For centuries yogis have used breath control, or pranayama, to promote concentration and improve vitality. Buddha advocated breath-meditation as a way to reach enlightenment.
- LOWER STRESS
Meditation is an important part of yoga, which makes you aware of your thoughts and gives you clarity of your own mind. In time you will be able to manage stressful situations better. When you’ve established your peace of mind it can result in overall mental health improvements.
- IMPROVE FLEXIBILITY
After some time your flexibility will improve and tight muscles will release. You should always keep in your mind that yoga is not a competition and every body is unique and has a different type of flexibility. Never compare yourself with your neighbours on the mat. It’s not about who is the best, it’s about how much you improve your own flexibility.
- STRENGTHENS YOUR SELF-CONFIDENCE
There are tons of spiritual benefits from yoga. You gain mental strength and you start feeling more happy and free. Yoga boosts your mood, you begin to learn to love your body and you start building appreciation for the people and experiences around you.
- HEALTH BENEFITS
There are many health benefits achieved by yoga including more oxygen for the brain, lower blood pressure and boost immunity. Better back posture may be achieved as well as possibly reducing lower back pain as it can bring elasticity to the spine and strengthen the muscles in the back.
Those suffering from depression may notice improvements in their wellbeing by consistently practicing yoga. There are studies that show that yoga helps with emotional awareness and some people also start mindful eating which significantly lowers the risk of heart disease.
- YOGA & SURFING – A PERFECT MATCH
Yoga definitely benefits surfers and vice versa. Yogis all over the world can benefit from the knowledge of surfers. The benefits that yoga has on surfing are that it improves the core strength, which is very important for surfing and to achieve better results both in and out of the water. When you paddle out to catch some waves, you need flexibility and strength in the shoulders, back and hips for the pop up, paddling and turns. Yoga strengthens and opens these areas, which are very important to progress on your surfing skills. Once you start incorporating yoga into your before and after surf routine you will quite likely find that you don’t have those aches, pains and knots the next day.
- PREVENT INJURIES & HEAL THE BODY
Yoga makes you recover faster, if you have sore muscles from surfing a lot. If you keep on doing yoga your body will be better at handling the load of surfing every day.
- BETTER SLEEP
Yoga is a gentle way to wind down your day. Yoga calms brain activity and helps to improve your sleep. Certain stretches can prevent waking up in the middle of the night due to stiffness, aches and pains.
- YOU CAN DO IT EVERYWHERE!
Either at home, at the beach, in the forest, or even after climbing a mountain. All you need is a yoga mat and you’re ready to practice any type of yoga you want. You don’t need perfect sunshine weather for it, even a rainy session can be a unique experience.
Namaste & Stay Salti,