Yoga for Surfers: Flow II

Hello ocean lovers!!  This is the second in a series of 7 yoga flows for surfers & SUP’s. The objective is to bring attention to areas of the body essential to improve your time in the water.

Primarily we’ll focus on :

Breath

Balance

Shoulders

Back

Core

Virabhadrasana Sequence:

Tadasana – Mountain Pose: Begin standing with your big toes touching and heels slightly apart. Spread your toes and balance your weight evenly on your feet.

Engage your thighs by lifting your knee caps and slightly roll the thighs inward. Then tuck your tail bone and lift through the torso, neck and head.

Bring the shoulders back and relax them. Open the hands facing forward, spreading the fingers wide in a gesture of receptivity. Keep the chin parallel to the floor and soften or close your eyes.  Hold for 5 breaths.

Benefits: Strengthens thighs, knees and ankles. Firms abdomen and buttocks. Improves posture.

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Virabhadrasana I – Warrior I Pose: From Tadasana, take a breath and bring your feet apart about arms width distance. The left foot will be facing directly to the front of the mat, while the right foot will be perpendicular to the front heel at a 90 degree angle.  Square your hips and torso to the front of the mat; tail bone down.

Take a deep inhale, bring your arms up; if possible bring your hands to touch.  Keep the shoulders relaxed and away from the ears.  On your exhale, bend the front knee and come down.  Avoid over extending your front knee; it should be directly over your ankle and you should be able to see your big toe.  Keep the back leg strong, with all corners of the foot firmly on the ground.

Your drishti or gaze is forward or to the sky; eyes can remain close.  Hold for 5 breaths.

Benefits: Stretches the chest, lungs, shoulders, neck, belly and groins.  Strengthens the shoulders, arms and back muscles.  Strengthens and stretches the thighs, calves and ankles.

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Virabhadrasana II – Warrior II Pose: From Warrior I, keep your feet in the same position.  Take a breath and on your exhale open your arms, torso and hips parallel to the right side of your mat.

Shoulders remain relaxed and away from ears.  Left arm is pointing forward, while right arm is pointing to the back.  Hands are face down.  Drishti is to the front. Hold for 5 breaths.

Benefits: Stretches the chest, lungs, shoulders, neck, belly and groins.  Strengthens the shoulders, arms and back muscles.  Strengthens and stretches the thighs, calves and ankles.

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Reverse Virabhadrasana– Reverse Warrior: From Warrior II, take a deep inhale and bring the left arm towards the sky, palm facing back.  Right hand down to the back leg, palm facing down.  Legs and hips remain parallel to the right side of your mat as in Warrior II.

Keep your gaze and chest toward towards the sky.  Hold for 5 breaths, then return to

Virabhadrasana II – Warrior II Pose

Benefits: Stretches the groins, hips and obliques.  Strengthens the quads, arms and neck.  Opens the chest and shoulders.

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Parsvakonasana with shoulder circles – Extended Side Angle Pose with shoulder circles: From Warrior II, keep the feet and hips in the same position (parallel to the right side of your mat).  Inhale while reaching forward with your left arm, lengthening the left side of your body.

Exhale and lay the left side of your torso as close as possible to the top of your left thigh. Place your left fingers or hand on the floor or a block, just outside of your left foot. Option to place the left hand on your right thigh for extra support.  Press your left knee against your left arm to twist the torso towards the sky.

With your right arm make shoulder circles.  Match your breath to your shoulder circles.   Keep your gaze and chest toward towards the sky.  Repeat 3 times each way.  On your inhale return to Virabhadrasana II – Warrior II Pose.

Benefits: Strengthens and stretches legs, knees and ankles.  Stretches the groins, spine, waist, chest, lungs and shoulders.

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Option to place hand to thigh for support.

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UtthitaTrikonasana – Extended Triangle Pose: From Warrior II, keep the feet and hips in the same position (parallel to the right side of your mat).  Straighten the front leg and lift your knee cap to engage your quads.

Inhale deeply and reach forward with your left arm lengthening the left side of your body.  On your exhale place the front hand on your shin, outside your front foot or on a block.

As you continue to breathe rotate your chest towards the sky and stack your shoulders open.  Raise your right hand towards the sky, hand parallel to shoulders.  Keep one straight line of energy from crown of the head to feet, maintaining your entire spine aligned.

Keep your drishti straight ahead or on your extended hand to the sky.

Benefits: Strengthens and stretches legs, knees and ankles.  Stretches the hips, groins, hamstrings, calves, spine, chest and shoulders.  Relieves backache.

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Parsvottanasana with reverse prayer arms – Intense Side Stretch with reverse prayer arms: From Trikonasana, inhale and return your torso to an upright position.  Keep the feet and hips in the same position (parallel to the right side of your mat).  Exhale and rotate your torso and hips, squaring them to the front of the mat.  Tuck your tail bone under.

Inhale and lengthen your torso backward slightly; bring the palms together behind the back with the fingertips pointing down.  Turn the fingertips in towards the spine and slide the outer edges of the palms up the back into a prayer position.  If reverse prayer is not available to you, grasp at the elbows.  Exhale, lean down towards your front leg, keeping the torso parallel to it.

If your soulders are really tight can keep the fingers or hands on the floor, or on a block.  Relax the head down. Hold for 3-5 breaths.

Benefits: Strengthens the legs and stretches the spine, shoulders, wrists, hips and hamstrings.  Improves posture and balance.

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Return to Tadasana – Mountain Pose

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*Reverse feet to opposite side and repeat sequence.  Also, you can add this sequence to Flow I for a more complete workout.

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