Yoga for Surfers: Flow V

We’re ALMOST done peeps!  This is the fifth 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

Vinyasa Flow III:

 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.  Hands to heart center in Anjali, Prayer Mudra.  Close your eyes.

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Urdhva Hastasana – Upward Salute: From Anjali, take a deep inhale and sweep your arms out to the sides and up towards the sky.  Extend your elbows and press your palms firmly together.  Keep your shoulders relaxed and away from the ears.  Engage your lower belly to tuck your tail bone.  Your gaze is towards sky.

Benefits: Stretches the abdominals and shoulders.

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Uttanasana – Standing Forward Bend Pose: From Urdhva Hastasana exhale fold forward, lift your hips and begin straightening the back of your legs.  Let your torso and head come down and relax.

If possible bring your hands or fingertips to the floor, otherwise use a block or simply grasp your elbows.  You can stay here for 3-5 breaths, elongating the spine further with each exhale.

Benefits: Stretches the hips, hamstrings and calves. Strengthens thighs and knees. Keeps the spine strong and flexible.

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Ardha Uttanasana – Standing Half Forward Bend: From Uttanasana press your palms or fingertips into the floor, shins or block. Inhale and straighten your elbows and arch your torso away from your thighs.  Create space and lengthen your spine forward.

Keep your drishti or gaze forward holding your arch.  On your exhale release your torso back into Uttanasana.

Benefits: Stretches the front torso.  Strengthens the back and improves posture.

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Adho Mukha Svanasana – Downward Facing Dog Pose: From Uttanasana, inhale and bring your hands about an inch or two forward from your shoulders.  Exhale, step your feet back two to three inches and lift your hips all the way to the sky.  Actively press the ground away from you.

Make sure your hands are firmly planted on the floor and all fingers are spread evenly. Keep your knees slightly bent.  Inhale keeping the spine in one straight line from tail bone to the crown of your head and rotate your arms inwards so your armpits are facing one another. Exhale, begin to straighten your legs by bringing your heels to the ground.  Engage your kneecaps and quadriceps to protect your knees.

 Your drishti is on the ground directly in front of you or you can keep your eyes closed.  Relax and hold for 5 full breaths.

Benefits: Stretches the shoulders, hamstrings, calves, arches and hands.  Strengthens the arms and legs.

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Plank Pose: From Down Dog, press forward so your shoulders are aligned with your wrists once again.  Keep one strong straight line from head to heels.  As in Down Dog, press your hands and spread your fingers evenly away from the floor.  Don’t allow your chest or hips to sink; keep them active.

Slide your shoulders back away from your ears and elongate your neck.  Your drishti is directly in front of you.  You can also opt to place your knees on the ground for more support.  Hold and breathe for 3-5 rounds.

Benefits: Strengthens arms, wrists, spine, quads and abdominals.

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Chaturunga Dandasana – Four-Limbed Staff Pose: From Plank, inhale deeply and bring the shoulders slightly forward.  On your exhale begin to lower down by bending the elbows while keeping them tightly pressed onto the rib cage.  Don’t allow your lower back to sink and your hips and buttocks to lift.  Maintain the same diagonal line you had in Plank, from crown to heels as you lower all the way to your belly.

Your drishti is on the ground directly below you.

Benefits: Strengthens arms, shoulders and legs.  Develops core stability.

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Salabhasana– Locust Pose: From Chaturunga, lie on your belly and rotate your thighs inward.  Release the arms by your side, palms up.  Bring your forehead to the floor.

Take a deep inhale and on your exhale lift your head, chest, arms and legs off your mat.  Keep your hips and lower belly firmly on the ground.  Continue to extend through your arms and legs, maintaining the inner thighs rolled inward.

Lengthen from your neck, keeping your gaze is forward.  Hold for 3-5 breaths.

Benefits: Stretches the shoulders, chest, belly and thighs.  Strengthens the back, triceps and buttocks.

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Dhanurasana– Bow Pose: From Salabhasana, exhale and release your body all the way to the mat. Inhale deeply and on your exhale bend your knees bringing your heels as close as you can to your buttocks.  Reach back with your hands and grab your ankles.

Take a deep inhale and lift your heels and thighs away from the mat. Your head and torso will also be lifted towards the sky.  As you continue to lift, press your shoulder blades towards the spine and down, away from the ears.

Keep your drishti forward and take 3-5 rounds of breath.

Benefits: Stretches the front body: throat, chest, abdomen, psoas, groins, thighs and ankles.  Strengthens the back muscles.  Improves posture.

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Uttana Shishosana – Extended Puppy Pose: From Dhanurasana, exhale and release your body back onto the mat.  Inhale, come into a ‘tabletop’ position; shoulders staked directly over your wrist, hips over the knees.

Exhale, walk your hands out in front, lowering your chest to the mat.  Actively press the palms on your mat, lifting the elbows.  Keep your hips lifted towards the sky.

Relax the neck and place your forehead on the mat.  Hold for 5 breaths.

Benefits: Stretches the spine and shoulders.

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Virasana – Hero Pose: From Puppy Pose, on a breath sit your hips on your heels and lift the torso into an upright position.  You should be in a kneeling position, buttocks on your heels.

Keep the knees together as you separate the feet.  Bring your buttocks to the mat between your feet.  Hands are resting on your thighs or knees.  Keep your gaze neutral or your eyes closed.  Hold for 3-5 breaths.

Benefits: Stretches the thighs, knees and ankles.  Strengthens the arches.

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Parighasana– Gate Pose: From Virasana, bring your knees together back into an upright kneeling position.  Stretch your right leg out, pressing the sole of your foot to the mat.  Keep your left knee directly under the left hip; right foot parallel. Tuck your tail bone and engage your knee caps.

On an inhale, bring your arms out in a t-shaped position, palms down. Exhale and bend your torso to the right over the right leg and place your right hand down on the shin, ankle or block outside the right leg. Simultaneously, bring the left arm over the left ear.

Keep your gaze on the are extended to the sky.  Hold for 3-5 breaths.  Return to center and repeat on opposite side.

Benefits: Stretches the torso, spine and hamstrings.  Opens the shoulders.

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Ustrasana – Camel Pose: From Gate Pose, return to an upright kneeling position and tuck your toes under.  Make a fist with both hands.  Take a deep inhale, tuck your chin to your chest and place your fists to your sacrum.  Keep your elbows pointing towards the back, parallel to one another.

On your exhale begin to bend your back, as you lift your chest to the sky.  Continue to press your hips forward so they remain parallel to your knees.  Bring your hands to your heels and release your toes.

You can keep your neck tucked or release the head back, without crunching your vertebrae together.  Keep the neck elongated and your drishti to the sky, or the back of the room.  Hold for 3-5 breaths.

Benefits: Stretches the front body: throat, chest, abdomen, psoas, groins, thighs and ankles.  Strengthens the back muscles.  Improves posture.

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Balasana – Child’s Pose: From Ustrasana, inhale and return your hands to your sacrum; tuck your toes under.  Exhale, lift your chest and return to an upright kneeling position.  Sit on your heels.

Inhale, bring your big toes together; knees come wide apart.  On your exhale, bring your forehead and chest to the floor between your thighs.  Hands are stretched forward, palms down; or backwards, palms up.  Hold for 5 breaths.

Benefits: Relieves back and neck pain.  Stretches hips, thighs and ankles.

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Follow this sequence on its own or add it to Flow I, II, III & IV for a longer, deeper practice.  Check out our amazingly comfortable Organic Cotton Yoga Pants… Namaste!

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