Living in Hawaii, (we are so lucky!) particularly the North Shore of Oahu, being in the water is a way of life for most of us. As a massage therapist on the North Shore, I see a lot of surfing related aches, pains, and injuries; lower back and neck pain are common problems for my clients. I have personally experienced some shoulder pain recently, which probably could have been prevented with some simple stretching before and after my session.
In order to surf well, you need to move well. In addition to having amazingly positive effects on the body and mind, I believe that yoga goes hand in hand with staying surf fit. It helps to increase strength and flexibility, prevent injury, gives you better balance, and keeps you nice and loose in the water. Here are a few simple yoga poses to keep you feeling good in and out of the water. Remember to warm up before heading out and to stretch after your surf sesh. Your body will be very thankful!
Downward Dog: Strengthens arms, stretches shoulders and back of the legs, lengthens the spine relieving low back pain.
Upward Dog: Increases flexibility and strengthens the spine. Opens the chest and shoulders, and front of thighs.
Side Lunges: Opens the hips, increases flexibility in the hips, inner and outer thigh.
Eagle (arms only): Stretches the upper back and shoulders, creating more space between the scapula.