About yoga & surf

Tuesday, October 21, 2014
I've never been that kind of surfer girl, all Indian tea and flowers in my hair. I did started attending a yoga class once, but ended after a while for lack of constancy.
Surfing and (before) snowboarding I've always had a love-hate relationship with my body, my always sore muscles and that feeling of tiredness that won't leave me for a while.

That's why I decided it's time to change. We own our body A LOT for all the efforts it makes to let us entertain. So, if we can't just treat it as a temple, let's say we can start by treating it as a luxury Parisian loft.... Which is not that bad!

Today I'm sharing with you the itw Surfragette had with the lovely Shaini Verdon - yogini, surfer, amazing human being, as well as a dear friend of mine. Shaini will tell us how practicing yoga improved her life and surf.
Maybe I'll start myself again!


MARTA: Hi Shaini! I'm so excited to be interviewing you! Introduce yourself to Surfragette's readers.
SHAINI: Hi Marta! Thanks so much for asking me, feel very honored! Love your blogposts & the whole retro vibe around Surfragette! So a bit about me: I am a yoga teacher, sharer, lover, carer, nature dweller, yogini, longboard surfing, bohemian traveler. Living life with my beautiful partner & our 2 dogs amidst an amazing coastal national park in the southwest of Portugal, where you and I have met each other over the years, sharing some stoke on some blissful waves.

M: When did you approach to yoga and why? What did inspire you?
S: My love for yoga started 14 years ago. And was obvious that it was going to happen, with my lovely bohemian hippy parents who shared their love for travelling & new age ways of living with me. Ever since then I have traveled around the world looking for waves & yoga teachers who I had the great experience to share yoga with.


M: How do you feel while doing yoga?
S: Yoga means union, union of the body, mind & soul. And this is exactly what it feels like. It makes me feel complete, spacious and more at ease. I guess in a way just like surfing, as this also gives you that feeling of oneness with the wave, no thoughts, just totally in the present moment. Surfing just misses out on the spaciousness of the body, as usually after a good, long surf session I feel more cramped up and in need of a good yoga session.

M: I've always wandered about the benefits of practicing yoga. How does it help in your everyday life?
S: Yoga helps me in so many ways in my everyday life. It helps me being aware of my body, my mind, how I react to different situation. Taking time before I react and seeing the moment first, nearly like life is more in slow motion because of practicing yoga, if that makes sense?

M: A lot of surfers practice it. Do you reckon yoga is related to surf? Why?
S: I always joke that yoga is great for my surfing, but surfing not so much for my yoga. As far as the body is concerned this is true, as Yoga really opens you up for your surf session, creates more balance, more strength, more flexibility. As for the mind yoga does as much for surfing, as surfing for yoga.  As I realized that surfing is pure meditation once you have got that wave, pure focus, I think many yogis take years & years to come to that moment, ha ha, maybe they should start surfing.


M: Did it change you as a surfer? How?
S: Yes absolutely. It helped me with my take offs, my breathe, my fear of bigger waves, all though the latter is still there.

M: Do you have any tips to give to surfers who want to start practicing yoga (like me, for example)?
S: Start with a nice and easy class, use the yoga to create alignment & space in the body and not for an extra aerobic workout, as you already do enough of that with surfing. The best yoga traditions to look for that offer this are Iyengar or Anusara.

M: Do have other advice for our beautiful readers?
S: One of the main things I have seen in the last 5 years that I have thought yoga to surfers at different surf schools and at Yogaion (Waves Within retreats) is that nearly all surfers create lower back problems, because they over arch the lower back too much while on their board. The best trick for this is to push your tailbone, which makes your pubic bone touch the board (much easier on a longer board..) try it on dry land first and then you know how it should feel in the water, so you can protect your lower back!


Namaste & with love,
Shaini (Yogaion, Waves Within retreats)



Thank you so much Shaini! It's been a pleasure talking with you, as usual.
Now I think I'm ready to go and get some stretching & moves done ;)



Credits // Author: Marta Tomasini & Shaini Verdon

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