Chaturanga, Burpees and Paddling

I have written before about becoming a stronger surfer and becoming a stronger yogi. All my workouts in general are about becoming a stronger athlete, but I noticed a decline in my surfing ability lately. I would get out in the waves and be tired. My arms would be on fire, and my body would just be exhausted. I thought, “How could this be?”. Between all of the burpees, weights, supermans, and Chaturangas; I shouldn’t be this exhausted from paddling. Or am I doing the wrong workout?

Recently, there was a blog article on Craftysurf.com titled, ” Surf Training: The Secret“, so naturally I was drawn to this topic. In the blog post, she states the secret is more paddling. Not all the gym workouts I have been doing, not all the Chaturangas that I have been practicing, even though I’m pretty good at it now, it’s paddling.

I sat with this post for a while. I was the strongest in the Summer and Fall when I could surf 3-4 times a week. Recently, due to work and bad weather in California, surfing 3-4 times a week is rare. Maybe my paddling isn’t as strong as it used to be?

Luckily, she offers easy advice: go out an paddle. While I think it’s important to keep going with the Chaturangas, burpees and my other workouts, she makes the point of no other workout is equivalent to paddling. So, I did, last Friday afternoon. I just got on my longboard and paddled, and then paddled some more. Liking this idea of just “paddle sessions”, I will start to incorporate this type of workouts into my life.

Surfers and Yogis, what other types of workouts to do you incorporate into your life?

~Namaste

Scrappy Yogi

Sun Salutation B, Wetsuits, and Surfing

*I am not a certified yoga instructor. These yoga poses are just my opinion always consult a physician before starting any new workout routine

It’s a no-brainer that a surfer should stretch before a surf session, and what I have learned from my surf buddies is that everyone has their own routine. Some surfers stretch at the beach, others stretch at home, and some surfers don’t stretch at all. I often receive questions about my routine, so I thought I would share what I do before a surf session.

What is unique about my stretching routine is it’s all yoga. I find that the yoga sequences prepare me mentally and physically for a great surf session. I usually start my yoga before I hit the beach and put on that heavy wetsuit. I start with Sun Salutation B, and here is a step by step guide from Yoga Outlet:

1. Standing Mountain Pose — Tadasana

2. Chair Pose — Utkatasana

3. Standing Forward Fold — Uttanasana

4. Half Standing Forward Fold — Ardha Uttanasana

5. Four-Limbed Staff Pose — Chaturanga Dandasana

6. Upward-Facing Dog Pose — Urdhva Mukha Svanasana

7. Downward-Facing Dog Pose — Adho Mukha Svanasana

8. Warrior I, Right Foot — Virabhadrasana I

9. Four-Limbed Staff Pose — Chaturanga Dandasana

10. Upward-Facing Dog Pose — Urdhva Mukha Svanasana

11. Downward-Facing Dog Pose — Adho Mukha Svanasana

12. Warrior I, Left Foot — Virabhadrasana I

13. Four-Limbed Staff Pose — Chaturanga Dandasana

14. Upward-Facing Dog Pose — Urdhva Mukha Svanasana

15. Downward-Facing Dog Pose — Adho Mukha Svanasana

16. Half Standing Forward Fold — Ardha Uttanasana

17. Standing Forward Fold — Uttanasana

18. Chair Pose — Utkatasana

19. Mountain Pose — Tadasana

I repeat this sequence 3-5 times. Now, I’m ready to hit the beach, but the yoga doesn’t stop. If you are a surfer who requires a wetsuit, you know how heavy they can be. I have a 4/3 Ripcurl Flashbomb wetsuit (which I love), but it does require me to stretch before surfing.

After I get onto the beach, wetsuit on, Paragon surfboard next to me, it’s time to start my yoga poses for my shoulders. Now, if you have been following my blog, you know that my shoulders are extremely tight so I need a little extra stretching in the shoulder and back. I always practice Dolphin, Thread the Needle, and 8-Point before surfing. Shape.com has excellent video clips of the shoulder openers I practice on the beach, so click here to see these poses.

Readers, what stretches or yoga poses do you love before a workout? I would love to know!

Follow me on Instagram and Twitter @Scrappyyoga!

~Namaste

Scrappy Yogi

Happy One Year Anniversary: The Scrappy Yogi is also a Scrappy Surfer

It’s been officially one year since I have launched this blog! It’s been quite a year of self discovery: yoga experiences, yoga festivals, marriage, surfing, Maui trips, and much more to come. Anyone who has been following me for the last year has noticed that I talk about surfing just as much as I talk about yoga, but I never really claim the title as “surfer”. The reason for this simple. A legacy surfer told me to try it for a year before earning the title of “surfer”. Well, it’s been a year, and surfing is here to stay. It’s a passion to say the least.

The last year of surfing has been an excited one. I bought my first Paragon Surfboard the “Mini-Log”, I have surfed in Maui, I have made “surf buddies”, and now I have integrated surfing into my life. I try to surf a couple of times a week if the tides and my work schedule permit it, and I am constantly looking at Surfline.

But what about yoga? Yoga is never going away.  I have even been told from my surf buddies that I incorporate yoga teachings and practices into my surfing life. And, on occasion, I can even been seen practicing yoga in my wetsuit on the beach before and after a surf session (it’s good for your body, but more posts to come on that).

So, from now on, I am also a Scrappy Surfer. I will write blog posts on how I weave yoga into my surfing life and vice versa. I will still write on my latest yoga influences, classes and experiences as well. Life is all about expanding your horizons, right?

Readers, have any of your workout programs lead you to other passions? Or other workouts you love just as much? I would love to hear your thoughts!

You can now follow me on Instagram @ScrappyYoga for fun tips, beach pics, and much much more!

~Namaste

Scrappy Yogi

Modifications in Surfing: A Yogi Prospective

Modifications are a common practice in yoga, especially when poses are too difficult or too strenuous on the body. Having practiced yoga for so long, I’m used to the idea of modification, that my practice is not going to be perfect, and modifying can create a positive yoga experience. When it comes to surfing, the whole idea is the perfect wave with perfect conditions. No modifications required, right? Well, I think I found one.

Recently, I got a new Retro Noserider Paragon Surfboard. She’s beautiful! 9 feet and old school; perfect for little waves and lazy summer days. She’s quite different from my other board, which is 7 feet 8 inches, and I have had my other board for a year. We know each other, and when I surf, I’m a part of my board.

I could not wait to try out my new board in the ocean, but then there was an interesting realization. I haven’t surfed on this big of a board since Maui. I don’t know the board yet, and will I even be able to surf?

A couple of my surfer buddies were going to our local break, so I decided to head on down with my new board. Once I arrived all suited up, I realized the wind was making some very choppy conditions. By the way, I loathe choppy conditions. It doesn’t make surfing that fun.

As I looked for my entry to the ocean, I couldn’t find an easy path.  With my surfer buddies egging me on to try, I finally had a realization. I can modify this experience to a positive one. Just like in yoga. I knew of a different entrance to the ocean, where it is not as intense, and walked down that way. I’m sure some surfers would tease me for this change, but honestly, I don’t care. It’s my surf life.

I had a great day trying out my new surfboard. It wouldn’t have been such a great experience if I had not remembered my yoga practice.

Readers, what have you modified in life to create a more positive experience? Also, I have started up a Scrappy Yoga Instagram, follow me @ScrappyYoga to see more pics of yoga gear, ocean waves, and surfboards.

~Namaste

Scrappy Yogi

 

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Two Weeks in-Beachbody Yoga 30 Challenge

I’m officially two weeks through my Beachbody Yoga 30 Day Challenge! To be clear, it’s not practicing yoga everyday (Sunday rest), but it is a commitment to practice at least 6 times a week. Here is what I am liking so far:

  1. Each day is a different practice and the Beachbody calendar is easy to follow
  2. Each yoga session is no more than 45 minutes
  3. Beachbody offers multiple instructors so practices don’t become boring

I’m definitely becoming stronger, and these daily yoga stretches are helping me with surfing and the high intensity workouts I started about a month ago. All in all, it’s an excellent program.

My one criticism so far is that there is a timer on each yoga workout. I’m notorious for counting down the minutes to any workout, but yoga is the type of practice that you don’t want to stare at a clock.

My remedy for this (see pic above) is to set my mat facing the wall, away from the tablet or TV I am using. That way, I don’t look at the clock.

~Namaste

Scrappy Yogi

 

Surfing in West Maui

While our honeymoon was full of amazing experiences, one of my favorite memories will be surfing in Launiupoko. Having only surfed in Santa Cruz, I was excited to surf in a new location, and I was also excited that no wetsuit was involved.

All in all, I had about 3 surfing days on this beach. The first day I went out the waves were very small and gentle, but I made the most of it by taking in the beautiful scenery and the very warm water. One of the best things about surfing when it’s calm is the people you meet in the water. The first day, I met a Mauian who told me the history of the swells, the importance of their coral reefs and marine life. He also told me to take in everything and just relax. Being a Santa Cruz surfer, sometimes we can get a little aggressive, so this advice was something I needed to hear.

The last day I surfed Launiupoko was one of the best surfing days. Being that there was a huge swell to hit North Shore, the West saw some amazing waves. The sets were consistent and clean. Everyone in the water could catch a wave. The first wave I caught was so perfect, and after my ride was over, and I started to paddle back into the line when this beautiful Mauian woman paddled next to me. She complimented my surfing and stated how good she felt when she’s out in the water and catches that perfect wave. She told me how alive she felt surfing, and to always take in every surf experience (good, bad or ugly).

I will always carry those words of wisdom with me. I have written before how I didn’t feel like a surfer, and I have even been told I need to wait a year to use the title. I came back from Maui a surfer.

~Namaste

Scrappy Yogi

I married, honeymooned, surfed and yoga’d 

I’m back! It’s been about three weeks since my last blog post but for a good reason: I got married and went to Maui! I have to say our wedding was beautiful and I came back from Hawaii with a new perspective.

Before we even landed in Hawaii, I knew I was going to surf. I had my locations all scouted out, my husband’s snorkeling locations scouted out, and my board was already reserved.

My first couple of days out in the water were a little disappointing since the swells weren’t that big at all, but the water was beautiful and the surfers were even better. The Mauians were the kindest and most relaxed surfers I have ever met.

My last day of surfing was the absolute best day. A huge swell in North Shore  caused some epic waves in the West, where I primarily surfed all week. I have never seen wave after wave come in like I did in Maui, and I caught each every wave I went for.

I learned so much in the water from the Mauians that one blog post isn’t going to cover all that I learned. 

This honeymoon was transformational for me, and I look forward to sharing all my experiences in my next few blog posts.

Readers, I would love to know if you have ever had a transformational vacation!

~Namaste

Scrappy Yogi