Costa Rica Howler INTERNATIONAL Magazine - September 2021

Page 54


Surfing and Yoga Go Hand in Hand by Jenn Parker



et’s take a moment to reconnect to our breath. Inhale deeply through your nose. Fill your lungs down to their very tips. Let your ribcage expand to where it feels as if it might open and take flight like a seafaring yellow butterfly. Slowly exhale through your mouth. Take another deep breath and feel the fresh air swirling like the wind down into your diaphragm, causing your chest and belly to rise like the tide. Let this ebb of air slowly flow out through your nose as you slightly constrict your throat. Take notice of your breathing sounds to understand why this so-called ujjayi breath in yoga is also known as the ocean breath. The audible hush of ujjayi breathing is undeniably similar to the sound of the salty fingers that claw the seashore as each wave reaches its end, and then retracts to be reborn again. Our breath is as powerful as the waves we surf, and it is this sea-sounding breath — our pranayama — that helps us to create balance on the earth and in the sea.

There is a certain flow and meditative mindset that many surfers seek when they paddle out. There is this understanding that the ocean demands the attention of the present mind. In complying, which takes practice as any yogi also knows, a sort of enlightened moment might occur. This time-standsstill, one-with-the-wave moment slips into the past as you move forward on the wave. You can ride the waves, but you can’t catch them. And there is something beautiful, and I daresay spiritual, in this fleeting attempt to be one with something so wild and unruly.