WSSM - BEACH BLANKET YOGA

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wSSm | womenssurfstyle.com | 47


B Byoga

LIFESTYLE

. . . My Daily Yoga

each

lanket

Grab a blanket, a towel, or anything at all and do some invigorating yoga poses that will help build strength,

By Zofia Karubin

Certified Yoga Instructor

...

endurance, flexibility, and focus, so you can have more fun surfing and catch more waves. Whether you’re going surfing today or you’re waiting for the next swell, these yoga poses will help improve and maintain flexibility and strength especially in the upper body. The more you practice, the more you will see and feel how much this ancient science of yoga enhances all aspects of your life- especially surfing. You don’t even have to wait to be at the beach to do these poses, you can do them anytime... All you need is a peaceful quiet space on the beach or wherever you may be, so that you can internalize your focus and go within as you bring your attention to your breath and relax your body. Connect your breath to the sound of the ocean. On the beach when doing yoga, sunbathing, or relaxing, you can bring your focus to your breath, and allow it to fill your lungs completely and oxygenate your whole body. Deep breathing is the key to receiving the benefits of yoga. Remember to expand the belly, rib cage, and chest on each inhalation. Then on each exhalation collapse the chest, rib cage, and then the belly. Allow the breath to be deep and long, especially when exhaling. The deeper and longer the breath: the better for your body, mind, and spirit.

After you’ve warmed up, you are ready to begin... Remember to keep breathing and really listen to your body, and never strain or force anything. It’s all about moving in the right direction and it’s not about perfection. Take it slow and take it easy, and be very gentle and loving with your body. Every pose should be enjoyable and feel good. You may repeat the entire flow of yoga poses 6 to 12 times. You may also focus on one or two poses that feel right at that moment. DISCLAIMER: Avoid these poses if you’re pregnant & consult a pre-natal yoga instructor. ALWAYS consult your physician before practicing these or any other exercises.

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Plank Pose: (Pictured above)

Body and legs are straight, toes curled under, press the heels back, arms are straight with hands below the shoulders. Look forward and feel your breath flowing thru your whole body. Keep the shoulders away from the ears and extend your head forward. Contracting all your muscles as you exhale and flow gently and slowly to the next pose. Benefits: Strengthens and energizes your core, upper body, hip, and leg muscles. Also stretches and strengthens your hands, wrists, feet and toes.

Warm Up: First, take a couple minutes to connect to your breath and do some warm up stretches. You can sit or stand when warming up. Repeat these stretches a few times till your neck, arms, and shoulders feel loose and relaxed. A ) Gently stretch your neck, by rolling you head around one way, then the other way. Keep the breath flowing and feel the neck muscles gently stretching.

B ) Slowly turn your head to look left and then right, feeling every muscle of your neck gently stretching as you breathe.

C ) Bring the arms up and stretch them up and over your head as you inhale. Then as you exhale, stretch your arms out as you slowly bring the arms down.

D ) Roll the shoulders up and back, chest forward and squeeze your

shoulder blades together. You can even bring your hands together behind your back to really expand your lungs, inhale and exhale deeply, as you bring your shoulders down and away from your ears.

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Four Limb Stick Pose – Chaturanga Dandasana:

Exhale and bring your body parallel to the ground and hold it there for several breaths, for as long as comfortable without strain. Arms are at a ninety degree angle with elbows hugging the body. Continue breathing as you extend your chest and head forward and keep the shoulders away from the ears. Slowly and gently flow to the next pose. At first this pose may be challenging, but it’s amazing how fast your body will increase and maintain the strength to hold this pose. Benefits: Invigorates and strengthens your core muscles, upper body, lower body, triceps, chest, shoulders and arms. Improves respiratory function.


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Cobra Pose (A) - Bhujangasana:

Inhale, and slowly lift your body up without using your arms. Keep the arms close to your body and use them for gentle support while keeping the shoulders down. Your main support comes from the muscles of your lower back, buttocks, and legs. Fuse all those muscles together to lift your upper body. Exhale and extend your chest and head forward and up; look up. Keep breathing, then very gently release down to the next pose.

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Cobra Pose (B) - Bhujangasana:

Exhale when you are ready to release, and bring your head down very slowly. Feel your breath and the energy traveling up and down your spine as you relax the forehead down. Shoulders are relaxed and away from the ears. You can relax here as long as you need to, and then move gently to the next pose. Benefits: Strengthens muscles of your back, arms, and legs. Stretches the front of your body and lengthens muscles of your arms. Increases lung capacity and calms the mind.

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Upward-Facing Dog Pose – Urdhva Mukha Svanasana:

Inhale and lift your body up as you press your hands flat into the ground. Arms are straight with hands below the shoulders. Balance on the tops of your feet and point your toes back. Continue breathing deeply as you open your chest and heart, and feel all the muscles in the front of your body stretching gently – from your toes to your nose. With the breath, gently arch the spine up, while looking up and back. Take as many breaths as you need in this pose and enjoy it fully, then gently release into the next pose. Benefits: Strengthens and lengthens your arms, shoulders, legs, and spine. Expands the rib cage and lungs with each breath. Increases body heat, and energizes your body.

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Half Turtle Pose – Ardha Kurmasana: Exhale and slowly release

your knees down, sit back on your heels, bring the chest and forehead down. Stretch your arms over your head on the floor and relax. Breathe deeply as you focus on relaxing your sacrum (tail bone area), lower back, middle back, upper back, shoulders, and head. Feel your bones, muscles, tendons, nerves and all the cells in your body relaxing. Feel the energy flowing up and down your spine. Continue breathing and feel your heart beat. Relax here and then repeat the flow of yoga poses from the top, 6 to 12 times. Benefits: Gently stretches and relaxes the arms, shoulders, neck, spine, hips, thighs, and ankles. Massages your internal organs. Helps to calms your mind.

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Namaste: My inner light bows to your inner light.

Zofia Karubin is a Certified Yoga Instructor who resides in Los Angeles, California where she loves to surf and do yoga on the beach. She has been teaching yoga classes for adults, teens, and children for over a decade. Zofia’s life-long passion for yoga has been passed down from her mother who is also a yoga teacher. Currently, Zofia is working on a book for surfers “Surfboard Yoga Warm-Up” inspired by waterman Erik Nordskog. Look for more yoga poses with Zofia in the next issue of WSSM. Photos shot on location during high tide in a cove North of Leo Carrillo State Beach in Malibu, California; the original site of many Hollywood films including the famous Beach Blanket Bingo from 1965. Photography by On It Pro- “We’ll give you the edge, the rest is up to you”. wSSm | womenssurfstyle.com | 49


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