Meditation and surfing are closely linked, with many surfers using mindfulness to feel more connected to the waves.
It’s spiritual, it’s calming, and after a few sessions, even the most cynical can’t disagree with its benefits.
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Does Meditation Work?
If you are dubious about the benefits of meditation practice, think about the following:
- Where do you have your best ideas?
- When do you feel most relaxed?
- When is your breathing most controlled and your mind most at peace?
For the majority of you, the answer will be in the shower, in bed, or even in the early hours of the morning when the kids have gone to bed and you have the house to yourself.
It’s not the shower that’s sparking those creative thoughts.
It’s not the bed that’s calming your mind.
It’s the silence and the peace, and that’s why meditation is so effective.
Meditation works because it forces you to block out all of those external stimuli and to focus on your breathing.
There are no distractions, no chaos, and no worrisome thoughts to plague your mind.
Sure, there is a spiritual connection for some people.
They believe in energy lines and the search for nirvana.
They get more from meditation than simple relaxation, but if you don’t believe in any of that and that cynicism is holding you back, just think of a meditation session as a way to relax and center yourself.
Benefits of Meditation Practice for Surfing
Meditation relaxes your mind and removes all the chaos that typically floods through those synapses.
It’s just you and your breath in the present moment.
By removing those worries, even for a little while, you’ll feel less stress and anxiety.
And if you persist with your practice, you may see an improvement in sleep quality, blood pressure levels, and more.
So, how does that relate to surfing performance?
Well, there are several potential benefits.
Firstly, the reduced stress and anxiety could make you more confident on the waves.
You can never underestimate the power of confidence and self-belief, especially when it comes to an extreme sport like surfing.
Meditation has also been linked with reduced back pain and a more positive energy.
Think about all of the surfers that you admire.
They have a very positive and upbeat attitude, one that you might even be envious of.
It’s because they are free, at-peace, and happy, and while a single meditation session isn’t going to provide those benefits, you could reach that state of inner joy over many weeks or months.
Using Mindfulness Practice for a Better Surf Session
If you are new to meditation, it’s best not to overcomplicate things.
Don’t worry too much about practicing specific mindfulness techniques or placing your hands in a certain way.
Just sit still, close your eyes half of the way, and focus on your breathing.
As you inhale and exhale, try to keep your thoughts centered on that exact moment.
Every time that a distracting thought enters your mind, shelve it and re-focus on your breathing.
In the early stages, you’ll lose control of your thoughts quite a lot.
You’ll start thinking about nonsense, and when you realize that your mind has gone astray, you’ll chastise yourself.
Before long, you’ll be having an internal argument.
It’s normal, and you shouldn’t let it worry you. Just stay centered, keep breathing, and try to clear your head.
It will get easier.
If you find that you fall asleep when you close your eyes, try keeping them half or fully open instead.
If you have back pain, sit in a chair; if you have ass pain, lie on your back. Just find a comfortable position that doesn’t hurt your back or legs and allows you to remain at peace.
As long as you’re maintaining a slow and steady breathing rhythm, avoiding distractions, and trying to clear your head of unwanted thoughts, you don’t need to worry about all of the minor details.
If you can perform simple practice like this for just 10 to 20 minutes a day, you should notice an improvement in your self-awareness, mood, emotional balance, and stress levels.
You might not be a better surfer straight away, but those improvements will come in time.
After you have been practicing meditation for a few weeks, consider increasing the timeframe and doing it for as long as you feel comfortable.
Is Surfing Meditation?
We typically think of meditation as a slow and quiet act.
You sit down, close your eyes, and try to clear your head.
But meditation comes in many forms and that can include surfing.
If surfing makes you feel relaxed and puts you in a meditative state, one where you feel at peace and focused, then it’s definitely a form of meditation.
Still, even if that’s the case, we recommend establishing a daily routine using meditation sessions just to see if they work for you.
How Else Can I Improve My Surfing?
Meditation could help you to include your skills as a surfer, but there are other options as well:
- Fitness: The average surfer can improve their performance by increasing their fitness. Surfing takes a lot out of you and being fitter will allow you to surf for long periods without getting out of breath.
- Weight Lifting: Surfing places a lot of strain on your core muscles (balance), as well as your back (paddling), and legs (pop up). Weight training will help with all of this. Focus on exercises that build these specific muscles, including deadlifts, squats, planks, sit-ups, push-ups, and rows.
- Learn: Struggling with specific techniques? Then see how others perform them. Watch YouTube videos to catch the pros in action and see if you can learn anything.
Do Most Surfers Meditate?
A growing number of surfers use meditation to improve their wave riding.
It’s particularly popular with pro surfers, and Gerry Lopez, Dick Brewer, Shaun Tomson, Dave Rastovich, Greg Long, and Taylor Knox are all known to practice meditation.
It’s also used by other top athletes as a way of calming their minds.