I went to Costa Rica for my honeymoon back in November. We spent 9 days there. We actually spent 3 days in Key West before we made our way to Costa Rica, which was awesome by the way! Costa Rica has always been on my bucket list and when we got engaged, we decided that is where we were going.
Our first stop was Arenal, which is where the big volcano is located. Next up was Monte Verde which is literally a rain forest. We zip lined and did all kinds of cool stuff. The last leg of our trip was to the beach. I had always heard the surfing in Tamarindo was the best, especially because there are no sharks! It is a great little inlet which is perfect for new surfers to learn.
Surfing was yet another item on my bucket list. My very first surf lesson was 4 years ago and I was 36. It was amazing. I was in Coco Beach Florida with a friend. We took a lesson and we rocked it.
When we got to Tamarindo, surfing was a must do. My husband and I couldn’t wait. We took a two hour lesson for $45. It was great. We had these huge boards. The instructor was pretty impressed with how we were able to get up on the board as beginners.
I believe all of our hard work on the yoga mat was the reason surfing was so awesome and doable! There is no better feeling than to be able to ride a wave in standing up on surf board. I can’t explain it. I am sure people that have surfed before know what I mean but it’s really an awesome feeling. The first couple of times we rode the waves in, I kept thinking this is the yoga. This is the work on the yoga mat that pays off. Like all those balancing poses, all the hip openers and stretches, all the core strengthening and hamstring stretches. And the breathing! Oh my goodness, the breathing! A HUGE factor in staying focused on a surf board.
Yoga is great for all those things. I’ve been practicing for a long time, almost 20 years, and to be able to have surfed a handful of times and to be able to get up and ride it in, that’s the yoga. All the balancing poses we do, that’s the yoga. All the breath work we do, that’s the yoga on the surfboard. The instructor kept saying “Look forward! Look forward!” The focus we have in our yoga poses such as looking forward in warrior 2, is what made surfing AWESOME!
Essentially, you are going from low plank to warrior 2. That is it. That is the movement. Low plank to warrior 2. You bend your knees, and get up, you engage your core like you would for any balance pose and you ride the wave in. I am not saying every wave was perfect. I am not saying we rode every wave in. There was a lot of falling too which was actually kinda fun because you are in water and it doesn’t hurt! LOL.
I was so inspired by our whole Tamarindo experience that I am actually working on planning a yoga/surf retreat there November 2017!!! I want Sol yogis to experience it. Whether you are 20, 40 or 60 years old, and you’ve always wanted to surf but are afraid or have never had the opportunity, this is your chance! I am telling you! I have been counting the days of when we are going back since we first got home!
My travel agent and I are currently working on dates. Looking at one of the first 3 weekends in November. The retreat will be 5 days in Tamarindo. Price will include 4 nights at hotel (which is absolutely beautiful), and a welcome dinner on the first night. And each day included in price is breakfast, yoga, meditation, surf lessons, surfboard rental, and one zip lining excursion (which is a must do).
It is funny because the instructors and the locals actually made comments to my husband and I like “Man, you guys are good!” And my response was always “It’s the yoga!” You can run, you can lift weights, you can do all that stuff, but your time on your yoga mat is huge when it comes to surfing. To be able to balance, breathe, look forward, focus and have the core strength to jump up from low plank to warrior 2 is crucial in surfing!
Having the hip flexibility to step forward is another biggie! All those lunges and pigeons pay off, I promise! Your strong leg is supposed to be in the back when you surf. So to step your “weaker” leg forward to get up, it’s all hips! We surfed our second day there and did a two hour lesson in the morning. Later in the afternoon, we went back out for another 2 1/2 hours and caught the sunset which was amazing. We were SO sore the next day!
I now have a whole different appreciation for it. But I would never have loved it as much as I did or have had the courage to do it or to have been as good as I was on the board if it wasn’t for power yoga!
If you’ve always wanted to surf, and/or go to Costa Rica, keep an eye out for Sol’s first yoga and surf retreat in November 2017! We are finalizing the details and will post as soon as possible because yoga and surfing go hand in hand, no doubt!