Yoga and surfing are two completely different activities, but as the benefits of each on the other are being slowly uncovered, and as word spreads amongst surfers, retreats are popping up around the world that offer a perfect balance of both.
Set amongst some of the worlds best waves, qualified yoga instructors teach techniques aimed specifically for surfers, working on areas of stretching, breathing and mental strength that will enhance both your mind and body when you head into the water each day.
Many yoga poses are directly inline with surfers’needs and can be used to prepare the body pre-surf, while learning to breathe creates a focus that translates directly to catching waves (as well as being caught beneath them).
Surfers and yogis both tend to hold common ideals in mind - that of a healthy body, strong mind, and commitment to Mother Nature - and surf/yoga retreats draw on all of these elements in creating environments that are integrated with nature, whilst pushing your surfing, and flexibility game at the same time.
A Typical Day In a Surf Yoga Retreat
A typical day at a surf/yoga retreat will ultimately depend on the tides, but often starts with a pre-breakfast yoga-session, followed by a morning of surfing (or surfing lessons if you’re just a beginner).
In the afternoon, head out for another surf session or spend time exploring the surrounding region, before ending the day with a sunset yoga session.
One thing's for sure: at the end of the day (after 2 surfs and 2 yoga sessions) you’ll be feeling about as good as you’ve ever felt before!
Who Are They For?
Surf/yoga retreats are for anybody interested in taking their surfing to another level, adapting the breathing, balance and composure techniques that yoga teaches to their time on the board.
While yoga typically draws more women to its practice in the western world, the Indian yogis who introduced it were male and its beneficial impacts are wide reaching for all surfers, regardless of their gender.
Being open minded about how much yoga can improve your surfing will allow you to reach new levels in the water.
Women Only Retreats
You’ll notice that there is no shortage of women only surf and yoga retreats – but why is this?
It’s not because there is an ‘anti-men’ attitude going on, it purely because women-only surf/yoga retreats offer a non-intimidating environment for females to develop their surf skills, away from the often competitive atmosphere of surfing alongside men.
These retreats are designed to nurture a love of the sport and the rush of energy it offers, together with the tranquility and mindful balance of regular yoga and meditation.
The 5 Best Surf And Yoga Retreats From Around The World
Each month a new cool surf yoga retreat pops up. Take a look at the following 5, which are regarded as some of the best in the world:
Surf Maroc, Taghazout - The small Berber village of Taghazout has long been known as Morocco’s favourite surf destination and in recent years yoga schools have been springing up alongside.
Surf Maroc is one of the most established surf camps on this stretch of the Atlantic and located within a stone’s throw of some of the best sand bottom right-hand point breaks you’ll ever surf(Anchor and Killer Point, to name a few)
They offer surf/yoga packages that include daily surf lessons and sunset yoga sessions tailored specifically for surfers on their sweeping balcony overlooking the vast Atlantic ocean.
- Price: Surf/yoga packages start at around $45 per person per night.
Talalla Retreat, Sri Lanka -Set on the edge of a secluded cove on Sri Lanka’s southwest coast, Talalla Retreat has made a name for itself as a world renowned eco-surf camp. Their sustainable approach to design is coupled with a philosophy centered around reconnecting with nature (without compromising on luxury).
Their surf/yoga packages include daily surf sessions at the surrounding beaches, as well as Hatha/Vinyasa yoga classes in their two custom-built open-air yoga pavilions.
- Price: Weekly all-inclusive packages start from around $1,500 (and they’ll even throw in a free full body massage).
Tipi Valley, Portugal -Tipi Valley is a tented, organic and eco-friendly surf - yoga camp, set in a hidden valley on Portugal’s Algarve Coast (where you'll find uncrowded waves and jaw-dropping beautiful beaches and coves)
Their surf/yoga packages include accommodation in rustic teepee-style tents (built using locally-sourced materials and powered using renewable energy), three meals daily (including produce grown in their surrounding organic garden), as well as daily surf sessions and Hatha yoga classes (invigorating in the mornings and restorative in the afternoons).
- Price: 5 night all-inclusive packages start from around $1,000.
Pura Vida Adventures, Costa Rica - Translating as ‘enjoy life’, Pura Vida is a women’s only surf/yoga retreat offering tailored surf instruction, allowing those standing up for the first time to do it within a supportive environment.
Daily yoga practice is incorporated into the schedule, aimed at awakening the senses and improving overall well-being, all set along a spectacular stretch of jungle-backed coastline.
The only problem you’ll have is deciding whether to start the day with a sunrise yoga session or surf a sand bottomed A-frame - Costa Rica has an abundance of fun and underrated waves for all levels.
- Price: All-inclusive week-long retreats start from $2,400.
Flow State Adventure, Maldives - Who says a retreat has to be confined to land? Flow State Adventure have perfectly combined a Maldivian surfari with a dedicated yoga for surfing program (with a bit of free dive training thrown in).
Start each day with an endurance-building yoga session, then cruise through the idyllic Maldivian waters searching for unexplored waves and free dive its incredible reefs.
A great option for anyone looking for a high end surf yoga experience: prepare to be pampered!
- Price: All-inclusive 8 day/7 night cruises start from around $5,000.