A lot of us live from the neck up. 

What I mean by that is that we receive the fundamental information - sight, hearing, tasting etc - all from the same area (the head) and we relate to the rest of the body as this thing underneath us that kinda comes along for the ride.    

As surfers, we try and do everything in such a short amount of time - from lying down to standing, bending, flexing, twisting and falling - in response to the unstoppable, fast moving water underneath us that'll certainly not going to wait around for us to take a second to organise our limbs.

We're asking a lot from our bodies and all too often get frustrated when it doesn't do what we want it to do.

Coordination isn't something you're just born with or without.  It's something you can develop over time with practice and patients and that's where yoga comes in.  

During a yoga class you're asked to turn your focus internally.  You're encouraged to forget what you look like from the outside and to focus what it feels like from the inside.  As a dancer I was often encouraged to correct myself by looking at my body's reflection in the studio mirror, so I was a little thrown (and relieved!) when I realised that I didn't have that help in a yoga class.  

Not before long I started to really know my own body, it's limitations and strengths, where my limbs were in relation to each other and I started moving and even thinking with my whole body, and not just my head.  I had a better understanding of where  my whole body was in space (proprioception) and didn't need to look at a specific part of my body to be able to correct or change it.  

Don't get me wrong, I still have moments when I lack any grace or coordination (I once almost took another girl's tooth out in a audition when I hit her in the face with my over-excited arm during a dance sequence), but I found that when I went back to surfing (probably after other similar, unsuccessful auditions) I was picking up and applying new tips and advise much quicker than before.  

Surfing is a whole body experience - your body has to think and feel your way across the wave with an intuition that can't be thought out with only your mind.  It's tough to develop that connection when everything is happening so quickly on your surfboard, but if you establish the relationship between your body and mind when you're out of the water than you'll start seeing the difference when you're trying your new moves/tricks/tips/whatever it is in the water.

I mean, I haven't taken anyone's tooth out (touch wood) when I've been surfing, so it must be working somehow, right?! 

 

 

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