Tried and tested: Surf and Yoga retreat at the south coast of Sri Lanka with Sunshinestories.
There is something about Surf & Yoga that inspires a recent, common appeal. To some point, it may be simply about the magnetism of the beach, the sound of the waves, the nature of the free spirit. A motivation to try something new or to gain the ultimate travel feeling, but there is more to it.
Surf & Yoga
Surfing essentially means moving with the flow of the waves and the ocean. The experience is a combination of awe (awe of the nature surrounding you), focus on what you are doing at that moment (mindfulness) and the union of flowing with the waves, being forced to be in full tune with the powers of nature. Substantially this can bring you into a pure present-moment existence, which requires your actions and movements to be in harmony with the body, the wave, and the board.
In yoga, your body moves in harmony with the breath. Interestingly, Ujjayi breathing means recreating the sound of a wave. Besides strengthening & stretching your body you are pushed to be aware of the union of body and mind, being with yourself and your own body completely.
Surf & Yoga complement each other in countless ways. Both improve body strength, balance, flexibility, coordination, and patience. Surfing requires a strong, lean body, focus, and a clear, patient mind – benefits which yoga has proven to be effective in for years. No wonder that even pros have increasingly been turning towards this killer combination. Going way beyond the physical is the importance and experience of the pure present-moment existence which can be related to what the Buddhists call ‘the nature of mind’.
The Nature Of Mind
The nature of mind is separate from the ‘thinking mind’, a state most of us see as normal. The thinking & conceptualizing mind layers thoughts, stories, worries, dramas, and emotions. Being the opposite of the true nature of the mind: a clear & relaxed state. Surfing as well as yoga build on the experience of the nature of the mind. Both practices rely on intuition, breath, and a union with our surroundings, making them complement each other perfectly. Only the freedom of a cloudy mind, with a cloudy mind, causing us to overthink the future and relive the past, allows us to be in the present with a pure state of being. Yoga & Surf work hand-in-hand to accomplish the stillness so many of us crave nowadays. Realizing only then that our body and mind are totally out of balance.
‘Besides strengthening & stretching your body you are pushed to be aware of the union of body and mind, being with yourself and your own body.’
So, imagine lush tropical scenery, long beaches & deliciously healthy food. Daily surf and yoga sessions, local tuk-tuk drives with surfboards on top, staying at a colonial-style villa at the southern Sri Lankan coast together with a group of 10 to 15 like-minded people, cheering over an unlimited flow of fresh coconut.
Clearing your head.
Learning to breathe.
Being in the moment.
This pretty much sums up a week at the Sunshinestories Surf & Yoga retreat in Ahangama. If you are a surf pro who thinks that the ‘downward facing dog’ is a new breed, an experienced yogi looking to jump on the board now and then or a novice to both disciplines – this is for you!
Because nothing is more humbling than getting rolled up and spit out by the ocean with a force 200,00 times stronger than yourself. An experience all human beings should have, reminding us of the power of nature and how tiny we really are.
Learning to ride the flow of the waves, inside and outside of the ocean.
While you are there, make sure to also visit beautiful boho hideaway The Kip.
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