I grew up in a mecca of surf, Carlsbad, CA, where I found myself at the beach every weekend during the summer. When I became a teenager, my parents felt certain that I had learned enough about water safety to allow me to go to the beach alone. At first, without them there I felt a little uncomfortable. Trying to think of a solution to calm my nerves, I decided to learn how to surf.
As I paddled out past the breakers to try to drop in on a wave I was scared. Thinking about trying to ride a mountain of water for the first time I felt stress. So I did what I was always told to do when I felt stressed: I took deep breaths.
My breath became in sync with the rhythm of the water and I connected with the ocean on a different level. I floated on my board just breathing and thinking about where I was at the present moment. I felt strong and brave to be out in the sea on my own.
Learning to surf had also taught me to meditate. And with it came all the benefits that a seated practice yields: tonifying the body, calming the mind, and carrying a helpful attitude out into life.
Surfing is a soulful activity. The way everything comes together brings a feeling of peace and serenity. The ocean acts as a reminder to take steady breaths and go about life day by day. If you can conquer an ocean’s wave, you can conquer anything.
Surfing Promotes Mindfulness
Just like traditional meditation, surfing keeps you in the present moment. If you aren’t paying attention to the waves, you miss out on opportunities. You separate from your life back on land and focus on the sensations around you, the feel of the water or the wax on your surfboard. Surfing is time to reconnect to yourself.
Overcome Obstacles In The Waves & In Life
Life is full of obstacles and the same goes for surfing. If you don’t focus on the wave you’re riding, you’ll wipeout. This is similar to everyday life; if you don’t commit to the task at hand, you will fail. No matter how big the waves get or what life throws at you, surfing teaches you to have confidence that you’ll stay afloat.
Strong Body, Strong Mind
You need a powerful upper body to become a capable surfer. The more strength, the more waves. If you maintain a strong will in life, you will be more successful in anything that you try. Whether it’s surfing or getting that promotion at work, feeling empowered adds success to everything you do.
Disconnect To Connect
Out on the water there are no TVs, no internet, and definitely no smartphones. This forced separation from daily life gives you time to focus on the body and on nature’s beauty. You get the opportunity to connect to your senses, to listen, to smell, and be one with the ocean. When you connect with the simple things in life it feels more full.
About the author:
Danielle Watkins is a California native who followed her heart to Colorado. She is a devoted yogi, cyclist and aspiring writer. She is currently a guest writer for Punta Banco Retreats and loves practicing yoga. You can find out more about her on her website DaniWatkins.com