BENEFITS OF ASHTANGA YOGA
Pro surfer Courtney Conlogue has been practising Astanga yoga. Here we find out about its benefits with Kimi Rangimaria Tasker.
Kimi I saw on Insta that you’ve been practicing yoga with Courtney Conlogue – how did that come about?
We manage a boutique resort in south Nicaragua where we have two world-class waves – Playa Colorados and Panga Drops – right on our doorstep. A lot of professional surfers like Courtney visit us, because we honour their privacy and downtime while offering a homely setting where they can surf un-crowded, world-class waves in the tropics.
For those that don’t know, can you give us some of the specifics of Ashtanga and tell us why it’s so great for professional surfers?
Ashtanga translates to mean eight limbs and is part of the Vinyasa section of Hatha Yoga. When we practice Ashtanga we do the same flow of poses as is documented in the ancient yoga sutras, moving from the primary series through to the sixth series over many years of practice. It’s great for professional surfers because you are encouraged to practise daily and measure your progress. It’s an excellent discipline to support both the mental and physical sides of surfing. What are your favourite poses/ sequences for building strength and flexibility for surfing? Surya Namaskara A & B. These are the starting sequence of the Ashtanga series, designed to create fire and heat to eliminate toxins and warm up the body. The poses are very surf specific – Up Dog, or Urdhva Mukha Svanasana, is like being on your board and teaches you to engage your core, create space in the back of the neck and open the chest. Then Downward Dog, or Adho Mukha Svanasana, aids pop ups, core strength, shoulder stability/ strength and hamstring flexibility. Mastering this Vinyasa is the foundation to everything!