BEN­E­FITS OF ASHTANGA YOGA

Pro surfer Court­ney Con­logue has been prac­tis­ing As­tanga yoga. Here we find out about its ben­e­fits with Kimi Rangi­maria Tasker.

Surf Girl - - Wellbeing - Words by Nat Fox

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!

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