Snowboarding, surfing, skateboarding or mountain biking are extreme sports that put a lot of strain on the body and also have a high stress level. Yoga is completely different. It creates a physical and mental balance, corrects inequalities in the body and calms the mind.
Moreover, yoga promotes flexibility and mental strength and thus helps athletes to prevent or regenerate injuries more quickly and to remain calm and focused in stressful situations such as contests. Through stretching, yoga loosens hardened or tense muscles and thus increases the overall performance of the body.
It is no wonder then, that the combination of yoga and action / outdoor sports is becoming increasingly popular.
Yoga also trains mental strength and breathing. You concentrate on your breath and adjust the movements of inhalation and exhalation. Through deep breathing you generate strength and serenity and live right in the moment - similar to surfing, snowboarding, skateboarding or mountain biking, where you act intuitively.
The positive effects that yoga has on action sports are quite impressive:
- strengthens the body
- helps to find a better balance
- ensures a better energy flow
- increases flexibility
- prevents erosion and injuries
- improves endurance and breathing technique.
Especially surfers benefit from yoga because they learn how to breathe properly. In addition, surfers improve their balance, take-off and paddle power through yoga practice and train their mindfulness, which ensures greater safety in the rapidly changing conditions of the water. In addition to these positive preparation effects, yoga relaxes the lower back, neck and shoulders after surfing.
Mountain bikers also feel the benefits of yoga: when biking on uneven terrain, you need a strong torso to balance the strain. With its strengthening and stretching elements, Yoga is the perfect complement. It promotes the transmission of power when pedaling and directs the energy to the legs better, which helps when pedaling.
Especially between competitions or strenuous days on the board or bike, yoga supports regeneration and ensures a better body feeling. Aching muscles are quickly trained and metabolism is stimulated.
Many action athletes have recognized the benefits of regular yoga practice. Professionals such as Olympic snowboard champion Anna Gasser, surf legend Kelly Slater, snowboarder Travis Rice or mountain bike pro Timo Pritzel have integrated yoga into their daily training routine. Yoga helped Timo Pritzel out of a physical and mental blockade: "I am so grateful that the feelings of happiness I found in extreme situations on my bike can now also be found on my yoga mat!"
Kelly Slater and Travis Rice are among the world's best athletes in their sport. They keep fit through a healthy diet, a lot of training, and through daily yoga and breathing exercises. The top athletes thus refute the cliché that yoga is a women's sport.
Since the combination of adrenaline and peace is very much in demand with professional athletes as well as hobby athletes, there is now also a wide range of camps and events that create this connection. The market for surf and yoga is particularly large, be it specially designed surf camps, retreats or weekly offers such as the Girls Surf Workout by Golden Ride.
In the surf & yoga offers, yoga is used as a balance and preparation for surfing. Isabelle Fischer from mintblow is a yoga teacher and surfer and sums it up like this: "Yoga is a wonderful tool to work on my mindset and my breathing technique and to refine them as well as to balance out physical imbalances through one-sided strains."
Today, there are camps and courses worldwide as they are enthusiastically accepted by beginners and professionals alike.
Similarly popular is the combination of outdoor and yoga, as offered by the Mountain Yoga Festival in St. Anton. Here, outdoor sports such as mountain biking in the middle of the mountains are supplemented by yoga.
The combinations ski and yoga or bike and yoga are in demand, too. Donovan Longaker of Apura Yoga offers outdoor sports in combination with yoga all year round: "A harmonious yoga program can specifically strengthen power and flexibility, as well as train balance and concentration."
By concentrating on the breath, yoga can also help in more extreme outdoor situations. "If I can regulate my breath," says Longaker, "I might be able to cope with water conditions that would otherwise be a challenge for me."
On the other hand, according to Longaker, outdoor activities also inspire the experience of yoga: "Yoga is actually a state of consciousness in which the mind comes to rest. This is often achieved in a completely natural way, in contact with nature, in encounters with the sea or when looking at the mountains."
The demand for action and relaxation is also reflected in the clothing assortment and marketing. Roxy, for example, has been relying on its fitness line for years, as have O'Neill and Prana. The latter Californian company focuses on yoga, surf and climbing clothing.
In Sanskrit, "Prana" stands for breathing, life and the vitality of the mind - and is the special source of strength for action sports. Beaver Theodosakis, one of the two founders of Prana, described the combination as follows: "We feel connected through yoga. This special form of movement lets us feel the wonderful moments of everyday life and the environment around us comes alive."
The spirit of the two brand founders continues to shape the everyday life of the company: there is an in-house gym for joint yoga sessions and the daily gong at 3 p.m. invites everyone to a minute of meditation.
Yoga is also a big market for Super.natural, which manufactures functional and everyday clothing from merino wool and polyester. The brand supports a number of ambassadors who promote yoga and together with them regularly offers free yoga classes in the Munich area.