Exercise: Half Moon
Benefits: Increase blood flow, strength, balance, focus and flexibility through the legs while stabilizing the core.
How to do it:
1. Optimally, you can transition into Half Moon from Triangle Pose. To do so, place your fingertips on the ground or on a block, (right foot down, right hand down, and vice versa). Stabilize your standing leg starting with your foot to create balance and grounding. Imagine your foot is a tree rooted into the earth. Once your foot is grounded, contract your leg by lengthening all the way up into the hip and buttocks.
2. Now, reach your left leg away from you and stretch your left hand to the sky. Extend and point the toe, then reach the heel away from the hips.
3. Keep the standing leg contracted but slightly bent so as not to lock out your knee. In surfing, you never lock your knees; it’s important to keep the muscle pattern dynamic. Now imagine you are trying to pull your limbs into the center of the body and then extend them from the center. The energy of your muscles will feel drawn in and extended at the same time.
4. It is important to focus on your breath. Breathe deeply through the diaphragm, and as you exhale, pull your belly button towards your spine to stabilize your core and hold your balance. “HA” your breath out. The less effort, the more powerful the pose. Hold the pose for a few breaths and focus your gaze down towards the grounded foot and then directly across from you.
5. Bend your standing leg and come down to a closed leg squat and hug yourself, tucking the head into the knees to rest. Then switch legs.
After completing both sides, your legs should feel alive, warmed up, and lengthened. By awakening your mind and body through the breath, balance, and strength, you should increase your awareness and performance before paddling out. This will help you switch it on before paddling out and feel warmed up for your first wave.
Get more yoga and health tips from Rochelle at SurfIntoYoga.com, and check back soon for Session Three.