5 Reasons Why Surfing is the Most Effective Moving Meditation

We’ve all heard people describe surfing as a moving meditation. We’ve heard them say that the sport is actually a SPIRITUAL experience. 

I’m sure many of you have wondered how something like riding a wave can be so powerful for the body, mind, and soul, right? Trust me when I say you’re not alone in questioning these bold statements. But the reality is that oftentimes you don’t really understand it until you try for yourself!

In the meantime, maybe our list of 5 reasons why surfing truly IS the most effective meditation option will convince you to paddle out for the first time. 

  1. No Phone

I think we can all agree that this is a rarity nowadays for ANY activity, even sit down traditional meditation itself (many people use apps, Youtube, or mantra music). 

Although sometimes using your phone for music might actually help you get into a meditative state with dance, or yoga asana, or walking- it’s important to remember that even music can be a distraction from true silence. 

Plus, sometimes simply having our phone at our fingertips might tempt us into a rabbit hole of texting, or mindless scrolling. Taking the phone out of the equation altogether immediately creates a more present environment to simply BE in. 

2. Focus on Breath

A huge component of surfing is learning how to control and focus on your breathing. Whether that’s increasing your lung capacity in case you’re held underwater by a big wave, or simply counting your breath as a tool to relax- breathing is a foundation to the sport. 

Focusing on your breath is a great way to help you drop out of your mind, and into your body. Typically, pulling the energy down and in this way creates a sense of calm and peacefulness that our swirling thoughts simply cannot provide. 

3. Immersion in Nature

Most of the time people don’t know how badly they need a higher dose of nature in their lives until they have it, and reap the benefits it has to offer. Because surfing is an outdoor activity, you’re automatically creating space in your day to be outside, and fully immersed in the elements. 

How does being in nature contribute to a deeper meditative state? 

Well, nature provides a grounding wisdom that is felt, rather than described. Plus, the sheer majesty that the ocean offers inevitably evokes a sense of awe, helping us to feel small in the best possible way. When we feel small, so do our problems! And when our problems feel small, we’re able to be more present with how we feel, rather than caught up in what we’re thinking about. 

4. Body Awareness

Like many sports, surfing requires a deep sense of body awareness. However, unlike most sports, not only do you need to be attuned with your body and equipment, but you also need to be attuned to the ever changing water and the way it impacts your body’s movements. 

Of course working on things like endurance, strength, balance, and mobility will help you with surfing. But regardless of your paddle strength, or balance ability, you must align your body with the conditions of the ocean in order to actually catch waves. 

Being in your body so completely can feel challenging, confronting, and even scary. But it’s a practice that helps to quiet the mind, by FEELING more than THINKING.

5. Total Presence

You’d be hard pressed to find someone who can be fully present for a full, 60 minute yoga class (yes, even the most dedicated yogi you know!). Providing full presence to ANY activity is extremely difficult, and often ebbs and flows depending on the day. 

Presence in surfing is related to survival. If you’re not paying attention you’ll probably wipe out, you might get clobbered by a wave, or you can let board go flying. Presence is a requirement, rather than an option. 

It’s imperative that you are fully in your body, fully with your board, and fully in the ocean (not only physically, but mentally too!) in order to actually catch a wave. Because, remember, no two waves are the same. How you did it last time, might not cut it this time. 

This place of total presence is a flow state, a way of being without space for distractions to occur. And this, my friends, is what bliss feels like. 

Want to surf with us?

Hover over our “retreat” tab in the toolbar for upcoming surf retreats. We’ll be stoked to see you in the water!

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