The practice of mindfulness can take on many shapes. You can do it while sitting still, walking through nature, or even surfing! Surfing may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of mindfulness, but really, it holds the essence of mindfulness.
Like yoga, surfing takes strength, skill, and self-reflection (plus a host of community-oriented and sustainability benefits, to boot). If you’re looking for a well-rounded form of exercise that can also give you the benefits of mindfulness, surfing might just be for you. Not convinced? Here are five reasons surfing feeds the mind, body, and soul.
It’s one of the most difficult sports: Think about it. Balancing on a surfboard takes some pretty impressive core strength. Balance, rhythm, and strength—needless to say, surfing takes some skill. So much so, it’s even a brand-new addition to the Olympic Games.
It allows you to connect to nature: Of course, there’s the obvious: You’re quite literally in the ocean as you surf. But don’t forget about the wildlife you share the water with—you might just see a whale pop up nearby. The best part? Surfing takes place in the ocean without affecting the ecosystem.
It’s meditative: Being in the moment is a part of surfing. Of course, if you’re a beginner, your thoughts most likely focus on how to maintain balance and avoid a face full of seawater. But once you’re able to catch a wave, you’ll be able to clear your mind and trust your body’s natural instincts. Better yet, you’ll become tuned into the natural movement of the wave. On a similar note, simply being out in the ocean can help you self-reflect and realize just how small you really are (just like how meditation can help you grasp the bigger picture of whatever is going on in your life).
It enhances sustainability initiatives: Surfers don’t want to be surfing on polluted, plastic-ridden oceans. As more and more people become interested in the sport, more (and stricter) clean water restrictions may follow suit.
It fosters community: Like any sport, surfing garners a community of passionate, valuable players. Just as you may share the same values as your fellow yogis, surfers follow that same beat.