17 Mar The Mindfulness of Surfing
Do you feel like you are caught in the rat race? Does relaxation or your favourite sport come second to your busy work schedule? Sound like it’s time for you to escape.
Time to get back to you, time to put yourself first for a little while, even if only for a few days. We bet you’ll feel like a new person after.
You might have heard about the positive effects of yoga on both your mental and physical wellbeing. Whether you have tried it yet or not, the increasing number of yogis all over the world speaks volumes.
However, did you know surfing also has a profound therapeutic effect and doctors all over the world are starting to prescribe it for mental health reasons. The number of wellbeing charities being set up involving surfing has boomed, and with good reason!
You’ll hear many surfers say it isn’t a sport, but a lifestyle. It transforms you, and for many it starts from the very first time they hit the water. It is such an intense experience requiring full focus, that it takes your mind away from anything that might be causing worry, stress, or heartache. Many battling depression or PTSD have found refuge in surfing. You don’t need much to get started, a board and a wetsuit (and some waves). The steep learning curve will help keep the mind and body in the moment, focusing on how to master riding the waves for a long time to come, even at a progressed level, surfers agree being in the ocean still clears the mind.
First of all, it’s a physically intensive activity, so
guaranteed to be releasing endorphins to make you feel better. But there is so much more to it. Early morning surf checks, deciding on spots and boards, getting the boards ready, suiting up, it almost becomes like a ritual.
Walking onto the beach and feeling the first splashes of cool ocean on your face, there won’t be any other thoughts in your head but the surf session you’re about to endeavour on. You’ll feel the rush and anticipation for what’s to come.
Once you’ve managed to paddle out, the rhythm of the swells, the sound of the ocean, the wind and birds will fill your ears. You’ll be selecting sets and waves, focusing on take-off and open walls. Maybe even turns and crazy manoeuvres on the lip. You’re truly in the moment, mindful of the constant changing environment around you and how you can adapt to experience it fully.
Whatever has been causing you stress, anxiety or sadness, has long been left behind when you felt the first grain of sand touch your feet, or even as soon as you did your surf check and saw how epic it was. After your surf session, more likely than not, you’ll be riding on a high of how great a surf session you had and continue some mind surfing of the waves you caught.
If that’s not enough, the fresh sea air and physical activity will most certainly knacker you out. You’ll notice when you hit the pillow, less time spent pondering on life’s choices.
So, if you are in need of some down time, we believe it’s time to get yourself booked onto the Chicks on Waves surf retreat. You can combine the surf sessions with daily rooftop yoga sessions, or even just come on a yoga retreat.
There will be healthy meals made for you, something else you can switch off from for a few days. Other down time can be spent with your favourite book by the pool or with a walk to the local white sandy beach to spend some you-time enjoying the beautiful Portuguese coastline or getting to know the other women who might have joined the retreat for many of the same reasons you have. Instant connection. Time to switch off and just live a little.
After a few days, you’ll feel renewed and full of energy, ready to hit the deadlines again, or maybe even motivated to change your work/life balance? You wouldn’t be the first to switch careers to spend more time in the ocean. Get out here, you deserve it.