A few things we are digging this week.
A few things we are digging this week.
A few things we are digging this week.
Every time we visit Colombia we fall more in love with this beautiful country. Each city and location gives you a good dose of cultural activities and spectacular natural beauty. We at Love Surf Yoga can’t get enough! And personally, since I grew up in its neighboring country of Venezuela, Colombia feels almost like home.
Here is a really easy to follow itinerary to one of our favorite cities in Colombia, Cartagena. We have visited Cartagena for retreats and also for family for my sister was married there. This four day itinerary is pretty legit! The Getsemani neighborhood is our favorite place to stay, just a few minutes walk away from the walled city, with an incredible market on the way into it. Everything in Getsemani is just slightly less priced than the markets and restaurants within the walls. There’s also way less people in Getsemani, which I prefer. To me, it feels like Brooklyn, my longtime home.
Have you been to Cartagena? Do you have tips to share?
By Guest Blogger Emily Elfassy
Both Productivity and Stress Levels can be linked to sound. Lets take a deeper look at how to create the right audible experience for the right moment to make the most of your day.
It often feels like sounds happen to you; horns honking, car alarms, jackhammers. Those noises strike the system, raise cortisol and immediately send the body into a state of stress. It’s powerful. Quantum physics tells us everything is in motion, everything is vibrating, creating continuous movement and continuous sound. Even as we sleep, the heart beats and the breath enters and exits the nose. All of the things that we hear cause resonance inside us: deep, full and reverberating with the power to change our mood, productivity and even our actions.
Close your eyes and imagine the sound of your best friends’ voice at the end of a hard day, the song of the summer your senior year of high school or the sound of a dripping sink when you’re trying to sleep. Now, imagine running a 5K to a soundtrack of lullabies, an entire workday of silence or having a baby who doesn’t cry. Sound has the power to evoke memories, emotions and even a visceral or physical response. Clearing sound can clear your mind and choosing the right music for the right moment can give you a clear advantage.
Morning Routines are all a buzz right now. Adding a soundtrack to start your day can, especially the same song or the same artist can subconsciously tell your body its time to get moving. News, television or talk radio is usually too much information in the morning. Try keeping at least the first hour of your day free of any noise that could create anxiety. This includes phone alerts, email pings and anything political.
Personal Power and confidence is increased when the third chakra is activated. Rap & Hip hop music hits you right there. On the way to an important meeting or a first date listen and channel your inner rapper. Intense beats in the gym can take you to the next level or help push through low energy to make your fitness goals happen. LSY Favorites: Rhianna, Cardi B, Kendrick Lamar
Distractions are increasingly difficult when work requires your full attention. Some people perform best in complete silence. Noise cancelling headphones are an investment but standard earplugs can also work wonders. For those who like music in the background, something ambient with few lyrics or subtle chanting is best for complex tasks or creative work. Classical, Jazz or Kundalini music are great options. LSY Favorites: Claude Debussy, Phillip Glass, White Sun, Tithai Too
Repetitive tasks that require efficiency are best done to your favorite music. This will cause the brain to release dopamine, the mood-enhancing chemical, and make tedious tasks more enjoyable and quick to finish. Weather its Reggie, techno or pop, if you’re chained to a computer or folding endless laundry listen to makes you most happy.
RELAXATION & MEDITATION
Dropping into your own inner voice and intuition is the best way to unwind, heal and recalibrate. Wind chimes, humming & vibrational sounds induce a quiet stillness in the mind. Sitting on the beach with the sound of waves crashing is the best place to balance and make big decisions in your life. Relaxing sounds can cause stress hormones and blood pressure to decrease and immunity to increase.
The universal yogi OM which to your ear sounds like AUM, Awe-oo-mm is heard at the frequency of 432 Hz which is the same basic vibrational frequency found in all things throughout nature, acknowledging the connection of each individual to the universe and creating a calming effect similar or in preparation to meditation. Tibetan Singing Bowls, Sound baths and Gongs all tap into the theta brain waves and create a harmonizing effect on the mind, body, and spirit.
LSY Favorites: "The Healing Power of Sound." By Dr. Mitchell L. Gaynor
While sleeping we continue to register the small noises around us and may even be jostled awake by outside sounds without even realizing it was the cause. White noise creates a soothing ambient blanket of sound neutralizing what you hear so that sharp sounds have less of an effect. This works extremely well for anyone who has trouble falling or staying asleep. White noise machines are relatively inexpensive but the same effect can be achieved with a fan, space heater or even humidifier as long as it creates a soft continuous sound.
LSY Favorites: Muji Ultrasonic Aroma Diffuser
Emily Elfassy is a Brooklyn based writer whose content, copy and creative work looks to focus and blend lifestyle, wellness, culture and motherhood. She also has super sensitive hearing and is as such a great listener.
I (Patricia, founder) recently pulled my hamstring while teaching an advanced variation of revolved triangle. I immediately put my knowledge to work- I rested, I did acupuncture, I took Advil to relieve the inflammation, I did Pilates at my own pace.
Now that it feels 90 percent back, my focus is to strengthen all the hip stabilizers so that my hips don’t tilt and create all kind of problems. Using a band is an excellent way to strengthen the muscle attachments. For this exercise, start with a side plank variation with the band on the mid shins, place a hand on a block or the mat, and keep your extended leg’s foot flexed. Using the extended leg, push your heel up and out with the until you feel resistance from the band and the foot comes off the mat. Repeat 50x. This exercise strengthens the abductors of the extended leg while the grounded leg provides with overall support.
This is part of a hamstring rehab sequence that I’ll break down in the next few days.
Yoga for Surfers
One legged Pigeon pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana) is an excellent outer hip opener, providing with release of this tight area to help with overall mobility and stability of the pelvis. It releases your hip flexor muscles (psoas, rectus femoris) and your groin muscles, opens your hip rotator muscles (gluteus medius and minimus) and provides length to the abdomen. Although it is said to relieve sciatic nerve tension and ease chronic low back pain, I have to disagree- sometimes this pose can hurt me for I suffer of both, and can make my lumbar spine feel sensitive, so as with all poses, do proceed with caution if you suffer from these as well. You may support this posture with a block under your flexed hip, or with a blanket across both sit bones.
We recently came back from one of our favorite places on Earth, Barbados. Located in the Caribbean, Barbados offers a mix of a quiet and active retreat, a true escape full of fun surf in beautiful beaches, an opportunity to practice yoga and meditation by the ocean, while staying in one of the most beautiful locations in Barbados. It is one of those weeks that feel like a perfect retreat.
The day starts with a vinyasa yoga or a meditation class, we then had breakfast at Ocean Spray overlooking the Caribbean. After eating, we surfed daily with the amazing instructors of Zed's surfing adventures at the beautiful Freights Bay.
As usual, we got a mix of newbie and expert yogis and surfers, and by the end of the week, everyone had rode tons of waves, enjoyed the yoga, and lastly, we were all hanging out, messaging our private group to go to dinner at Oistins, hanging out beachfront, and going for day trips. The entire week flew by. I am not going to lie, I was exhausted from all the activities! The retreat finished on Friday, so thankfully I took the entire weekend to recharge in preparation for the work week.
We can't wait to hit up Zed's Surfing and Ocean Spray again next year!
What you will need to bring on a retreat.
Unplug while waiting to go on retreat
Triangle pose, yoga for surfers
Yoga for Surfers
If you follow my instagram account, you can see I just came back from an epic Surf and Yoga retreat in the North Shore of Oahu. The vibe at the North Shore is the perfect LSY vibe, relaxed surfy vibes, gorgeous beaches, amazing surf breaks, food trucks all around. We loved our time there! After Oahu, I traveled to Maui to study with David Williams and to look for more retreat centers.
I surfed at the stunning Honolua Bay (about 10 minute drive from the world famous Jaws) and I must say that I didn't have my best session. I am always stoked to surf in gorgeous breaks, but it does get intimidating when everyone in the line up is amazing! I came up with an exercise, a combination of Locust pose with Pilates Swimming, with a tricep strengthening variation that i show on my Instagram.
Also, check my Instagram for my weekly yoga for surfers series!
Essential poses for surfing
Patricia here :) and just wanted to share with you my new website, which I am really excited about! My weekly schedule of classes is here, and also more information about happenings and trainings. Lastly, you can sign up for my newsletter! Do not worry, I don't like them either, so I will only send a couple per year with all my retreats and events. I am also creating a meditation page, so you will know when I do that as well.
I was recently asked by a friend to share the most useful yoga asanas for surfing. If you have ever been surfing, you know surfing is way more than standing up on the board. There’s the stamina component, flexibility, strength, paddling out to the line up (my nightmare for a long time) learning when to paddle onto the wave to stand up, when to speed up, when to not go, and finally when you have all that, is figuring out your own style, cruising on the board. There is so so much going on! I will be breaking down some of the asanas I sent her in the next few weeks here.
Bhujangasana or Cobra Pose variation
Prepares you for: Overall stability on the surfboard, paddling out, standing up.
Bhujangasana or Cobra Pose is an excellent core strengthener. This variation in particular is a great heart opener. By opening the Pectoralis major and minor, there is more freedom in the whole upper body for paddling, and you train your back muscles such as the Latissimus Dorsi to be more stable. This equals less work for the shoulders which can feel destroyed after a good session. The shoulder girdle needs all the help it can get from your core so that effort is spread throughout the body. Press your thighbones and toenails firmly onto the mat for maximum engagement of the entire core. Lastly, don’t forget to breathe! Steady breathing helps the nervous system stay super chill, so when you see a huge set coming you don’t freak out :)
Our May retreat to Barbados was a great success! Read about our trip here.
In late February, a group of 22 of us headed to Boca Sombrero in Osa Peninsula for our annual Surf and Yoga retreat in Costa Rica. Jacob and I chose the most important texts of Yoga as topics to discuss, and as always, we did our thing in the yoga asana portion, the usual, super fun, challenging classes. The overall temperature of both the water and environment was extra warm due to El Nino, but with that, we also got some super fun waves and beautiful, sunny skies. The entire group surfed at least once! It was pretty amazing. It was the most surfers we’ve ever had in our retreats!
It was a pretty long trip for me and my boyfriend Morten. We took 16 days to drive around the entire country of Costa Rica in search for more places for LSY to do retreats. We started our journey in Playa Hermosa, and stayed at the lovely Vida Asana, the location where we held our first surf and yoga retreat. We then continued down the coast of Costa Rica, into Playa Ballena, and then drove all the way down into Osa Peninsula to Boca Sombrero. Some of the drive was some of the most stunning scenery I have ever seen! And some of the ride was the bumpiest I've ever experienced. After the retreat, we went to the amazing Chirripo River and stayed at the Chirripo Lodge, a stunning and dramatic yoga retreat center located next to the Chirripo River. It was one of the highlights of the trip! The place was gorgeous, the owners were kind and attentive. Lastly, we finished by visiting the Irizu volcano, an impressive crater and dormant volcano.
Next year, we are heading to Boca Sombrero in March. If you are interested in joining us, just e-mail me! We already have some sign-ups, and this retreat always sells out.