Lucy Foster-Perkins has had a big life change from being a Roxy ambassador and starting Yoga for City Surfers in London to moving to Bali and becoming co-owner of the Pineapple House resort. We had a quick catch up with Lucy to find out what she’s up to and she also made a short video for us on some key moves for yoga practice before and after surfing. Give it a go!
Lucy, where are you from originally and why did you move to Bali?
I’m originally from Oxford in the UK. My first career was as a contemporary dancer but it’s not easy to find dance jobs where you can also surf so in 2013 I started teaching yoga to surfers so I could travel and surf. I first came to Bali to teach on a girls’ surf retreat but it was cancelled one1 week before I arrived. So, instead, I got in touch with a friend of a friend and asked to stay for a few days. That turned into six weeks and that friend, Rachel is now my business partner, housemate and one of my closest friends!
What’s it like living there?
One of the best things about living in Bali is the community here. Bali attracts so many open minded, big hearted people who are all committed to living a full and conscious life. Whether it’s surfing, enjoying the incredible food and culture here or simply sharing our experiences and journeys I feel we are part of one big family. Most of my friends surf so I love exploring different waves across the island with them too.
How did you get into yoga & surfing?
I had my first surf lesson in Cornwall on a family holiday when I was 16. I surfed as much as I could while I was training to be a dancer (I would even sneak off from my dance school in Leeds to go surfing in freezing Scarborough when a swell came in) and would spend a lot of my spare time in North Devon when I was working as a dancer in the UK.
Yoga came to me through dancing too. I soon saw how it was helping my surfing so it felt natural to pass that on when I started teaching. I started Yoga for City Surfers in London which ran for 5 years while I was traveling and teaching in France, India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Australia. I now teach at my retreat The Pineapple House and also online.
How does yoga benefit surfing?
Physically, yoga help your body stay open, flexibly and strong. This is particularly important for your joints which dry out and stiffen up as we get older. Movement and stretching helps to lubricate the joints and keep them happy. If you want to be surfing into your 60s and 70s then yoga is the way to go!
Yoga teaches us to have a healthy relationship with our thoughts, which often rule the roost if we don’t recognise that they are only thoughts, and not reality and is not a reflection of our true self. Surfing also helps us to stay in the moment, but we can get distracted and loose focus if we’re caught up in our thoughts and emotions. Through our mindfulness and meditation practices and pranayama (breathing) exercises we’re able to enjoy each surf even more, not to mention endure the wipe outs with more ease!
Any top tips for people looking to take up yoga?
Ask yourself “what do I need to balance out my lifestyle”. Do you want to feel calmer in your life? Do you need more space in your head? Or do you need to get moving and wake your body up? Be honest with yourself about what you need. If you’ve been running around all week then perhaps a fast paced, strengthening yoga class isn’t going to help you come back to centre and calm your whole system down as well as Yin Yoga class would, for instance. Get in touch with a local studio, tell them how you’d like to feel in your body and mind and they’ll be able to guide you to the right style.
How important is it to warm up before beginning a practice?
I notice a big different between my surfs when I warmed up and my surfs and I didn’t bother and just jumped straight in. I often get excited and skip the warm up but I notice the difference when I’m in the water. After I warm up I feel more coordinated and connected to my body. My limbs feel freer and lighter. In short, when I warm up I often have a much better surf!
“I am enough. We are all enough just the way we are.”
To see more of Lucy’s beautiful resort click here.
Photo courtesy: Yoga photos on the beach; Valentin Weinhaeupl Photography. Photos on the beach with Lost shortboard; Raul Aragão. Surfing photos with longboard; @kenparrk_st. Yoga photo teaching; Roxy (from the Run Sup Yoga in Jersey)