Hello Lucy, so how did you get into surfing and what do you love most about it?
I started in Cornwall when I was 16 and on holiday with my family and I’ve fallen more and more in love with it ever since then. Maybe it’s because I was a dancer before I was a yoga teacher, but I feel like I’m dancing on the water when I surf, even though it may not always look very graceful! I love how the ocean allows you to see the bigger picture of whatever is going on in your life and keeps you humble when you get battered around by the waves!
Where are you from?
I’m from Oxford, it’s a beautiful, but far away from the sea!
How did you get into yoga and how long have you been teaching it?
I started when I was training to be professional dancer and used it during my dance career to stay strong, flexible and level headed. It wasn’t long until I realised how much it was helping my surfing so I when I started teaching, 2.5 years ago, I knew I wanted to pass on what I’d discovered to other surfers.
You ran classes at Soul and Surf in India/Sri Lanka what was that like?
Yes, it was my first job in the tropics! Living and surfing in India is like no other place. It’s a mix of every contradiction you can think of so you quickly learn to go with the flow from day to day, which is a good lesson I think! I learnt so much about myself when I was in India, but they certainly weren’t the things I thought I’d learn!
Teaching and running the classes for Soul and Surf was an incredible experience and one I’ll take with me everywhere I go. My last job with S&S was teaching and surf guiding at their first Sumatran retreat in March, which blew my mind and I feel so lucky to be able to take such amazing memories home with me and to my next adventure!
Did you surf while you were there, what was it like?
Surfing in India isn’t like surfing anywhere else! The Indian community where we lived and surfed are only just starting to get used to surfers being around but it’s vertically impossible to buy any surf equipment and we have to do all our repairs ourselves. We salvaged any sort of repair equipment we had and swapped and shared the boards that we brought out with us. It wasn’t unusual to surf with only a couple of other friends in the water and we’d have the most incredible, vibrant and vivid views of the coast when I looked back from the sea.
Sri Lanka has more consistent waves and varied waves, but with it comes more surfers. It was so good to have such a variety of spots to choose from but it was the people (and the food!) that really made it! I fell in love with the county as soon as I stepped off the plane and went there 3 times in 9 months!
Where are you based in the UK and what’s your fave place to work/surf?
Over the last two years I’ve spent half of the year in the Tropics – India, Sri Lanka and Indonesia – and half the year in Europe. When I’m in the UK I’m often in London to teach my Yoga for City Surfers class, Bristol (to set up Yoga for City Surfers Bristol, which is starting in September) and North Devon, where I really fell in love with surfing. I go back to Mortehoe, near Woolacombe, to surf, switch off, walk, film my online yoga classes and see friends. I love dipping my toe in the craziness of London and travelling around the country to see friends before leave again, but I feel most relaxed and at home when I’m by the sea in Devon. A piece of my heart is always there no matter where I go and I still think that stretch of coastline is the most beautiful I’ve even seen.
How did you get into doing surf yoga and how does it benefit our surfing?
I started teaching yoga to surfers after a saw how much yoga was helping my own surfing strength and technique. On a superficial level yoga not only strengthens your body and helps you find more flexibility (which is great for injury prevention in wipe outs) but it also helps you develop your proprioception (awareness of where your body is in space), balance and breath control. More importantly though, yoga is there to help you ask yourself where you and your mind “is at” in the present moment, and how we relate to our body and the thoughts in our heads. We’re often planning and thinking about the future, or reliving or worrying about the past, and we forget to be “in the moment”. Surfing helps you bring your mind back to the present, which makes us happy, and the more you can practice that out of the water the happier you’ll be in all aspects of our lives. It’s as simple as that.
What areas are main areas to focus on?
Upper body strength, core strength, coordination, breath control, overall flexibility, focus and happiness!
What mottos do you try to live by?
Surround yourself with people who are good to you and be good to others. Surf, get outdoors and remember how small you are on this planet!
Describe your life in 5 words?
Colourful, humbling, adventurous, varied, happy!
Check out Lucy’s online yoga workout for SurfGirl here
Lucy Foster-Perkins is a yoga teacher that specialises in teaching surfers. Three years ago she founded Yoga for City Surfers, which helps landlocked surfers in London, Bristol and (with Sofie Ringsten) Stockholm stay surf fit when they’re away from the water, and is looking to extend the class to other cites in Europe in 2016.
Lucy spends six months of the year teaching surfers in India, Sri Lanka or Indonesia and creates online yoga classes for surfers where ever she goes.
Go to www.lucyfosterperkins.com for more information and inspiration or check out her YouTube channel (Lucy Foster-Perkins) to try out more of her online yoga classes. Lucy is also a Roxy and EQ-Love ambassador.