Words by Laurie Newman

We’ve all heard it enough times -yoga is great for surfing. Yet, that doesn’t necessarily mean that we have the time to squeeze in a 90 minute class every week. We’ve been speaking to Ashtanga yoga teacher Zoe Lee about the best poses for our core, arms and backs. Try out her top five poses and improve your strength in and out of the water- all in the comfort of your own home.

The Pose: Tadasana Mountain Pose

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-Improves posture
-Steadies breathing
-Strengthens thighs, knees, and ankles
-Increases strength, power, and mobility in the feet, legs, and hips.
-Firms abdomen and buttocks



The Pose: Chaturanga Dandasana or Four-Limbed Staff Pose


Chaturanga Dandasana is great for the whole upper body. This is a pose that is great for making pop ups stronger and faster.  The balancing pose also tests your strength whilst toning the back, triceps shoulders and core. No more bingo wings!


The Pose: Makarasana Dolphin Pose


Suffer from insomnia, fatigue or back pain? Then this is the pose for you.

Dolphin Pose is considered a forward bend and an inversion with many benefits. The pose is a downward facing dog on your forearms.

It will stretch out your spine as well as building strength in your shoulders, core arms and legs. This is also a great stretch for anyone with tight hamstrings and calves.


The Pose: Shalabhasana/ Locust Pose 

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If there was a pose developed especially for surfers then it would Locust pose. It strengthens the spinal and gluteal muscles, including the back of the arms and legs. Locust pose provides a gentle backbend which helps with strengthening the arch of our lower backs- the same part of our backs used in paddling and before take off on a wave. It stretches and strengthens the shoulders and the chest. It also tones the core and helps to expand the lungs.



This exercise is a very similar movement to paddling but it’s main focus is strengthening the lower back, shoulder and arm muscles as well as the core- all of which help to maintain our balance.

From Salabhasana you can play around within this pose. Inhale and extend one arm in front of you, exhale and release back to the torso. Want more of a challenge? Bring both arms forward and hold for 5 breaths.

Want to get more tips from Zoe? Check out her website:

Gemma White- model
Patricia Meye- photographer 

For  more surf fitness tips get the Surf Girl Guide to Surf Fitness here.