I’m lucky enough to be working on Namotu island for 2 months. It’s so good it doesn’t even seem real. Perfect lefts, perfect rights, massive tuna, snorkling, wakeboarding, beer, rum and happy fijians. Of course I’m here to work which consists of training ‘Scotty’ the owner of the island at 6am every day, doing yoga at 7-8, then training happy fijians and taking guests surfing throughout the rest of the day. Being a cunning linguist I’m getting pretty good at the language. Ahoo domino iku means I love you for example. I’ve found someone who can beat me at table tennis (for the moment!) Ulai, the boatman who is famous for climbing a tree and getting a coconut as a kid in the Endless Summer movie. Today there’s a massive storm which has given me the opportunity to write this. On Thursday some Brazilian Pro WCT surfers arrive on the island for 2 weeks so I’m going to train them. Here’s an example of a yoga surf flexibility, core and rotary strength session I did this morning with Americans, Australians and Fijians. Improved mobility around joints can decrease the risk of injury and improve performance, enabling your body to get in more demanding positions without putting strain on the muscles.
Warm Up: Dynamic stretching in all planes of movement. Shoulders, side bends, squats, lunges, Leg raises.
Reistance band PNF – Excellent for shoulders after a day of paddling. With a resistance band reach up and bring the band behind you letting the band pull your hands closer and closer together each time you exhale. Add seated side bends stretching out paddling muscles (Lats).
Shoulders – Strengthen deltoids and rotator cuff muscles by tying resistance band to a tree and working all planes of movement. (abduction(out), Adduction (in), Flexion, and extension. (Back and forwards). Excellent for shoulder rehab following an injury or postural weakness. (see below)
Sun Salutations – 3 x Forward folds, cobra (up dog), Down dog, Leg extension plus 3 legged core press.
Pigeon Lunge plus back leg grab or standing pigeon (Human Knott)
From a lunge position bring your right foot to your left hand and let your right knee drop to the floor. With your hips and shoulders facing forwards slowly drop your head, reach forwards, straighten the back leg and let the left side of your pelvis drop to the floor. Then for an extension bring the left heel towards the left glute grabbing your ankle to stretch the hip flexor and quadriceps. (see below)
Standing pigeon – Excellent for proprioceptive balance, and releasing piriformis to release tension in lower back. (see below)
Arm balance to Indo Squat
From Down Dog use your core to bring your right leg outside your right hand. Place your right shoulder under your hamstring and attempt to balance on both hands extending the back leg.
Indo squat to Frog
Excellent for adductor muscles (inner groin). If you’ve been to Indo you’d have seen the locals hanging out in this position playing chess, cards, chatting. Requires excellent hamstring and groin flexibility.
Frog + Leg extension – From an Indo squat lean forward onto both hands and hold yourself in the air. For an extension extend one leg then return your knee to your elbow then extend the other leg. (see below)
Nose balance – your head should be off the ground unless you have an unfortunate nose like mine. (see below)
Core and rotary strength
Protect back by strengthening core and erector Spinae muscles surrounding vertebrae. Increase turning power by strengthening tranverse abdominals and obliques
Curl Ups + seated hamstring stretch – Using band if you like. Lying on your back curl up one vertebrae at a time from your pelvis keeping your hamstrings on the ground. Reach for your toes and use your breathing to increase the stretch.
Plank plus Leg raises – In a plank position on your elbows and toes contract pelvic floor and core muscles. Use Intra-abdominal pressure to protect your back. Extend first left leg 10 times and then right.
Side Plank Fallen tree – On your elbow push your hips up working your tranverse abdominals and obliques. Place the top foot on the top thigh in a fallen tree position. Bring your top elbow to your bottom hand 12 times. (Slow and controlled). Keep your hips square and hold for 10 seconds. Excellent for rotary strength for surfing and completing big turns..
Boat plus table top –Bring your legs and back off the floor and reach and hold isometrically for 10 seconds. Then put your feet on the floor and bend your knees, push your hip up and make your body into a table. Repeat 3 times.
Happy Baby plus relaxation/meditation – On your back grab the inside of both feet and each time you exhale pull your feet down towards the floor stretching your adductors. (inner groin). Then place the souls of your feet together and let your feet drop to the floor. Perform deep yogic breaths let a bright light flash through your body and let all negative energy flow out of the top of your head!!!
A good start to the day! Then eat a nutrient dense breakfast such as fruit, muesli, porridge, scrambled egg whites and vegetables and have a good day not getting stressed about small unimportant things and practising random acts of kindness and senseless beauty.