Meditation and Surfing: The Mind-Body Connection
Surfing is often referred to as a meditative experience. At the same time, meditation is often championed as a way to “surf life’s waves.”
As it turns out, meditation and surfing have a lot in common. As is true with surfing and jiu jitsu, practicing surfing and meditation together offers a wave of positive benefits.
At Beach Break Surf Camp, we pride ourselves on our holistic approach to surfing, health, and wellness. By incorporating mindfulness and meditation into our culture and lifestyle, we’re able to provide new and experienced surfers alike with a remarkable mind-body experience.
Read on to discover the benefits of meditation and surfing, and how the two can come together to enhance your surfing skills and overall well-being.
Reduce stress and anxiety
Both meditation and surfing are known to reduce stress and anxiety. In surfing, the combo deal of exercise, nature, fun, and adrenaline delivers a mega shot of mood-boosting endorphins.
There’s plenty of evidence behind the mental health benefits of meditation, including the reduction of stress and anxiety. Meditation leads us to directly confront our thoughts and feelings, sit with them, and be okay with them – even the unpleasant ones.
Much like we can’t ignore a powerful set of waves that come rolling in, we can’t ignore our thoughts and feelings without eventually getting taken down with them. Meditation helps us learn to see life’s waves coming in, pick up on the patterns, and ride them rather than getting pulled beneath the surface.
In today’s digital world, it’s easy to lose touch with ourselves. Whether due to social media, the expectations of others, or the pressures of modern life, it’s not uncommon for people to feel like they’re living double or triple lives, out of touch with their own wants and needs.
In both meditation and surfing, you have no choice but to sit and figure yourself out. Whether you’re sitting on your board patiently awaiting the next set or cross-legged on the couch, there’s little to distract you from yourself.
This uninterrupted time with yourself increases self-awareness, allowing you to get to know the real you. You might not always like what you find – anger when you miss a wave, sadness when you uncover a painful memory– but facing and acknowledging yourself is the first step to self-awareness and potential positive change.
Feel connected to the world
Our devices may help to connect us with others, but they can also drive a severe sense of disconnection with the world. While many of us have increased our quantity of connections, the quality of those connections often doesn’t dip past the surface.
Both surfing and meditation deepen our connection with the world around us– both the natural world and the people within it. In surfing, you are directly connected with nature as you use your skill and the ocean’s energy to ride its waves. In meditation, you tap into the world around you and– in some meditations– purposefully foster feelings of connection.
Surfing and meditation also offer deeper connections with others. Surfers share the waves (whether they like it or not) with others in the line-up, and are part of an overall surfing community. Meditation offers practices related to strengthening your relationships with others, such as loving-kindness meditations or meditations around conflict or forgiveness.
It may not happen overnight, but both meditation and surfing offer an ongoing opportunity to deepen your connection with the world.
Become mentally sharper
The average human attention span is declining, which can have a negative impact on our ability to learn new things, achieve our goals, and stick with things that are hard. Both surfing and meditation work your brain in significant ways, making for sharper overall mental health.
Meditation and surfing both require patience and improve your focus. In surfing, you need to be able to focus intently on the waves coming in– the direction, the speed, the size– plus keep a ton of other factors in mind– the time, the wind, the tide. Of course, patience is required waiting for the sets to roll in, or waiting on the best wave from each set.
Anyone who has tried meditating will tell you how much patience is required. Particularly in the beginning phase, you need to muster a lot of patience and even frustration. Depending on the meditation, you may be focusing intently on something, such as your breath or a mantra. Focusing in this way helps improve your ability to focus in the other things you do, too.
Leads to other positive changes
Both surfing and meditation tend to drive other positive life changes and even entire lifestyle shifts. This often includes eating healthier, reducing or refraining from drug or alcohol use, and maintaining a workout routine.
For many, these lifestyle shifts become natural. The benefits you get from meditation and surfing put you in a better place overall and help you make better decisions with greater clarity. Particularly in the case of surfing, you have a reason to take care of yourself; so you can show up and tackle the waves.
Experience our holistic approach to surfing
If you’re looking for a meaningful and memorable mind-body experience, come stay with us at Beach Break Surf Camp. We pride ourselves on our holistic approach to surfing, health, and wellness.
Whether you’re new to both meditation and surfing, or are seasoned surfer or meditation practitioner looking to hone your practice, we look forward to helping you harness the power of meditation and surfing.