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WATCH: How to Crack Open a Coconut

Quarantine getting you down? Grab a coconut (with some disposable gloves and a mask!) at your local market and take out that pent up aggression! Bonus points for eating a healthy snack. :)
I’ve got a lovely bunch of coconuts! And I don’t know how to get into them–I often hear something like this when the discussion of cocos cracks wide open.

As a long-time fan of fresh coconut water and meat, allow me to impart a few recommendations about the coco cracking process in my video below:

AND! In the video, I mention my favorite smoothie recipe. Check it out:
How to Make the Best Coconut Smoothie 

Strike a Pose: 6 Yoga Postures that Improve your Surfing

Whether you shred the gnar or gracefully glide across the face of a wave, it is common knowledge the best exercise for surfing is, well, surfing! However, out of the million billion workout trends found beneficial as a cross-training source, yoga often pops up onto almost every surfer’s radar one way or another. If you treat it like a workout (see “hot yoga sculpt”) or as a way to decompress, a yoga practice has something for everyone.

“For surfers, the focus is a lot of heart opening, arm and back strengthening postures,” said Tiffany Martin, Warrior One Wellness Owner and Yoga Instructor. “Surfers are often already in that halfway lift point, so in postures like Up-Dog or Baby Cobra, your legs and toes are still active, which are really important for balance, strengthening and back support.”

Legendary pro surfers like Gerry Lopez and Greg Long have long-since cultivated disciplined practices and, as a result, have improved their surfing and breathing techniques, according to a Surfer Magazine article “How To Save Your Surfing with Yoga.” In some instances, such as Long’s Cortes Bank wipe out, learning to calm the mind and holding breath under extreme duress are a few factors that can play lifesaving roles.

There are hundreds of yoga poses that can benefit your surfing. Customize at will!

Here are 6 yoga poses to get you started, courtesy of Tiffany Martin:

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1.) Chaturanga danda, a.k.a.: Low Plank

How: Bend your upper and lower arms 90 degrees at the elbows. Shoulders should not drop lower than the height of your elbows. Hold this pose for 30 seconds or more!

Benefits:

  • Strengthens arms and wrists
  • Tones abdominal muscles
  • Strengthens quads

2.) Urdhva mukha svana, a.k.a.: Upward Facing Dog

How: Start by lying face down on the floor with legs extended behind you, toes a few inches apart. Place hands next to your lower ribs. Inhale and press your hands into the floor, pushing your body upward. Firmly press down through the tops of your feet.

Benefits:

  • Strengthens the spine, arms and wrists
  • Stretches chest, shoulders and abdomen
  • Improves posture

3.) Bhujangasana, a.k.a.: Baby Cobra

How: Begin by lying on your belly, inhale and place elbows under your shoulders, forearms on the floor. Make sure your thighs are firm and point your toes behind you. Breath deep and feel the bend.

Benefits:

  • Stretches shoulder, chest and abdominal muscles
  • Decreases stiffness in the lower back
  • Strengthens arms and shoulders
  • Strengthens the spine
  • Elevates mood
  • Improves circulation of blood and oxygen

4.) Adho Mukha Svanasana, a.k.a.: Downward Facing Dog

How: Bend your knees, come to the balls of your feet. Bring your shins parallel to the mat and lift your sit bones high and back. Press hips towards the wall behind you and begin to straighten your legs. Remember to keep your head out of your shoulders and allow your shoulder blades to slide down your back.

Benefits:

  • Strengthens arms and legs
  • Stretches shoulders, hamstrings and calves
  • Lengthens spine
  • Energizes the body
  • Calms the brain and helps relieve stress

5.) Paripurna Navasana, a.k.a.: Boat Pose

How: Sit on the floor with straight legs in front of you. Exhale slowly and lean back on your sit bones lifting your legs with knees bent off our the floor. Your thighs should be angled at 45 degrees. Hands can be held out in front of you or to the side. Remember to breath.

Benefits:

  • Strengthens abdominal muscles, hip flexors and spine
  • Stimulates kidneys and thyroid
  • Improves digestion

6.) Eka Pada Rajakapotasana , a.k.a.: Pigeon Pose

How: This pose is ideal to implement while you are in Down Dog.

From Down Dog, bring your right shin forward and down so that your right foot is in front of your left hip and your right shin is nearly parallel to the front edge of your mat. Flex your right foot. Stretch your left thigh back as you draw your left hip forward.

Lengthen your belly as you fold over your right leg. If your right hip does not easily reach the floor, place a folded blanket or block under your right sitting bone. Breathe deep and repeat on the other side.

“Hip-opening can help release the low back and the legs,” said Martin. “You can only get so open in the upper body if your hips are super tight, so that’s a needed balance for practice.”

Benefits:

  • Strengthens abdominal muscles, hip flexors and spine
  • Stimulates kidneys and thyroid
  • Improves digestion
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Yoga has become a popular pastime for many people across the nation and world. Check your local listings for classes in your area. Free classes are also available–a simple donation is usually requested at the end of class.

“I started a beach yoga class at Doheny state beach in Dana Point,” said Martin. “Come join me! It’s every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 8:15 a.m. and I also teach privately at my house studio.”

In addition to teaching at several local studios, Martin also developed Warrior One Wellness, a fitness company, where she hosts yoga sessions for different treatment centers, corporations, events and parties.

Click here for more information about Warrior One Wellness!

Yoga offers many health benefits for not only surfers, but also dancers, athletes and the mass populous in general. According to The Yoga Health Foundation, yoga can reduce cortisol levels, which contribute to stress and weight gain. Even a small amount of daily stretching can improve flexibility and blood flow, as well as decrease the potential for injury, said the Mayo Clinic.

Keep an open mind, remember to breathe through the hard parts and watch your physical and mental well-being transform over time.

How to Surf a Crowded Lineup

1.) Do your Homework

Thought you could escape class for a surf? Hahahahahahaha–No. If you are a newcomer/beginner/slacker, it’s good to study up on the actual break or else allow the locals to school you.

Hellllooo, homework!

And hey, we all learn in different ways! Just be sure to get a good understanding of “when the wave breaks here, don’t be there” concept and try to stay out of the impact zone. Often times perfection and hastiness will get the better of us and we charge out to the peak only to discover a side shore current that conveniently drops us off right where we don’t want to be.
Damn, there goes that Clif Bar.

In case it’s not totally obvious, ask yourself: Is it a point break, beach break or a reef? Where do you want to paddle out? Where is the impact zone? What waves are people avoiding and why? If you can stand it, take some time to chill on the sand and watch a few waves roll through before jumping in. Chances are there is a Surfline cam dedicated to that spot, so you’ve probably already watched it online, anyway.

2.) Patience, Young Skywalker

Patience, Keoni.

Once you paddle out, this is also a great opportunity to sit back, relax and observe the natural flow of the lineup. Try not to be pushy and paddle straight to the peak. Paddling out there like Billy Badass won’t score you waves unless you’re a pro…but most of the time, these guys are humble and kind when they paddle out any way. The peak is not a place for an undeserved sense of entitlement. Stow the ego.

Do not–I repeat–DO NOT snake, back-paddle or drop in on a local. That’s a great way to leave your wave count at 1 and local respect at 0.
No matter how popular or populated, always show respect for the people who have already put in their time at the break. But remember: much like they taught you in preschool, everyone gets a turn and you will get yours.
If you’re constantly getting snaked and this is your fourth or fifth visit to the spot, forget what I just wrote. (see ‘Tales of a Back paddling Player‘)

 

 

3.) An Attitude of Gratitude

Yea, you might not get the same amount of waves as you would from your usual spot at first, but showing appreciation towards the locals goes a looooong way

Getting stoked!

Remember how awesome it is to be a surfer! Think about the first time you ever paddled out and how excited or nervous you were and then think about the first wave you ever stood up on! Typically that will bring a smile to your face, right??

When the crowd grows to overwhelming proportions and your wave count is in the single digits, forget the small stuff and be thankful you have the capability to be out there in the first place. Didn’t we just celebrate Thanksgiving? ;)

:D :D :D :D :D

4.) Fight for Your Right

At Lower Trestles, anything is possible.

Just keep that Beastie Boys song in your head while you scour the lineup for a ride. If you’re a newbie, take what scraps you can get before working your way into the lion’s den. You gotta earn your stripes first, so get out there and take what you can! A little inside runner at Lowers

can sometimes be a better shaped wave than the peak, anyways! Some places are gold mines with elusive perfect peaks that sneak through the outside or swing wide from the peak. Those, to me, are fair game. Just be sure come prepared with a strong paddle game! Do those extra push-ups and keep that cardio in check because in a crowd, cardio is key.
Keep hunting grounds open for any opportunity to legitimately place yourself in a priority position and fight for that right to party…with a smile. 

 

 

5.) There Will be (more) Waves

It is not the end of the world today…at least I hope not. Good thing for us several million surfers around the planet, the ocean never sleeps or goes on vacation. It will bring more of those luscious rippable lines again…and again and again…every day, somewhere on the planet. Unless you have the time, grapes and/or Benjamins to go on an epic journey in search for your perfect private peak, crowds will always be a reality. So stop whining and put those big girl panties on!

Marching to detonate

There will always be more waves and you will only be that much more prepared once they roll through again! All the more reason to cherish those epic days when everyone at your break is scoring waves, even your newbie self. Some of my most memorable and special moments were at Lower Trestles with 50 people out during a firing swell. Smiles all around, enough waves for everyone, sunshine and dolphins …it’s magical. But don’t expect this every time. More often than not, waves won’t be perfect and the locals won’t always be in a giving mood. So sack up and practice that cardio! It’s not the end of the world! :)

Until then–absence makes the heart grow fonder.