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The Nicaragua Yoga Institute Guide to Power Yoga Poses For Surfers

Nicaragua is an amazing destination for Yogis and Surfers.  Sam Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua is home of The Nicaragua Yoga Institute, the leading yoga retreat center in Central America, Zen Yoga Studio, the first Yoga Studio in San Juan Del Sur,   as well as Chica Brava, one of the worlds top women’s surf camps.

Yoga is the ultimate exercise for balance, strength, and focus for surfing.  In fact, many professional surfers such as Kelly Slater and Gerry Lopez  practice yoga daily and make it a routine before and after every surf session. It is especially important for beginner and experienced surfers alike.

Yoga helps build flexibility, generate core strength and mental awareness. A solid core and balance are key for beginner surfers. Yoga empowers surfers to also focus on the breath, both on your mat and your surfboard.

Whether this is your first Yoga Retreat or you are just new to surfing or an experienced wave rider, adding these 4 poses to your yoga routine will help you pop up and stay up on your board for tons of fun when we hit the areas best beach breaks.

Utkata Konasana – The Nicaragua Yoga Retreat – Surf God(dess) Pose

Nicaragua Volcano Pose Yoga Retreat


At the Nicaragua Yoga Institute we also hit the world’s most vibrant volcanoes for some empowering vinassa, the perfect place to practice your goddess pose amongst the ancient lava flows.

Surfing is all about leg strength.  Start standing, separate your feet approximately distance of length of one of your legs. You can turn your feet out to a comfortable degree, usually 45 degrees is comfortable. Raise your arms out straight from your shoulders and bend them at your elbows to form a 90 degree angle. Have your palms facing forward and fingers energized and extended. Start to slowly bend your knees until they also reach a 90 degree angle and hold the pose.

Be very careful as you bend your knees that they do not knock inward. Be sure that your knees always track directly over your toes, even if that means modifying the angle your feet. This is so important to build the correct strength in the legs and to protect the very vulnerable knee joint.  Yoga Pose one accomplished!

Warrior II to Side Angle – The Nicaragua Yoga Retreat – Board Balance Pose

sm rev beach

Now lets move onto Warrior Two Pose, which  brings balance and strong core stability to your surfing skill sets.  Step your feet wide apart and raise your arms up to shoulder height. Your wrists should line up over your ankles. Turn your right foot out 90 degrees and turn your left foot perpendicular to the right. Inhale, engage your core and exhale bend into the right knee. From Warrior II pose (with right knee bent), bring the right elbow down to the right knee and inhale the left arm up towards the ceiling and then exhale the arm over the ear, making a straight line with the left side of your body.

Keep the right knee bent directly over the ankle, sink the hips down towards the floor, and reach the left fingers away from the left foot. Breathe and hold for 2-5 breaths. To release: inhale and reach the left fingers up and back into warrior II or straighten the legs coming into 5 pointed star. Repeat on other side. This will also help your frontside and backside wave ride balance.


Plank Pose – The Nicaragua Yoga Retreat – Surfer Shoulder Pose

nicaragua yoga retreat surfing









Plank is an excellent pose for gaining surfing strength and stability in your core and your shoulders. This will help you build the power for your pop-ups (surf-ese for getting on your feet).  Begin on your hands and knees, with your wrists directly under your shoulders. Breathe smoothly and evenly through your nose. Bring your thoughts to focus on the present moment. Spread your fingers and press down through your forearms and hands. Do not let your chest collapse. Gaze down between your hands, lengthening the back of your neck and drawing your abdominal muscles toward your spine. Tuck your toes and step back with your feet, bringing your body and head into one straight line.

Keep your thighs lifted and take care not to let your hips sink too low. If your butt sticks up in the air, realign your body so your shoulders are directly above your wrists. Draw your pelvic floor muscles toward your spine as you contract your abdominal muscles. Keep your head in line with your spine. Broaden across your shoulder blades and across your collarbones. Draw down through the bases of your index fingers — do not let your hands roll open toward the pinkie fingers.

Press the front of your thighs (quadriceps) up toward the ceiling while lengthening your tailbone toward your heels. Hold the pose while breathing smoothly for five breaths. If you are using the pose to build strength and stamina, hold for up to five minutes.

Locust Pose – The Nicaragua Yoga Retreat –  Power Pelvis Pose

Lie on your belly and place your hands right under your shoulders. Your legs are either together with the ankles touching or hips-distance apart. Lengthen your buttocks toward your heels and extend and reach through your legs and spread your toes. Inhale and, on an exhale, press the pelvis down and lift your hands, chest and feet off the ground. Lift with the whole of the spine not just from the back of your neck and keep the legs active and strong.

This will help keep space in your lower back and keep you from compressing and jamming up the lower back. Try coming up and down for 3 rounds on your breath. Inhale up, exhale to lower and, on the 3rd round, hold the lifted posture for more breaths. As you are on your board waiting for the right wave, you will need to build up your lower back strength, especially when you paddle to catch a wave and get your chest forward off the board for those deep strokes.

Nicaragua Yoga Institute is the ultimate getaway for a yoga retreat and is home to the worlds best surfing. 

The benefits that yoga can have on surfers are pretty far-reaching. Whether it’s through strength, flexibility, or simply just breathing better—all these things are highly important in surfing.

After spending more than four decades studying the ancient Indian practice, Gerry Lopez is as qualified as they get when it comes to discussing yoga’s benefits for surfing.

gl nicaragua yoga institute surfing


I’ve been surfing for 55 years and I’m still learning. But I do know that if you can find your focus and clear your mind, you’ll progress more. That’s a part of the reason I think young people have such a higher success rate than older people in the sport. They’re able to clear their minds when they’re in the water. The older you get, the more your mind gets filled with all of the little things and it becomes increasingly hard to just focus on the moment and what’s in front of you. Back in the day at the Pipeline, if it got too loud and I couldn’t focus, I’d tell people “Hey, no talkin’ in the lineup.” When you’re surfing waves like that, you have to be tuned in.” – Gerry Lopez.

With these power yoga poses you can become a balanced warrior on the water and your mat.  So get started today!  …..and head down to San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua for some soulful surfing  and sun salutations in paradise.  Check out our Retreat Schedule at www.NicaraguaYogaInstitute.com for some stoked sun salutations.

Want a Beautiful Yoga Beach Body…Mind & Spirit?

Monique Claudio – Melt Move and Grove Beach-Yoga Spa Retreat – Nicaragua Yoga Institute April 12-18 2015

Bone Up on Beach Yoga Benefits

Practicing yoga outdoors yoga has amazing benefits that you just can’t achieve in a yoga studio, and the beach is the best place to get the most out of your yoga practice. Whether you visit your yoga studio everyday during the week or you’re a brand new beginner, or you are on a yoga in retreat in Nicaragua, I don’t need to remind you of all the emotional and physical wellness benefits yoga offers.

However, if you haven’t thought of elevating your practice to a new level and environment, it’s about time to reconsider the call of the ocean. Practicing yoga in the sun and on the sand has many additional benefits that you just can’t get in a gym studio or your home.

If you can’t make it to a Nicaragua Yoga Institute Retreat, we’ve pulled together the top six reasons you’ll get the most out of youe beach yoga practce no matter where you dig your toes into the sand.

Six Secrets to a Yoga Beach Body…..Mind and Spirit

Nicaragua Yoga Institute 100 HR Yoga Teacher Training – Register Now to become a yoga instructor in 3 weeks Feb 14 to March 9th with Peter Sterios, Founder of Manaduka, at the Nicaragua Yoga Institute and Zen Yoga Studio Center


  1. Dig Your Dharma in The Sand

You might be able to maintain a tree-pose for a long time in a yoga studio, however the flat, wooden flooring might not be challenging you enough. When you practice yoga in the sand on a beach, your body, calves, feet, and core have to work much harder.

This is because sand isn’t a stable surface, it moves and shifts underneath you, and you constantly need to make small adjustments to maintain each pose. This causes you to use more of the muscles in your legs, feet, core, and arms, including many muscles that you might not normally use.

The result? A more intense, mindful, deep, full-body workout…and a very well toned beach body, mind, and spirit.


  1. Find Your Zen – Balance

Besides building great muscle tone, sand can also greatly improve your overall balance. The uneven and ever-changing nature of the sand surface itself provides you with a natural balance board. Set your driste on the ocean and as you get the hang of it, you might find the sand a better means of support for your practice as a whole on and off the sand, and your mat, since you can learn to contour your movements no matter where your practice or day takes you. When our guests come to Nicaragua for a yoga retreat, we practice on the vibrant black sands surrounding the volcanoes, to multiple sand surfaces at our pristine beaches. Over time, you’ll be really digging your dharma into those balance poses and finding a strong stability you didn’t know you had.

And, because it’s also a much softer and more shock-absorbent surface than a wooden or cement floor, sand can be gentler on your knees and joints–a major bonus for people of all ages.


  1. Clear Your Mind and Heart

Whether you are on a yoga retreat in Nicaragua, or go to your local beach, you go to get away, get still and relax. Combining relaxation with yoga’s mindful attributes is the ultimate mindful mix of letting go and deep relaxation. So it a no-brainer to unite the two. Nothing beats Svasana on the beaches of San Juan Del Sur’s  Playa Hermosa or Maderas, or even your own your own home beachside practice.

The nice warmth of the sand, refreshing beat of the waves, fresh smell of the ocean, and the calmness of the wind will inspire to a calmer, more peaceful placeSo skip the studio and hit the sand and surf for practice your entire body and soul deserve.

  1. Simply Breathe

The most critical aspects of our Nicaragua yoga retreats is remembering to just breathe. Especially with the pristine beaches and clean fresh ocean air.  This provides your muscles the oxygen they crave. Discover your Ujjayi breathing and channel your breathe into your sun salutations as your hands sweep the sand and rise to meet the setting sun.

When you integrate the practice of Ujjayi breathing more with the cleansing ocean air,  you’ll deepen your practice and your balance in it’s most natural state — in nature.


  1.  Sun Salutations & Moonlight Magic

Follow the Sun – XAVIER RUDD — It’s a fact many people don’t get enough vitamin D. Vitamin D increases your health and is a natural anti-depressant. Fortunately your body produces vitamin D when your skin is exposed to the sun (please wear sunscreen). This provides another perfect excuse to go on a Nicaragua yoga retreat and hit the beautiful beaches for some soothing sun riched vitamin D that only the equator can provide.

After the sun sets, feel the magic of the moon and practice amongst the tree tops swaying in the refreshing breeze as the sun sets and the moonlight  recharges your energy and spirit. Nothing can beat the sunset and sunrise  tree-top studio, Zen Yoga Studio, in downtown San Juan Del Sur, with founder and world famous yoga instructor, Vanessa Pattison, where you get the best of both worlds –the magic of the moon and love of the sun then cap off your practice at their Buddha Juice Bar and Massage Center to replenish your body for the rest of your day and night.


ZenYoga_  NicaraguaYogaInstitute.com
Zen Yoga Studio _  NicaraguaYogaInstitute.com



  1. Go on a Nicaragua Yoga Retreat -The World’s Top Rated Yoga & Surfing Beaches

When going to the beach to practice yoga, or exploring yoga retreats, add Nicaragua to your list, and hit the beach with friends for a quite spot on a Nicaragua Yoga Retreat. After each practice, feel free to take a refreshing swim, volunteer in town, take a surf lesson or indulge in a massage. You newly balanced beach body deserves it. Here are some retreats that provide beach yoga with multiple eco-adventures and healthy spa activities to indulge in night and day from horseback riding to zip-lining and volcano trekking, all of which will further beautify your body, mind, and spirit.