If you have the pleasure of living in or visiting Tamarindo, there are two things you’ll see on a regular basis: surf camps and yoga studios. Tamarindo does tend to foster active lifestyles in general, but you will always see surfers headed to the beach, and yogis headed to the studio.
Surfing and yoga complement each other very well. Both require strength, flexibility and control. Both surfing and yoga can be practiced in a number of ways (from different styles of yoga for specific goals, to different sized boards for different wave conditions). Both surfing and yoga is experienced in different, personal ways, and both avid surfers and yogis have expressed physical and spiritual awakenings in their lives. I myself as a surfer have developed a renewed desire to build and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Interestingly enough, you won’t find very many people who both surf and practice yoga. Those that do practice both soon discover that improving in one sport will positively affect the other.
One local I personally know that is both and avid surfer and yogi, is Kristen Brown. Originally from Georgia in the United States, Kristen relocated to Tamarindo 3 years ago in to pursue her dream of living abroad.
Before moving to Tamarindo, Kristen lived in New York, where she practiced yoga for about a year. She practiced what is known as Vinyasa Yoga (Vinyasa means flow, in Sanskrit). She describes this particular kind of yoga as very dynamic, with lots of movement from position to position.
When she moved down to Tamarindo and discovered surfing, she was like many people in that surfing quickly took priority in her life over other activities. But having experienced the joys of yoga and not wanting to let that go, she found ways to keep up her practice of yoga while learning to surf.
Of course that meant that she wouldn’t do yoga as much, but as we all know in life, if something is important enough to you, you’ll figure out a way to do it.
These days you’ll most likely find Kristen heading out to surf. That is, if the waves are good. If you’re into both yoga and surfing, you know that the biggest difference is that you can practice yoga whenever you want, but surfing often depends on the sea. If there are no waves, you might find her in one of the many yoga studios around town.
When asked if she has any advice for anyone new to surfing or yoga, Kristen says to take your time. Think about your goals: do you want to stay fit; lose weight? Do you want to surf big waves? Or work on style point on your long board? In any case, it’s always best to start with a few lessons to get to the point where you can practice on your own.
Tamarindo is a place for new beginnings. It’s a place for new experiences and lifestyle changes. Both surfing and yoga can represent healthy, positive change for anyone. In the next few blog entries, we’ll talk more about yoga and healthy lifestyle changes. And what better place to begin a new chapter in your life, than Costa Rica.