Surfing a wave is the sum of many details – when they all flow together its pure magic. From your physical body, state of mind, and breath to your understanding of/and connection with the ocean. These all take practice and perseverance. One of the first movements to master before you really start gliding down the wall of a wave, is popping up, aka getting from your belly to your feet on the board. Sounds simple, doesn’t it?
Anyone who has had their go at surfing will express otherwise. Remember all those details we mentioned, before you get on the board you need to perfectly sync up all of them to catch the perfect ride!
How can we work on the fundamental movements we need to do this “pop up” business on our mats?
Let us introduce to you, the Pop Up Prep.
The pop-up prep came from a struggle that most beginner surfers experience, “How can I improve my takeoff?” In efforts to do this, we dissected the series of movements made when popping up on the board.
After some surf talks and trials, we came up with the pop-up prep, a repetitive movement made throughout the Surfasana practice. We repeat this motion in efforts to create muscle memory so that our bodies follow the same flow in the water. Syncing our breath to the movement just as we aim to do in the waves.
For pop-up prep, we shift our hands down by the ribs, same as you were instructed to do when learning to pop up on your board.
With your chest down and your feet up, you inhale in preparation to exhale and pump your feet, as you press into your hands and lift your chest. In the water, this would lead to your takeoff.
On the mat, start on your belly with your hands down by your ribs, elbows back. Inhale, chest down, feet up. Exhale, pump the feet, lift your chest. Do it again, and then again, to improve your takeoff.
And that’s the pop-up prep.