Yoga For Surfers I

Peggy Hall
Year Released: 2002

Categories: Yoga

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I'm not a surfer, but I do practice yoga regularly. I had heard that Yoga for Surfers 1 was excellent for stretching the upper body, an area where I tend to be quite tight, so I decided to try this DVD. Led by surfer/yoga instructor Peggy Hall, the practice portion of this DVD is broken down into 3 segments: a Pre-Surf Session, intended to prepare your body for surfing/other activity; a Water Session containing stretches to do on your surfboard (can also be performed out of the water without a board); and a Post-Surf session providing stretching and relaxation. I have broken down each of these three sessions into greater detail below.

Pre-Surf Session: Flexibility and Focus, 9 minutes.
This was a nice warm-up session, although I found that it moved a bit too quickly for my preference. After a few standing side stretches, Peggy leads you through a series of standing poses performed entirely on one side before moving to the other. Peggy does not give names of all postures, but they included wide-legged standing forward bend, lunge, twisting lunge, pyramid, warrior 1, triangle, and side angle. Peggy then transitions to the floor via squat and crow pose (a rather advanced arm balance for this otherwise beginning-level practice); final poses include a seated twist and a triceps stretch.

Water Session: Energy and Confidence, 4 minutes.
This session, which is interspersed with surfer interviews, consists mainly of upper body stretches which you can perform seated on your surfboard in the water (or in a chair if you are on land). There are a few full-body stretches as well, such as down dog using the board.

Post-Surf Session: Stretching and Rejuvenation, 20 minutes.
This sessions provided a very nice series of stretches performed entirely on the floor. Starting in child's pose, Peggy moves to hands and knees for a side stretch and a cat/cow series. A squat/toe stretch sequence comes next, and then you remain seated on your heels for eagle arms and a chest expansion. Next comes an enjoyable series of side stretches. As with the standing poses, these are performed all on one side before moving to the other, and they include mermaid (a Pilates move), chest expansion/contraction, a unique seated twist, pigeon pose (adding a quad stretch), half spinal twist, easy seated forward bend, 1-legged seated forward bend, and then spinal rolls before repeating on the other side. This segment finishes with table, reclined twist, reclined cobblers, and relaxation pose (savasana).

Overall, I enjoyed the gentle stretching offered by this yoga practice. Although with a few exceptions, most of the poses were quite accessible for someone new to yoga, Peggy doesn't offer much in the way of form pointers, so some prior exposure to yoga principles might be beneficial. Those who are more experienced in yoga and looking for a more intense practice will not find it here. I think this DVD (which also includes bonus material such as interviews with surfers) is probably best-suited for those with the goal of obtaining flexibility and relaxation through a basic, easy-to-follow yoga practice.

Instructor Comments:
Peggy seems like one of those people with a great enthusiasm for life. She cued via voiceover, and I found her to be easy to follow. However, she gives few form pointers, so I think someone new to yoga might struggle a bit more.

Beth C (aka toaster)


There are no reviews for this video, so I thought I'd post one. I can't break in down in great detail, but there are 3 major chapters: a "pre-surf" session, which runs about 10 minutes; a "water" session, also around 10 minutes (I think, uhm for obvious reasons I've only previewed); and a "post-surf" restorative session that runs 20 minutes.
The pre-surf session makes a good warm up, mainly (all?) standing poses. The water session demonstrates stretches you can do on a surf board to keep yourself loose while surfing (but with very little imagination you can see where many of these would be useful during the day). The post surf session is a restorative practice. The pre- & post- sessions work well together to form a 30 minute stretching workout. I frequently use the restorative practice at the end of the day on its own.
The setting for the first chapter is mainly on the beach; the last chapter is mainly in a backyard - very green and lush. Peggy is usually joined by a surfer during the poses and there is some interview footage at the beginning of the chapters. They also include some surfing footage while you are holding poses. The music is instrumental guitar. There is a little woo-hoo factor here - less than Rainbeau Mars but more than Karen Voight - but I like a little of that so to me its a plus.
As you can probably tell, I really like this workout.

Instructor Comments:
Peggy is knowledgable and cues well. My seven year old can follow her cueing in the 20 minute restorative section.