Category Archives: yoga

How to Get Rid of Back Pain for Surfing

Do gentle stretching before paddling out to keep your back flexible. Never force or strain!!

Surfer Dean (who follows the Yoga for Surfers DVD series) just emailed me this:

Just got this email from a YFS-er, Dean, who writes:
HAY PEGGY
hay the dvds are great..
i am just doing board sports yoga ..post ride most off the time…
i have busted both my ankles before an prolapsed a disc in my lower back..
i have diffeculty doing some of the poses ..iam only doing them till the likes off my hammys
start to go tight..would you recomend any poses in particular..
my ankles are ok …my back has to be looked after….
i surf an snowboard…an even better our mt opens this weekend in nz..
keen as for any ideas you have…
i have been doin yoga for 3ta 4 weeks now… am feeling way more relaxed
an looser in my back….
cheers dean

……………………………………………………………………..

And here’s my response:
Thanks for writing and stoked to hear you’re benefiting from the YFS DVDs!!
So great to know you’re feeling better. For your back, do this:

1. When standing, make sure your feet point straight ahead (not turned out to the sides, which tweaks your back)

2. Wear good shoes with a little padding on the sole; not razor-thin flip-flops (See my recent America Now TV segment here, where I explain why:

The Hidden Cause of Back Pain

3. Don’t eat foods that cause pain flare-ups: salty foods, alcohol, caffeine, sugar, red meat, dairy (yogurt is ok): focus on fish, walnuts, avocado, all fresh fruit & veg; about 2-3 litres of water daily

4. Don’t sleep on the affected side

5. Listen to the How to Heal Faster CD that came with your program; lots more mind/body techniques there!

hope that helps…P.s> Let me know how you score in N.Z.!!

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Even Yogis Get Back Pain

You know those days when you feel invincible? Strong, powerful, fluid and free?

Well, that’s exactly how I was feeling last Thursday, when I decided to pump out four sets of 25 pushups, with a down dog stretch in between each set.

I’d been out of the water for a few days (combination of lack of swell and too-cold water) and I was itching to move, move!

Even though the last couple of sets were a challenge, I did them — with straight legs, no less! (No “girl pushups” for me!)

Well, all was fine and good, until I helped my sister move some furniture.

Oh, did I mention I’ve been sitting longer than usual, as I’m finishing up my manuscript for my Quit Fighting with Food book?

That, and my lack of doing yoga for a couple of days, sent my back into a spasm like I’ve never felt before! (In fact, I’ve never been one to suffer from low back pain — my stress usually shows up in the form of a stiff neck!)

But now I can totally relate and sympathize with those who suffer from back pain.

Wow! It can be completely debilitating!

Here’s what I’ve been doing to heal:

1. First, I’ve been taking things easy. I didn’t leap out of bed, but instead I drew my knees into my chest one at a time and just hugged them there, letting the weight of my thighs gently stretch my low back. I took a few slow, deep breaths and visualized the spasm easing.

2. Next, I drank a big glass of pure water to help lubricate my joints and muscles.

3. Then, I laid flat on my back with my legs draped over the side of my bed. After a several breaths like that, I crossed one knee over the other and did a tiny little rocking movement side to side. Then I switched legs.

4. Next, I did child’s pose with a pillow under my torso so the stretch wasn’t too intense. I had my husband gently press into my low back to massage the lumbar spine. (You could also reach around and do this yourself.)

5. I took two tablespoons of liquid magnesium to help calm down the spasm.

6. I took 500 mg of Naproxen (anti-inflammatory) with my breakfast smoothie made of blueberries (nature’s aspirin).

7. Then I soaked in a hot bath with a cup of Epsom salts (also full of magnesium to soothe sore muscles)

8. Now I’m heading to the sauna for about 10 minutes.

9. Finally, I’m finishing off with a visit to the chiropractor for some ultrasound treatment.

10. I won’t be doing any vigorous yoga, but I will keep moving to avoid stiffness.

And of course, I’m letting go of any negative self-talk (“How I could I be so stupid to overdo it like that?”  “I should have known better!” “Oh, I’m feeling so old”) and focusing instead of “I’m healing…I’m healing.”

Just thought you might be interested to know that even Yogis get back pain!

For more of my tips on how to heal faster, claim your free “Heal Faster”CD as a bonus gift with your Yoga for Surfers 4-pack order!

UPDATE: Feeling much better now! I’ll probably finish off with some ice treatment — the special way I describe in my CD!

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What’s the difference between yoga and stretching?

Hello! It’s Peggy here, with a question I get asked quite a bit (especially by those who are new to yoga)…

“What’s the difference between yoga and stretching?”

Peg photoAt first glance, it may seem that yoga is simply a form of stretching, and in fact, a lot of yoga poses do stretch the body in various ways.

But just as surfing is more than mere exercise, yoga is more than just stretching.

You see, yoga is not just about flexibility.

Yes, you definitely WILL become more flexible when you do yoga, but it’s almost like a side-benefit.

Just like surfing, yoga is a way of living, a way of being. Yoga becomes a part of you — sometimes developing slowly; other times happening dramatically — and you learn to draw on your yoga reserves right when you need them.

You might find that you start to focus on your breath during a stressful situation, or you might surprise yourself by staying calm and centered instead of being overrun by your emotions.

You might notice that you’re sleeping better, experiencing more energy and better moods.

You might more naturally and effortlessly begin to eat more healthfully and take better care of yourself, and feel good about doing so.

And of course, you likely will experience greater energy and endurance on the waves and more pure stoke in your everyday life!

Peg and TomThat’s because when you practice Yoga for Surfers, you learn to breathe consciously and stay aware of what you’re feeling in each pose.

You learn to remain open to what you’re feeling, without opinion or judgment — and instead, to embrace the experience at hand.

And then you translate that sense of calm energy and focused awareness to your everyday life so that each moment comes into razor-sharp view.

That means no more sleep-walking through life!

Instead, no matter what comes up — from the rides to the wipe-outs — you learn to stay balanced and centered, open and free.

If you haven’t done so already, I invite you begin to live in that state of yoga, which is a sense of oneness, of wholeness, of well-being.

And I will be honored to be your guide!

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How to Get Paid to Surf!

Hi — it’s Peggy here, with insider info on how to Get Paid to Surf!

David in the Maldives — Yes, it’s a tax write-off!
david lip

Yep, you read the right!

If you’ve ever (even just for a fleeting moment) wished you could leave your day job and go after your true passion, then have I got news for you!

It IS possible to make money doing what you love!

In fact, I’m living proof that it can happen.

You see, not that long ago I was working full-time as a university administrator. My true passion was teaching, but I somehow got away from the classroom and into the boardroom (and I’m not talking surfboards!)

Even though I was making good money and had a respectable title and nice office, I still felt restless–knowing that deep down inside I wasn’t really doing what I was put here on Earth to do!

A series of events led me to some soul searching, and well — I’d love for you to listen to my entire story and find out for yourself just exactly what led me to make some major changes in my life — and to experience great happiness along the way!

To find out more, check out my FREE 50-minute audio where I tell you about my personal path — and where I encourage YOU to follow yours!

You’ll see that it IS possible to make money (a lot, in fact!) doing what you love!

The page where you’ll sign up to get free access to my audio is on the “YFS Teacher Training” page — and don’t worry: if you ONLY want to hear the audio and NOT get any additional info about the teacher training program, simply “unsubscribe” with one click!

But, if you are interested (even just a tiny bit curious) about the first-ever Yoga for Surfers Teacher Training, then I encourage you to stay on the interest list because I share my insider secrets to being a better teacher — and you can apply some of these strategies to be more effective in SO many areas in your life: at work, with your friends, and with your family!

Now this is how I like to dress for work!
Peg doing Warrior 2

Imagine how YOU would feel, doing what you love, like teaching Yoga for Surfers!
I’ve worked at various surf camps, teaching yoga AND surfing — and I feel so grateful getting paid while having the time of my life!

P.S. Here’s what I share in my free 50-minute audio program:

* How I came up with the idea of Yoga for Surfers
(I’ve never shared all these details before!)

* How I made the “scary” leap of leaving my secure job at the
university to (gulp) a full-time career in yoga (Hint: looking
back, I would have done it even sooner!)

* Why following your heart is the true path to happiness (and how
you can make money doing so!)

* Why teach? Top reasons why teaching yoga is an amazing career

BONUS: I also share the “Top 10 Mistakes Yoga Teachers Make — and
how to avoid them!”

Psst… none of the things I share with you on the call are being taught
anywhere else!

In fact, I learned these things through my own many years of experience
(and thousands of dollars in the process!)

But I feel compelled to share them with like-minded folks like you!

Again, here’s where you can access the call for free!

Looking forward to “talking” with you soon!
Peggy

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Yoga for Surfers Teacher Training Program!

peg and taylor


Announcing…
Yoga for Surfers Teacher Training!

Due to popular demand, I’ll be organizing and leading the first-ever Yoga for Surfers Teacher Training this September in Southern California!

So if you — or someone you know — is interested in becoming a yoga teacher or just going deeper into yoga, then I invite you to check out the details below.

Just a note that I am looking for only a select few to join me in this training. I’m not interested in turning out hundreds of teachers — only those that can embody the Yoga for Surfers approach and philosophy.

So, if you think that might be you, please check it out below!

CLICK HERE FOR MORE DETAILS!

P.S. We’ve only got a few more spaces available, so please act fast if you’re interested!

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Yoga Journal Features Yoga for Surfers!

yoga journal mag YOU already know that yoga and surfing are a natural fit — now Yoga Journal is getting in on it, too!

My “Best Five B4 U Ride” poses were featured in the mag, along with a full-page interview with surfing superstar Taylor Knox, who demonstrates how yoga keep him carving (smoothly and effortlessly, it seems) YFS I and YFS II!

P.S.  My “Best Five “B4 U Ride” laminated reference card is your bonus gift when you purchase any YFS DVD!

Check out the individual DVDs here

OR

Get the complete YFS Series with extra bonus gifts and free shipping — including international!

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Yoga for Surfers … Yoga for Singers?

You know about Yoga and Surfing …. but Yoga and Singing?
Please read on to find out more!

You see, nearly every day I get an amazing email (or two or three!) from wonderful folks whose lives have changed by doing Yoga for Surfers!

I am truly touched and deeply moved by the heartfelt messages I get! Here is one particularly surprising email I got recently:

“I recently bought YFS II after having YFS I for a while. The routine is great; challenging and rewarding. What I really wanted to mention was the effect of the breathing exercises to increase lung capacity. I got this DVD to help my surfing and general wellness and feeling of my body; but I have noticed significant improvement in another unexpected area. I am also a singer and local performer in San Diego and my vocal ability is benefiting greatly from these exercises.

I have only done the breathing exercises about 3 or 4 times now, but I have noticed a substantial difference in my breathing ability. I perform for 3-4 hours at a time at local farmer’s markets and have already noticed that I can hold notes longer and with more projection and power, and with much less effort. Rather than squeeking out the ends of long vocal phrases I am ending them with strength and it feels great. I plan to continue these exercises and can’t wait to see how far I can push my singing.

Singing has a similar effect to yoga, in that controlled breathing is required, resulting in the same good feeling of oxygenation throughout the cells; singing also adds to that the varied tuning of different notes vibrating from the vocal tract and through the entire body. My slightly increased lung capacity is already resulting in a significantly more enjoyable singing experience, and I’m stoked to see what happens after more weeks and months of Breath of Fire and my other new exercises.

I thought you might enjoy hearing about this unexpected benefit of your DVD. Thank you for putting out this line of videos; I hope good luck, good waves and continued success find you.”

Thanks,
Eric Polyn

Wow! You can imagine how grateful I am to hear this! I always knew that yoga makes every area of your life better — but it’s so nice to have others confirming that as well!

Now, if you’d like to check out Eric’s music for yourself and see how he’s put his yoga breathing into practice, just go here: http://www.myspace.com/ejpmusic

And, if you haven’t experienced the breathing exercises he’s talking about, you can get them here on Yoga for Surfers II: Fluid Power

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Are You Making These Mistakes in Yoga?

It’s Peggy here, with a quick question for you:

Can you guess the #1 mistake most people make when it comes to practicing yoga?

…not executing the pose correctly?

…not breathing consciously?

…not paying attention while in the poses?

Well — those are some of the common mistakes, but the #1 Mistake I see most students make is: pushing themselves too hard!

That’s right!

Too many people try to use their yoga practice as their main “workout”, and in an attempt to do so, they tend to put all of the emphasis on the physical part of the practice.

What most people forget is that yoga is actually an awakening of ALL aspects of your being — the physical as well as the mental, emotional and spiritual energies!

In yoga, you have the opportunity to integrate and balance every aspect of your being.

Some of us are typically more centered in our mental self, with most of our energy being spent on problem-solving, to-do lists, figuring things out, taking care of business, etc. These folks typically “get things done” and expect a lot from themselves and from others. Sometimes these folks will ignore the physical need for exercise and rest and will ignore the emotional need for comfort and closeness.

Others are centered mainly in the physical self, with energy focused on various aches and pains, or the realities of aging, or the on-going attainment of physical perfection at all costs, even when the body needs rest and repair.

Others still are focused on the emotional self, with energy being used to take care of emotional hurts, regrets, fears, worries, etc. On the positive side, some folks who are centered in the emotional self are also able to easily express love, joy, hope and gratitude.

Folks who are awakened to their spiritual self feel comfortable opening their hearts to the mysteries and miracles of life, dreaming big and living life from a place of passion and peace. But, if taken to the extreme, these uber-spiritual beings might be disconnected from the day-to-day realities and responsibilities like getting the oil changed in the car, paying bills on time, and understanding the material struggles the less-enlightened of us may be facing.

Don’t worry — there’s no one right or wrong way to be — but recognizing where you may currently be is valuable information so you can use your yoga practice to allow each of these aspects of your being to manifest, be present and have a voice. They are all a part of you, whether you realize it or not, and when you can balance, integrate and harmonize those energies, you’ll come closer to living a full expression of your life!

So, to get the most out of your yoga practice, work in a way that brings you closer to balance. One day, it might be that you need more of a physical practice because you’ve been sitting at your desk, working on problem solving all day.

But on another day, you might be physically worn out from an extended surf session, and you need your yoga for relaxing and rejuvenation.

Or, you might find yourself in an emotionally-charged setting and you need your yoga to erase stress and bring a sense of calm and peace.

So the next time you’re getting ready to do your yoga, think about what it is you really need, and open yourself to that experience!

Remember: yoga is not about executing a perfect pose — yoga is about experiencing yourself in the pose, fully alive, fully alert, fully present! Only then do you get the maximum benefit from the practice.

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Can You Really Learn Yoga from a DVD?

I just received this question from a surfer
who’s been following the free yoga surf stretches:

Can you really learn yoga from a DVD? Don’t you need to have a yoga instructor spotting you to make sure that you’re doing the pose correctly? Fitness trainers at my gym said that you can get injured if you’re not doing the pose 100% correctly. Also, don’t you have to study for years before becoming a yoga instructor?”

My answer:

Thanks so much for writing! I understand where the fitness trainers are coming from, which is why in the full-length DVD programs, I go into quite a bit of detail about avoiding injuries and working in a way that supports, strengthens and heals your body.

Many of the YFS customers use the DVDs to complement their yoga practice. In other words, they do go to classes for personal instruction but use the DVDs when they travel or can’t make it to their regular yoga classes.

Also, my style of yoga is relatively “risk-free” — I’m not teaching headstands or shoulder stands, which DEFINITELY should be done with supervision from a trained instructor, especially when you’re new to yoga.

In fact, I always teach students to do yoga on their own — a few minutes daily can be much more beneficial than one 90-minute class a week.

Now, about training to become a yoga teacher: certainly, to truly MASTER anything takes about 10 years, but you can learn the basics and become quite proficient at teaching others in a relatively short amount of time, and then continue to build on that.

Personally, I’ve been practicing yoga for over 15 years and teaching for over 10. I always encourage students to try a variety of teachers and styles of yoga before they find a good fit. Yoga is like food — it comes in many different flavors and traditions. You need to find what suits your needs at whatever stage you are in during your life at the moment.

Some people rely on yoga as their main “workout” while others use it more for relaxation and stress reduction. Different teachers have different styles, and my approach is very unique.

In fact, here’s an email I got recently from YFS customer who is an experienced yogini:

First and foremost I want to say thank you. I have been in yoga for a long time and am a surfer. I have encountered many teachers who have lacked the skill of teaching and style of your videos. I go to many different schools and I find that you still are a better teacher and I enjoy the flow (From position to position and skill levels) that you’ve created for your dvd’s.

I live in San Diego and am looking to get my teaching certification. I don’t know if you teach at a studio or have any direction that you can give to a school that has your talent. If you have any suggestions or do teach I would love to go to a few of your classes. If nothing else I just wanted to send you an email saying you’re a great talent in yoga and I appreciate what you’ve added to the practice. Thank you for your time.

Rebekah Wright

(By the way, I am putting together a Yoga for Surfers Teacher Training program based on Rebekah’s interest and that of dozens of other teachers and teachers-in-training. Please respond to this email if you’d like more information about that.)

And as always, please send your questions my way! The way I look at it, the more surfers doing yoga, the better the vibe in the line-up!

P.S. Every yoga instructor I know ALWAYS encourages students to practice at home as well. Yoga is NOT about executing poses in a classroom or studio — yoga is a way of living. It’s an entire WAY of “being”. And you need no one “spotting” you on that, if you get what I mean!

P.P.S. If YOU want to experience feeling better and surfing better by incorporating yoga into your lifestyle, get the complete Yoga for Surfers program here, with bonus gifts and free shipping (including international orders!). Free shipping ends midnight January 31, 2010, so place your order today!

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Yoga for Surfers II: Fluid Power Voted Top Yoga Video!

Wow — check out this Yoga for Surfers review from http://isurf.com –  where Yoga for Surfers II: Fluid Power is voted the favorite out of 34 yoga/exercise DVDs!

Here’s just a snippet of what you’ll read:

“Why pick Yoga for Surfers II (YFS II) over the other three DVDs in the series, you ask? The staffers diligently, and (ahem) masterfully, followed all four of the yoga DVD series for four weeks and afterwards uninamously voted on reviewing the YFS II DVD as the overall best fit for all levels of surfers – despite the YFS 4 DVD being titled “board sports”. (In all honesty, two of the staffers were YFS followers, one having been following the training daily for over 3 years while the other performing 2 to 3 sessions a week over the last 2 years!)”

Thanks, iSurf! So glad to know that my YFS programs have had such a positive impact!

Read the entire review here, then surf on over to www.YogaforSurfers.com to get the goods!

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