Costa Rica Yoga Surf Retreat

Surfing friends bundled in a group are making a selfie

As strange as it may sound at first, the worlds of yoga and surfing are merging, and while it may sound like an unexpected partnership to those who’ve only tried one or the other, to those who’ve tried both, the connection is clear.

Thanks to Mike Harwick and Sarah Ponn, founders of the new and innovative SurfSet, you don’t need to live next to water to practice for that perfect set. The business duo who appeared on the ABC reality TV show Shark Tank recieved funding to launch their land-based surfboards now have hundreds of studios around the U.S. and popularity is growing.

And, it’s not just yoga instructors who are finding the surfboards, which are positioned on a piece which allows the board to wiggle, swivel, and sway as if on a wave, to be workout worthy. Some instructors at the various SurfSet studios around the country are using the boards for cardio workouts or resistance band workouts. The core exercise while using a SurfSet board is unbelievable, and even the most experienced yogis are finding the surfboard workouts to be challenging.

One Iowa-based certified SurfSet instructor fell in love with stand up paddle boards on a trip to Costa Rica, but living in land-locked Iowa found it difficult to replicate the sensation of using so many core muscles, while staying relaxed and fluid with the movement of the water. When she saw the surfboards featured on Shark Tank, she knew she was interested. She bought ten boards, became a certified SurfSet instructor and opened Downward Dog in Iowa City.

Since not everyone who wants to surf lives by the water, or by any surf-able break, SurfSet is a great way to get the practice without getting wet. Using the base-mounted boards to cultivate core strength and improve balance, this new trend is catching on fast and motivating people from a variety of walks of life to give surfing a try.

The unlikely relationship between surfing and yoga is growing and more and more yoga studios and surf schools are offering cross over retreats and programs to appeal to both surfers and yogis. Week long retreats in Costa Rica, and other major surf destinations, are seeing the appeal of combing multiple styles of yoga and surf lessons to help widen the cross-over that started developed naturally in surf towns that draw all types of surfers from all over the world, not to mention yogis and backpackers, always looking to expand their repertoire of that next health movement and challenge.

One of the major hotspots for such retreats and packages in Iguana Surf School, located in Tamarindo, Costa Rica. Tamarindo has always been a popular destination for surfers of all levels thanks to the many great breaks in the area, and now with the increased popularity of yoga, more and more visitors are coming to the area, looking for new experiences, like surfing, stand up paddle boards, and infinite combinations of all of the above. Iguana Surf School is providing lessons and camps to all level of surfers to further experience and technique. For those who are getting ready to attend a camp at Iguana Surf School or any other surf camp in Costa Rica, take a few SurfSet yoga classes and get ready before hitting the waves!

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