Surf Dreamin': Keeping The Balance With Bali Fit

Surf Dreamin': Keeping The Balance With Bali Fit

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When it comes to a healthy body and mind, balance is key; and whether you’re surfing regularly or not it’s also crucial to staying surf fit. So for every intense interval training workout you smash, it’s just as beneficial for your fitness to treat your body to a slow and strengthening yoga session. Think about the concept of yin and yang – neither can live without the other – but it’s usually the Yin, representing the slower, more restorative activities in our lives that get forgotten, and that’s when fatigue and injury often occur. On the flip side, if you find yourself sitting at your computer all day for weeks on end before putting your body through a long surf session, the chances are you’ll get injured or feel fatigued easily. It’s all about keeping a balance.

Over the years, I’ve seen how yoga can help people dive deeper into the mind and body through regular practice as well as build strength and increase flexibility. I’ve always loved pushing myself with intense fitness workouts too and it’s when I have a healthy balance between the two that I feel my strongest both in and out of the water. After three years filled with surf adventures and teaching yoga in surf camps and retreats in France, India, Sri Lanka and Sumatra here I am in the Land of the Gods itself er to teach yoga at Bali Fit, a training centre in Canggu for athletes, surfers and individuals.

“Training For Warriors not only gives you the physical edge in the water, but also the mental toughness to tackle big waves you have always wanted to ride”

Bali Fit have four main classes that specifically give their clients a well rounded and thorough training routine.  Because a lot of surfers come through Bali Fit I thought it would be interesting to rally up the trainers and get them to explain how their classes have helped athletes – particularly surfers – prepare their bodies and mind for their sport.

Mark Mariani

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Head coach Mark Mariani is a martial arts fighter and ex-marine – and this guy is a machine! He really puts his clients through their paces with a program called Training for Warriors. Believe me, it’s tough, but I’ve noticed huge different in my overall fitness since I started the training sessions myself.  I’ll let Mark explain;

“The TFW (Training For Warriors) system is designed to help you develop the muscular strength and mental fortitude to reach your fitness goals.  When you surf you need muscle endurance in your arms, back and shoulders so you can keep up the paddling intensity throughout your entire surf session.  You also need strength and power in your chest and arms so that you can pop-up fast (even when you are getting tired) and strength and power in your shoulders and back for the short bursts of paddle power to catch each wave. The Training For Warriors not only gives you the physical edge in the water, but also the mental toughness to tackle big waves you have always wanted to ride.”


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Then there’s Clare, the second personal trainer, and the keen surfer.  Clare teachers Box-Fit, as well as Training for Warriors, and can give the guys a run for their money when it comes to rope climbs, chin ups and tyre flips!

“Box-Fit is the perfect workout to improve your upper body strength and endurance. Typically working for three minute rounds at a time, combining pad work with body weight exercises to build shoulder endurance and improve your paddle power.  Boxing heavily targets the mid-section, building incredible core strength and stability which is paramount for surfers to develop.”


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Rachel teaches Yin Yoga, which is the complete opposite of the intense training with Clare and Mark. Rachel explains how Yin yoga offers the balance to the intense workouts that Mark and Clare teach:

“There are many benefits to yin yoga both physically and energetically.  On the physical level, Yin not only stretches our muscles but also our fascia (the cobweb-like tissue that holds everything in place in the body, allowing for greater mobility, flexibility and improved circulation in the body) and ligaments.  It’s a perfect compliment to more intense workouts as it gives us the ‘yin’ balance to these ‘yang’ activities. On the energetic level, it activates our parasympathetic nervous system (our ‘rest & digest’ system) which for many of us we rarely spend time in due to being over-stimulated, over worked and over tired. Yin gives us the opportunity to relax, take time and de-stimulate our bodies and minds to balance out the body and mind.”


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And there’s me (hi!).  I teach Yoga for Surfers along with Yin Yoga and Warrior Flow at Bali Fit, where I guide surfers through a more fluid and dynamic style of yoga to help improve their surfing strength, flexibility, technique and focus.  Even though the class moves quickly at times, it also gives the surfer a chance to slow down, create a better mind-body connection and explore mental limitations we put on ourselves.  Over the years, I’ve seen and experienced how yoga can help all kinds of surfers; from beginners to competing individuals. For any surfer out there I highly recommend seeking out a local teacher or trying some online classes to see how much it can help your surfing, as well as creating a healthy yin-yang balance in your body and life.

So whether you go hard or go home every time or you are a true yogi at heart, be sure to mix up your fitness training and experience a new kind of surf strength. And if you’re in Bali why not stop by for a session at Bali Fit? All levels are welcome – just be prepared to take your surf fitness to new heights!

All photos courtesy of Bali Fit

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