GIVING BACK: Donation Based Yoga at Glide Surf Co.

Instructor Matt Becker. Photo: Christor Lukasiewicz

Instructor Matt Becker. Photo: Christor Lukasiewicz

“With constant practice, one can improve his physical body and mental attitude rapidly, thereby igniting the higher motives of making one’s self useful to himself and all mankind.” -Dharma Mittra 

Surfing came into my life before I had any knowledge of the yogic practice and its benefits. From many days spent in the ocean and riding waves, I found there was a profound mental cleansing and calming that came about when I surfed. Sadly I found it very hard to carry that serenity with me into my everyday life.

As a teen, when my mind felt not unlike a tumultuous ocean and there weren’t always waves to be ridden, I discovered the practice of Yoga. Now I’m no great yogi, in fact I’m not a yogi at all, as I have no traditional yogic practice at this point in my life. At the moment, my relationship to yoga is that of a casual friendship. That said, I do see a fascinating connection between yoga and surfing.

It’s apparent the more I delve into the subject, that others see and feel this connection as well. Whether people want to have a stronger and more flexible body, or they may want more tranquility of mind in critical situations, we can all agree these are highly beneficial attributes to have while surfing and in our day to day life. With surfing, we learn to ride a variety of waves in varying conditions. The more serious our practice, the more skilled we become at the art. Eventually, if we are serious about our surfing, we begin to approach even the most challenging of aquatic circumstances with grace and a relaxed composure.

I feel both yoga and surfing are great compliments to one another. They both have the power to teach us how to approach the changing tides of daily life with balance, equanimity, and with a peaceful state of mind.

Surf shops have always been the community centers or as I like to say the “temples” of the surf community. They are places where fellow wave-riding enthusiasts gather to not only purchase the gear they need to ride waves, but to interact with their tribe outside of the ocean and gain knowledge of their own unique surfing culture.

Most recently Glide Surf Co., located on Bangs Avenue in Asbury Park, NJ, started to connect the dots of all the things I discussed above and began offering donation-based yoga classes every Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m.

In the yogic and surfing spirit of giving back, for six weeks, Glide gave all the donations to Waves for Water. Waves for Water is a non-profit organization that helps victims of Hurricane Sandy that are still struggling to rebuild their lives.

I think this is a great example of the connection between yoga and surfing, while also creating a nice blueprint for what all local surf shops can do to serve their community.

Stay stoked, give back, and surf in peace.

http://www.glidesurfco.com

http://www.wavesforwater.org

Photos below are of Matt Becker’s class at Glide Surf Co. All Photos: Christor Lukasiewicz

Photo: Christor Lukasiewicz

Photo: Christor Lukasiewicz

Photo: Christor Lukasiiwicz

Photo: Christor Lukasiewicz

Photo: Christor Lukasiewicz

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Photo: Christor Lukasiewicz

Photo: Christor Lukasiewicz

Instructor Matt Becker. Photo: Christor Lukasiewicz

Photo: Christor Lukasiewicz

Photo: Christor Lukasiewicz

Photo: Christor Lukasiewicz

Photo: Christor Lukasiewicz

 

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Growing up in New Jersey, Shawn discovered and quickly immersed himself in the sub-culture of surfing and skateboarding in the mid 80’s. With a diverse and eclectic background, Shawn has walked the path of a competitive surfer, Hare Krsna monk, action sports industry player in NYC, DIY theology and religions major, and a touring punk rock musician. Now a father and self-proclaimed seeker of the “soul” of surfing, Shawn enjoys sessions with friends at uncrowded peaks along his home state’s shoreline and writing about his surf related experiences.

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