Happy Monday guys!
Even though I’m already in need of a second cup of coffee, I can’t stop smiling when I think about Saturday’s Surf & Yoga workshop at Rockaway Beach. The four-hour workshop was an opportunity for me to try surfing, something that has always been far out of my comfort zone while enjoying time at the beach. As you guys know, the beach and spending time on the water brings be a level of peace I can’t find anywhere else.
When we heard about Tangerine Hot Power Yoga’s Surf & Yoga workshop at Rockaway Beach, Katie, Elizabeth and I immediately signed up together, knowing we’d feel more comfortable and enjoy the day more with friends. We met at 8 AM to drive from Brooklyn, giving us plenty of time to find parking and relax on the boardwalk before the event started. The overcast and cool weather was a big change from the heat and humidity we experienced earlier last week but we still enjoyed being at the beach. In fact, the overcast weather made practicing yoga and surfing far easier as we weren’t looking into the sun nor fighting the crowds. Also, regardless the weather, any opportunity to spend a day at the beach is a gift.
We started the day with a 75-minute yoga class on the boardwalk. Gretchen, who led the class, did a wonderful job of ensuring we could hear her over the sound of the wind and crashing waves. Due to the smaller class size, she was able to provide adjustments throughout class as she woke up our bodies with a series of standing and seated poses which engaged our cores and legs. These are the body parts she wanted to ensure were limber and warm before our surfing lesson.
Following yoga, our 11-person group sipped Rawpothecary juices and spent a few minutes talking and writing about the way we work through change in our lives. I loved this Lemon Oasis juice so much that I bought a few more this weekend at the grocery store. They have no added sugars and are the perfect size! They are different than other juices as Rawpothecary focuses on cold-pressed mixology, fiber-rich blends and backed by science!
We walked down the beach towards the Locals Surf School tents to sign-in and get equipped with wet suits.
Since the water was 75 degrees they recommended half suits for most of us versus full wetsuits. A few minutes later our group found ourselves standing behind our surf board and starting the land portion of the class. The 3-1 instructor to student ratio allowed the instructors to work with us on proper technique and form before we headed into the water. They took us through the parts of the surfboard, safety tips, paddling efficiency and finally popping up. After about 20 minutes of land practice, we headed into the ocean. I went into this experience very open-minded, acknowledging the fact that since this was my first time surfing, I may not actually catch a wave or be able to stand. Instead I set my intention on enjoying the experience and being proud of myself for stepping outside my comfort zone.
We spent the next 90-minutes in the water in groups of 3 working with our instructors. We were able to take turns paddling to the instructor, beyond the break, and practicing our technique as we paddled into the wave and tried our best to pop-up at the right time and ride the wave into shore. T he first time I tried I found myself laughing and popping into ski position – fully parallel and facing the shore. While I found my balance, I finally fell face forward, into the water as I hit the shore. The second ride, just minutes later, was totally different. I popped up, a little too high, but felt that high of riding the wave. From that moment, I was addicted. I found myself racing back into the water after each ride, pushing through the waves and current to get back to the instructor and try again. During the hour and a half lesson I attempted to ride more than 40 waves and actually rode more than 20 of them. Katie and Elizabeth laughed in awe, as they took breaks on the shore to breathe and take pictures. Our instructor deemed me part Energizer Bunny and part masochist as I refused to stop, even when I was breathless from the waves.
Finally, at 1:15 it was time to call it a day and head into shore to give back my surf board and wet suit. I wore my Lululemon shorts during the surf lesson as my Athleta bathing suit bottoms are a bit loose. The last thing I wanted was to have my bikini bottom taken by a wave during the lesson.
We immediately headed to Rockaway Beach Surf Club to enjoy their fish tacos, made famous by the chef during his time at the now closed Rockaway Taco. This lunch definitely lived up to the hype – especially the tacos and plantain chips. The cucumbers, jicama and papaya were a refreshing way to end the meal before we headed back home.
If you are a local, Tangerine is offering this surf & yoga workshop again on August 9th. The price for the entire day is $95 which is a $20 discount versus the face value of the activities. Perfect for all abilities, I highly recommend signing up ASAP as the events fill quickly.