PORTRUSH is probably not the first place that springs to mind when thinking about Surfing and Yoga but all that is about to change.
In the last weekend in March, Ricky Martin from Alive Surf School, the oldest running surf school in the country, has teamed up with Jennifer Greenlees to offer a surf and yoga retreat on the Causeway Coast.
Jennifer has recently returned home to Belfast after teaching yoga to surfers near New York and sees our north coast as the perfect location.
“It is only since returning from the States that I have realised how good the waves in Portrush actually are, introducing yoga to the scene seemed like a natural progression,” explained Jenny.
Surfing and Yoga are in the perfect marriage. Yoga allows a surfer to replenish energy, improve balance and stability and gain a greater fluidity in the water, it strengthens the core, improves stamina and allows greater mental focus.
It enables calm in situations where everything happening around you is in chaos.
Some of the worlds best surfers are dedicated Yoga practitioners...it is no coincidence that many are still at the top of their sport at 40 years old.
Ricky has long understood the potential of the Causeway Coast having represented Ireland in surfing in his youth, before moving to Bondi Beach in Sydney where he lived for five years.
“Portrush actually has better waves to learn how to surf than Sydney,” explained Ricky, who returned home and took over Alive three years ago.
“It sounds crazy but it’s the truth. The one thing we lacked was the bringing together of other disciplines to improve the way we think about the sport and yoga is the perfect way to address this problem.
“When Jenny contacted me about starting up a retreat I jumped at it.”
Participants will stay at the Ramada hotel in Portrush on Friday 30 and Saturday 31 March. Saturday will begin with a Yoga session to wake and energise the body before taking a surfing lesson in the afternoon.
On Sunday this will switch, an early surf will be complimented by yoga in the afternoon to help the body relax after an extraordinary weekend.
The retreat is open to anyone and everyone, all equipment (surfboards, wetsuits etc) is provided - both the yoga and surfing are designed as an introduction so absolute beginners are being actively encouraged to give it a go!
If you would like to sign up for this special weekend or you would like more information you can contact Ricky via email firstname.lastname@example.org or on 07935952532.