WATCH: Gerry Lopez Fuses Together Yoga Philosophy & Surfing

“The road of life is long and it’s a hard road, but it’s our road. It’s a road…

“The road of life is long and it’s a hard road, but it’s our road. It’s a road we all must go down, and we must do this on our own, nobody else can do it for us. Where do we find the balance to follow directions and keep our wheels on the road?” Gerry Lopez asked, during his Speakeasy talk entitled, Surf realization.

He describes the parallels between yoga and surfing, while provide excellent life lessons for maintaining an acute state of awareness, a deep connection to the immediate environment, and the ability to be totally, absolutely in the present.

“The moment is really all there is – the past and the future only exist in this moment. When we live in recollection and anticipation, we have a much less clear picture of the present. So staying present is an excellent intention to set for ourselves before each yoga class and before each day.”

Gerry espouses surf philosophy with such a soothing voice that this Speakeasy is closer to a guided meditation than a lecture. Indeed, the legendary surfer known as Mr. Pipeline certainly knows a thing or two about life on a surfboard, but the clarity and holistic viewpoint he brings to the sport makes surfing sound more like a craft or an artform, and one that can inform your mindfulness practice.

To point:

  • Gerry describes how the longterm quest of a surfer is informed by that very first glide, and how what happens physically in the body during that exhilarating moment compares to experiences in devotion or nature that take our breath away and, in fact, bare our souls. “This is when we are, maybe only momentarily, open.”
  • How the ability to connect to that feeling acts as impetus to advance to another level of the practice, where recognition and appreciation of these special moments become a much greater part of the experience.
  • Why yoga is not just a privilege, but a responsibility.
  • How the effort that is involved in both surf and yoga practice takes up 90% of one’s time on the board or mat, but how that effort is called upon in the moment and translates into a transcendental experience when one can release into the moment and flow.
  • Gerry describes where waves come from, and describes how they are not, in fact, moving water, but how they are instead acting as a conduit for energy in the air as they consolidate and reflect that energy in waves that come in sets. He also likens this mirroring of energy to the law of attraction between people and how energy begets like energy in human interactions.

“Life doesn’t hold still for us. If we don’t move with it, life just passes us right by. Surfing teaches us to be in the moment and go with the flow smoothly. Keep paddling for the real waves and the metaphorical ones as well, and live your lives with aloha.” Wise words from a very wise yogi, indeed.