Hello my fellow yogis & surfers! Once a month the Water & Earth series will feature Yoga Instructors that are as passionate about their time on their mat, as they are about their time on their surfboard. We'll learn their favorite yoga poses for surfers and SUP, as well as some advice on sustainability. This week we'll introduce you to Natalie Jane.
Born at Seaside Hospital right on the waters edge, in Crescent City California, Natalie has always lived her life close to the ocean. She was raised in Crescent, a small town near the Oregon border where her home was only a block away from the beach.
Natalie is a creative soul. Having studied graphic design and marketing at a private art school in Arizona, she moved on to yoga six years ago and never looked back. She received her 200-hour certification from Yogaworks in the Bay Area, where she also taught for four years. Natalie expanded her repertoire to incorporate kids yoga by studying at Yoga Playground under the instruction of Leah Kalish.
An eternal traveler, her home is where her truck is! Currently parked in Crescent City, she teaches at Visana Yoga in the coastal town of Brookings, OR, as well as out of her home. Natalie is a true nature enthusiast. Besides surf & yoga, she likes to spend her time hiking the Redwoods, swimming in the river, biking and making gourmet raw treats.
We asked some questions to Natalie about yoga & surfing… here’s what she had to say:
What came first yoga or surfing?
I have been in and around the ocean my whole life, but surfing didn't come back into my life until 3 years ago, Yoga came first 6 years ago.
How did the second follow?
Miss Sarah Pascual - a fellow yogi and avid surfer she met while teaching at Yogaworks - when I met her through yoga I was a competitive swimmer and wanted to surf so she taught me everything I know.
What is it about yoga that marries so well with surfing and stand up paddleboarding?
It is ALL one. It invites you INTO nature...as yoga invites you to explore more of your inner Self. With surfing you are the water, you are the elements and you feel that all the way to your bones. The thrill of the drop the fear of the depths and unknown... it's the same flow, the same meditation, silence.
What are your favorite yoga poses to improve surfing?
Chaturanga for arm strength and prep for pop up. Virabhadrasana III for focus and balance. Danurasana for opening my back and shoulders.
Favorite Surf Spots:
Probably Burros in Mainland Mexico OR Nine Palms on the East Cape of Baja.... I love the harbor in SD too! SO many... I love Summers here at home as well.
Favorite Retreat Spot:
HANDS DOWN Pranamar in COSTA RICA!!!!!!! I want to LIVE there…
What is your one Eco advice to help protect our oceans and the environment?
LESS IS MORE!! Downgrade, bike more, eat less packaged foods, walk barefoot, live in harmony with our Mother Earth and spread the word.
Follow the stories of amazing yoga instructors & surfers in this blog. Want to be featured in the Water & Earth Series? Post on the comments of each story and tell us why you represent the principles of love for yoga, the ocean and Mother Earth and you could be chosen!!
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