Brand Warrior Jacob Mellish was born in Cape town, South Africa, and it shows – you don’t get that relaxed glow from living just anywhere.
“I grew up close to the ocean, just surfing every day, spending time on the beach with my family,” he smiled. “So from a young age I was introduced to this really free lifestyle of cruising on the beach and just having a good time.”
Sounds pretty sweet.
But when Jacob’s girlfriend introduced him to yoga, he realised that “surfing and yoga really go hand-in-hand.”
The Physicality Of Yoga For Surfing
“Surfing and yoga both use the whole body as one connected unit,” Jacob explained.
“About five years ago, my girlfriend pulled me into a yoga class for the first time. She was trying really hard – every day she was like, “come to the yoga class!” and I was like: “I can’t even touch my toes!”"
But he went. He was competitively surfing at the time, and he noticed how physically similar yoga felt to being on the waves: “When you’re riding a wave, you’re moving weight into your toes and heels and it’s this really full integrational experience of balance and connection in the body.”
This makes sense, as yoga has been proven to improve balance and body-awareness.
The Knowledge Of Yoga For Surfing
We kept chatting and it became clear that Jacob was also grateful for all that yoga had taught him about his body.
“Having the understanding of the way my body works; my joints, balance, the connection I can feel from my core, to my toes, to my fingertips plays a massive role in riding the wave smoothly.”
It’s not only helped him to know himself better, but to surf better – to “be one” with the momentum, the feelings, and the energy of riding a wave.
The Feeling Of Yoga For Surfing
Ultimately, Jacob’s a sucker for both activities. “The experience that I feel after practicing yoga is really like none other…” he paused, laughing with the guys behind the camera. “Except from after a surf.”
And Jacob isn’t the only yoga-surfer in the sea – others surfers also rave about how yoga has enhanced their ability, even claiming that it helps ease the aches and pains of the sport.
Despite where he was five years ago, Jacob is undoubtably now a true yoga enthusiast. In fact, the first and last thing he said to us was, “yoga is everything.”
This article was written for Warrior Addict by Gina Vaughan where she interviews Warrior Addict's Brand Warrior, Yoga Teacher & Pro-surfer Jacob Mellish