There are endless ways to learn, understand, and develop a new skill. Out of those, some are effective and others tend to only work in the short term. What I believe to be the best, most fulfilling way to learn is not only to perform a new skill but also to understand and feel the mechanics behind it, what makes it unique. It’s about learning in a way that can be sustained once the student is off on their own. In the world of learning to surf, it is one thing to stand up on a surfboard and be able to say “I caught a wave” — yes, you may have achieved a skill in one unique setting, but what if you could also say “I learned about the ocean, understood the waves formation, and despite a few fails I kept trying until I actually learned how to surf”? The same goes for yoga. People want to have a great experience, learn, and perform, but how many leave with new understanding of the mental and physical aspects of yoga as the two come together into one fluid practice?
This is the mentality we have here at Bodhi Surf + Yoga. We want to give our guests the knowledge and skills required to paddle out and/or hit the mat on their own, long after their time spent with us here in Costa Rica. Dedicating one week to learning is a sufficient amount of time for us to give you what you need to accomplish that, which is why we have designed our signature Bodhi Sessions surf and yoga camps to be that very length.
Two hours is not enough to learn how to surf!
Learning a new skill takes time and effort. There is no way that you would be able to take a two-hour cooking class and suddenly know everything there is to know about cooking; it is s just not possible. If life worked like that, it would be a breeze! The same thing goes for learning and mastering the practices of surfing and yoga.
It has become a trend to take a surf lesson on your tropical vacation (which, if all you want to do is get that “standing shot” picture, is perfectly fine. It is a sport that everyone should give a try at least once. However, these two-hour lessons just are not enough time to really learn all aspects of the sport safely, and in fact, they’re not even really enough time to learn the basics. There are many components that come into play while surfing, and it’s important to be prepared for anything that comes your way while out in the water. Surfing, really surfing, is much more then having an instructor hold the board for you and push you into the whitewater waves while yelling, “stand up!” Imagine how much more fulfilling would it be to actually know how to catch and ride the wave on your own. Like all other sports, there is a proper technique, form, and sequence to be learned on how to paddle in, stand up, and ride that is often skimmed or not even covered at all in many surf schools around the world.
At Bodhi, we tackle the process of surfing, covering everything from:
- Understanding waves and ocean conditions
- Knowing all the parts of your surf equipment
- Learning about safety and managing the board both in and out of the water
- Practicing how to paddle, turning your board around, and getting into waves
- Mastering the pop-up, riding the waves, turning, and stopping
- Learning proper surf etiquette
- Covering a bit about ocean protection and environmental conservation
This may seem like a lot, but when broken down into absorbable segments and taught in an engaging and active way, the processes of learning practicing become a blast. At Bodhi we offer week-long vacation packages that include five two-hour surf lessons in which we cover everything stated above and more.
Patience is a virtue
Napoleon Hill once said, “Patience, perseverance, and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.” In modern society and with the up-and-coming generations, instant gratification is both desired and expected. The answer to almost any question is right at our fingertips with smartphone capability, and having any sense of bearings is a deteriorating trend with the ease of using Global Positioning System (GPS). With the technology and endless resources that are available nowadays, people are able to obtain what they need, and quickly. What does this have to do with dedicating a week to learning surfing and yoga you may ask? The key word is attain and not obtain. People are able to obtain what they want with little effort, but in order to attain something, it really requires patience and persistence. Dedicating a week to learning a new skill will give you just enough time to attain new knowledge and start putting it to use.
Some define yoga as meaning connection, and truly learning and understanding what it is takes time. When you start grasping what it means, you start to realize that is is an endless journey of learning and growing. It is an aspect that makes it so very challenging but beautiful when it finally clicks. The Bodhi Sessions yoga curriculum is designed to be a catalyst to your yoga journey, focusing on learning versus just doing. Each class symbolizes a year in your practice and the stages of learning and challenges that come along with each one. When you get to your fifth year and final class, you can finally start to understand what yoga means, which is great to take home with and continue your practice if you desire. Committing a week to your yoga practice allows you enough time to attain a solid base in your practice. It gives you enough time to decipher if it is something you want to pursue after your experience at Bodhi. Deciding based off of any less time would be turning your back too soon on something that could really change your life. Attaining a yoga base with a week of learning is just enough time to give you a good idea.
Adapting to a new environment
When entering the water, you are entering in an entirely new element that we as humans are not fully meant to live in. Our planet is made up of 70% water and 30% land. We are only adapted to be comfortable on the small percentage of solid ground this planet possesses, which makes learning a skill in water a solid task. Surfing is the connection between person, board, and ocean. Finding the precise balance of these elements at the perfect time is what leads to successfully catching a wave. Toss in varying conditions and and other surfers and you’ve got yourself a complex situation. To enhance the complexity, no wave is the same; It is only with a greater understanding that you can achieve adaptability and competency of surfing due to the ever-changing playing field of the ocean. The initial key factor to learning how to surf is discovering your connection with the water. Once you start to understand that you want to work with the water instead of against it, you can begin the journey of learning the sport that could perhaps change your life. A week at Bodhi will help you to fall in love with the ocean and begin or enhance your connection with the water. Everything else can be learned but that relationship needs to be solid to successfully attain the skills needed to be a surfer. Dedicating a week to learning is important when it comes to adapting to an entirely new environment but well worth it for the lifelong bond it will bring between you and the ocean.
As you can see, surfing and yoga are skills that provide the opportunity to constantly grow and improve. They are lifelong and ever-changing. That can be seen as a factor that makes the sports seemingly-intimidating to learn, but with proper instruction and guidance you will soon realize that those are the reasons why they are so incredible to take up. Coming to Bodhi and dedicating a week to learning will provide you the base that you can take with you for life. Taking a step away from the fast paced world and attaining something new is an accomplishing and gratifying feeling everyone should experience.