Strong Body And Open Mind Equals Better Surfing

8 Sep 2017 0

Jasson Salisbury in a meditative state in the green temple. Image by Tom Hawkins

Jasson Salisbury in a meditative state in the green temple. Image by Tom Hawkins

SURFING WORLD MAGAZINE | 2017 SURFING WORLD CAMP

Interviews by Emily Elston

There’s no denying the link between being a good surfer and being in good health. I can’t name a single pro who doesn’t keep their bodies in top shape (the odd beer every so often being an exception… however I’d call this a healthy balance).

Now it doesn’t need much explaining because in theory we all know what our bodies need, we all understand the broad concepts constantly circling the literature at our fingertips trying to tell us the best ways to train, how to enhance our bodies. How to get that perfect turn by strengthening our inner core muscles, through to finding your inner peace and being able to clear your mind so that the only thing you can hear is the sound of the ocean.  We did say in theory didn’t we?

To convert these theories into the real deal we spoke to four of the happiest, healthiest professionals in their fields that live and breathe this space. We could certainly see why they do what they do. Most of us could do with taking a leaf out of their books. Which we definitely will at the upcoming Surfing World Camp.

Jasson Salisbury will be running meditation sessions at the SW Camp.

Jasson Salisbury will be running meditation sessions at the SW Camp.

Firstly we also spoke to Jasson Salisbury, a professional free surfer, loving father and passionate advocate for holistic health & wellbeing. He has a unique approach to life, mixing his love for the ocean and his ongoing studies in Ayurvedic medicine & Vedic Meditation to create a blissful and purposeful life path. We are excited to chat to him at the camp about all things from his global travels hunting waves to finding out his secrets to finding a sense of peace, wisdom and genuine happiness through his meditation workshops. 

CW: Tell us about your passion behind your practice? 
JS: Surfing and Vedic meditation are the two things that had me buzzing from the moment I found them. Both of them started out with “yep! this is what I’ll be doing for the rest of my life’. It’s easy to be passionate about something that has not only transformed your own life for the better but also for a bunch of your friends and family.

Vedic meditation in life is a skill like duck diving in the surf, a skill that allows a person to go enjoy themselves without getting punished by every wave that rolls through. You can still surf without duck diving but its way harder and bloody frustrating. When I look at someone getting smoked by wave after wave and not make much progress I feel like approaching them and saying “mate! there is a way you can get under these things and its actually pretty easy. If you master duck diving the rest of your game will improve much quicker and the whole experience will be more enjoyable.”

Meditation can be seen as a waste of time in our time poor, busy world, but through direct experience I now know that it’s the exact opposite, that fraction of time dedicated to diving beneath the waves allows you to gracefully move out of harms way, improve on your previous position and spend more time riding waves. It’s an essential life skill. I’m so passionate about it! I have to constantly remind myself that some people don’t want to know how to duck dive, some part of them wants to get smashed in the face by waves and that's ok too. I’ll be mediating for the rest of my life and be teaching it too so when people want to dive in with me I’m stoked!

What's your best advice for people interested in working towards a healthy body and mind? 
Baby steps and small victories. They're achievable and they keep you inspired and motivated to continue on the path to experiencing greater levels of health and happiness.

Set the intention to improve yourself and keep this as number 1 on your list of things to do. You might need to check in with your priorities regularly to make sure it’s still holding down the no.1 position. It’s amazing how many things creep ahead of it over time and that great intention to transform your entire being falls into the “I’ll do it later” section. Sometimes it feels bad, right when you think it should be getting better. 

Destruction precedes creation, so know that the discomfort you are feeling is the stuff that no longer serves you is being destroyed, expelled, purged, detoxed, or dissolved to make way for the new and improved version of yourself, to grow and flourish. So don’t drop of the program right when it’s about to finish the job, stay focused and stay true to your intention. The conditioned mind will fight to stay put and will throw up every excuse in the book as to why you should back off with the new program. So learning to discern between the internal messages that are leading you to greener pastures and the messages that are fighting to uphold the current condition is key. 


If you don’t meditate in any way, learn to stat!! Meditation is essentially the art of resting and should be the foundation on which all active life sits.   

What do you love to do in your spare time? 
I love hanging with my family, going on bush walks, surfing, swimming, eating good food, reading and unravelling the mysteries of the universe. Spending time alone to recharge is a luxury these days so I definitely enjoy some good old time alone in the ocean or anywhere. 

Jasson stretching out the backhand floater. Image by Johnson

Jasson stretching out the backhand floater. Image by Johnson

Haylie Doyle will be running yoga at the SW Camp.

Haylie Doyle will be running yoga at the SW Camp.

We also spoke to Haylie Doyle; Lulu Lemon ambassador, avid surfer and all round ocean addict, she will be attending SW Camp as our resident yoga guru. Haylie is a qualified Yoga and Pilates instructor as well as a certified PT and Holistic Health Coach. Founder of The Brightside Life, Haylie will be teaching us the best techniques and knowledge to ensure our bodies and minds are ready for all the surfing, dancing, camping and relaxing desired for the weekend away.

CW: How did you first get into Yoga and what type of yoga do you teach?
HD: I started getting really into Yoga when I moved to Karratha in North-West WA. After growing up in Angourie this was a huge adjustment and the first time in my life I had lived away from the ocean (well one without waves anyway!) and I needed to find a new outlet and Yoga became it! I teach Vinyasa Yoga which is a flowy styled yoga where we move mindfully with breath.


How do you see yoga aligning with surfing?
For me, there are so many similarities between Yoga and Surfing... both are my escapes and creativity outlets - to be able to let go of anything that is happening in life, move with a wave or on your mat in a way that is truly expressive of yourself.  


What kind of elements will you be focusing on at the camp during your classes and how will these best benefit surfers? 
I love working with the elements so I will definitely have a water focused class in there. The idea is to embody the qualities of water which is fluidity, creativity and self-expression. Yoga is great for surfers - obviously the more limber and flexible we are the better we can move our bodies in the water. On more than a physical level, the real gift of Yoga is it teaches us to be more mindful and present in our everyday lives.

What do you love to do in your spare time? 
I always seem to have a little craft project on the side - right now I'm making candles and sewing! I live in Melbourne these days so I spend more time SUP.

Melanie Sinclair is running nutrition classes at the SW Camp.

Melanie Sinclair is running nutrition classes at the SW Camp.

Next, we spoke to Melanie Sinclair - Nutritional Medicine Practitioner (BHSc). Melanie’s expertise lies with holistic sports nutrition. A complex topic, of which Mel has a knack for interpreting the complicated jargon and translating it into everyday language. She is a lifesaver when it comes to giving easy to understand strategies and breaking things down for shedding fat, looking lean and getting the most out of your surfing. 

CW: Tell us about your passion behind your practice?
MS: Well I’m so lucky to get to think about food for a job! ha! I am passionate about it all - the health outcomes for clients, the nerdy biochemistry bits, the foodie element as well as the politics surrounding food production & the environment. I love that light bulb moment I get to see my clients have when they finally piece together something that may be holding them back from reaching their health goals, you know then, ok this person’s on it & then true change & motivation happens.

What's your best advice to people interested in working towards a healthy body and mind? 
Start with increasing plant foods and as much variety of colours as possible and get your body moving, preferably outside!  The body (both physical & mental) is pretty amazing at sorting itself out when given the right ingredients (nutrients, movement & fresh air) so this should be the first step to getting on any health path.  Consequently, you are also aiming to make less room for those nutrient suckers like sweets, processed packaged foods, crappy vegetables oils & booze which mess with our biochemistry.

What do you love to do in your spare time? 
Anything beach based! I also became a Mum this year so I am getting to enjoy all the mumsy things for the first time and appreciating the simple pleasure of a front row seat to watching a funny, little human grow! If you want to have a chat to Mel get down to the SW Camp where she is hosting two interactive seminars on sports nutrition and body composition. 

Nic Laidlaw is running functional movement classes at the SW Camp.

Nic Laidlaw is running functional movement classes at the SW Camp.

Finally, we spoke to Nic Laidlaw, founder of Balanced Studio in the Northern Beaches. Nics childhood had him surfing from a young age as well as early exposure to Eastern medicine, yoga and meditation. His younger years shaping him into the holistic health, exercise and wellness practitioner he is now. Nics specialty being his Movement Classes which he will be bring to the SW Camp are designed especially for surfers to decrease chance of injury, increase agility through creative and playful movements utilizing both active mobility and strength.

Tell us about your passion behind your practice? 
From my view, I see the world at the moment as moving very quickly and running very hot. I want to do my very best to exemplify and teach others to reconnect with themselves. Experience connecting with the days rhythms, jumping in the cold ocean, moving your body freely without pain, eating food that's not been proceeded and laden with chemicals. I know how good it feels to be in this state and I want to share this. 

I don't see doctors or pay for health insurance. I invest my time and money into building health + vitality and maximising how much fun I can have with this vessel of mine.  It's our god given right to enjoy life and I want to help as many people as possible experience this. 


What's your best advise to people interested in working towards a healthy body and mind?
First establish why you want to move towards a state of health, if it is to be able to enjoy more time in the surf or be a good example for your children, then you will have a reference point and a reason beyond the superficial for sticking to your goals.

Another good one is to make a commitment to yourself to watch the sun come up and jump in the ocean for a week straight, I've challenged many people to this and not one of them wishes they hadn't.  

What do you love to do in your spare time? 
I love taking off up or down the coast with my dog and my wife on a road trip, surfing, bush walks, coffees, moving with the rhythms of the day and frothing out on how beautiful and simple life can be if we allow it.

GET YOUR TICKETS BEFORE YOU MISS OUT!


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