Dutch windsurfer Arrianne Aukes has been into yoga for some years now and in April she will be running a yoga and windsurfing camp in Bonaire. She got in contact with us about the camp and as we and some other windsurfers are practicing yoga we thought to hook up with Arrianne to get to know more about her yoga routine.

Yoga and Windsuf camp with Arrianne Aukes

Yoga and Windsuf

Continentseven: How did you get into yoga and for how long have you been practicing yoga?
Arrianne Aukes: My first experience with yoga was five or six years ago, during a windsurf trip in Brazil. It was a relaxing yoga in the evening and it was at a beautiful setting right in front of the beach. I didn’t know anything about yoga yet, but I felt so good after the lessons. After that I learned more about it and started doing it more and more next to windsurfing.

Continentseven: Why did you start yoga?
Arrianne Aukes: I started doing yoga because I felt it really helped me. It improves my strength, flexibility and helped me focus more and you can do it whenever and wherever you are. I love doing all kinds of sports, but for me yoga is more of a challenge than doing difficult exercises in the gym.

Continentseven: Do you take your yoga mat on all your journeys?
Arrianne Aukes: Yes, I take it on all my journeys, it doesn’t weigh much and I put it as some extra protection in between my boards while traveling.

Arrianne in Reverse Warrior

Arrianne in Reverse Warrior pose

Continentseven: Which yoga style do you like?
Arrianne Aukes: I like Vinyasa a lot, getting in a flow and linking moves together but I like to mix it up and do some other styles sometimes too.

Continentseven: How does your yoga practice look like and how often do you practice?
Arrianne Aukes: I mix it up a lot, depending on the spot where I train. In South Africa the wind picks up later in the day so I do my yoga in the morning. In Brazil I mostly do sunset yoga, after a day on the water. Depending on the time of the day I change my practice a bit.

Continentseven: How does yoga help your windsurfing?
Arrianne Aukes: Yoga helps me in many ways. When I first started competing I was always out of breath within a few minutes during my heats even although I was in very good shape. Yoga made me focus more on my breathing. I literally forgot to breathe before doing a move and didn’t realize this.
Windsurfing makes my muscles tighten up. I don’t like the feeling of my body being really stiff, it makes me feel tired in the morning and I feel I can perform less on the water. Doing yoga makes me more flexible.
And – yoga makes me stronger. Don’t get me wrong, windsurfing makes you really strong; I even wish my arms would not get that big from windsurfing ;-), but these are just particular windsurf muscles and all this windsurfing shortens your muscles. It’s the ‘easy’ poses sometimes that I struggle a lot with. There are so many small muscles in your body that you don’t train with windsurfing; the ones who help prevent injuries in your shoulders and knees.

A yoga session on Bonaire

A yoga session on Bonaire

Continentseven: Are there many other windsurfers, who do yoga?
Arrianne Aukes: Yes, I think it’s getting more and more popular. I think it complements perfect with sports like surfing and windsurfing. Catching the right wave or landing a difficult move; you will perform better if you can find your focus and clear your mind.

Continentseven: What would you tell people who think yoga isn’t for them?
Arrianne Aukes: I think a lot of windsurfers would benefit from yoga. There are a lot of us who have pain in their lower back from al the windsurfing, stiff hips or stuff like that and yoga could really help with this. I actually think that a lot of strong windsurf guys would struggle more doing a yoga workout than a workout in the gym but many of them still have the idea that yoga is just spiritual and only for the mind. But there are so many forms of yoga, and it all depends on the style you are practicing.

Continentseven: In April you will be running a yoga and windsurfing camp in Bonaire. Tell us more about it.
Arrianne Aukes: Yes, I’m super excited about this camp!! It’s the first time I will run a clinic where I combine yoga and windsurfing and I think it will be great. I am organizing the clinic together with Ladina van Swoll. She is a very experienced yoga teacher and a passionate windsurfer herself. We met in Bonaire a few years ago where she was my yoga teacher at Sorobon Beach Resort and we became very good friends. Because she is a windsurfer herself she knows which muscles get sour from windsurfing, what our weak points are and which exercises would benefit us the most.
Ladina will focus more on the yoga part and I will do the windsurf teaching, but like windsurfing and yoga, we will complement each other. The schedule of the clinic will depend on the wind, so some days yoga will be in the morning and some days we will do a sunset yoga session or perhaps even a SUP yoga session one day.
The clinic will be held in Bonaire at Sorobon Beach Resort. This is such a beautiful location for our clinic. Warm, shallow and deep blue water, perfectly constant wind and a very relaxing and quite place in the resort to do our yoga.
You can find more information at our Facebook page or on my website: http://www.arrianneaukes.com/yoga-and-windsurf-clinic-2017/ and https://www.facebook.com/events/1669682343254258/

Continentseven: Namasté and thanks for the interview.