In the Flow with Cyd Connor
Sep 23, 2014
There are a few core motivations of why I embarked on this adventure of starting a new venture. One of them was getting to know other passionate surfer yogis and be inspired by their stories. All stars certainly aligned in meeting Cydney Connor for my first interview; I knew I had the right girl when she said,
“There’s going to be challenging times that come with not having a set career or a set path or knowing what’s around the corner, but there is so much beauty in just being, living intuitively and seeing how opportunities come up, open yourself up to things that you may not have otherwise opened up to, meeting incredible people that you otherwise would have never met.”
So how did a girl from South Surrey, BC, where there are absolutely no waves to chomp at, fall for surfing in the first place? And how did she become an ambassador for Lululemon, Nixon and Mizu?
Cyd’s first surf trip was in high school to WestPort Washington, 5.5 hours drive south of the Canadian border. While she didn’t have much exposure to the sport growing up, her curiosity and natural athleticism led her to it as a new challenge. The first trip out she didn’t know what she was doing and found herself carried away by not only the rip, but also by the excitement of her new-found sport. “The next day we only surfed the white wash, getting up and thinking ‘this is it - this is amazing!’
I think for me, the initial excitement about surfing was the culture and community that was around it. We met the people that owned the board shop at Westport and stayed in touch with them; we’d come back and get deals on rentals. Each time we would meet more people that were into surfing, who knew a lot about it and were willing to share and divulge their information to us. It was super exciting.”
Were you a natural?
"No, I don't think I was a natural at surfing which was really frustrating because most every other sport came to me quite quickly. When I did kid triathlons I was always close to the last out of the pool and had to make up time on the bike and running so my lack of swimming skills and strength in the water made things tough to start. There were no waves where I grew up and we spent family vacations in the mountains (which were amazing) but the lack of time in waves definitely put me at a disadvantage. For me, one of the hardest parts about surfing was learning how to read the waves. Once I figured out the right place to be at the right time, things started coming together. My early years of surfing were full of emotion, some really frustrating sessions and other straight up ecstatic days which is what got me hooked! My goal is also to keep surfing different breaks and spend my time in the water with fun and happy humans!"
Then along came ‘yogs.'
Photo Cred: Jordan Junck www.jordanjunck.com
While working a demanding job in finance, Cyd found herself eye’ing up all the glowing yogis around Vancouver, with their mats and smiles: “I didn’t know what I was really looking for at the time - but I would see people with their yoga mats and think, where are these people going? I knew something good is happening.
Yoga really softened me. I started to open up more; I learned so much more about myself, my insecurities and places I could really work on. I could reflect more, slow down. My boyfriend at the time (now husband) saw that I would come home way more peaceful and relaxed.”
It was a couple years of study and practice before Cyd embarked on her 200 hour teacher training while working full time in Vancouver.
“Once I completed my teacher training at Semperviva Studios in Vancouver, April 2011, I immediately embarked on a two week surf adventure with my husband to northern Nicaragua. This newfound knowledge of the physical asanas and sequencing allowed me to develop yoga flows that helped prepare me for and recover from my time in the water. I began developing sequences for my time spent on dry land preparing for the trip, strengthening and balancing being the focus. It took some time to realize exactly what my body craved before and after surfing but I have specific postures that I seek out pre and post long paddling sessions.
Yoga has taught me not to hang on to the really good times and not to be averted to the bad times..“
When did you make the connection between surfing and yoga?
“It’s hard to pin-point the exact moment that yoga and surf came together for me but I think the earliest connections happened while sitting on my board past the break. In these moments of surfing, while you wait for waves, there is a calm that comes with your natural breath and the ebb and flow of waves rolling beneath you. Consciously slowing and deepening my breathing while I waited for waves brought both relaxation and a readiness for what was to come. It became apparent that smooth, full and focused breathing was critical for both my yoga and surf experiences. The physical connections between yoga and surfing are abundant.
I think that the greater quality of both of them is the humility, you will never know everything there is to know about yoga and there’s always something else to learn or someone else to teach you or you to pass on your knowledge. With surfing you are constantly being humbled, you think you’ve got it and then it’s like a whole other concept, or just being in the power of the ocean, it’s so much bigger than you.
Both yoga and surfing have evolved immensely for me in the past 6 years - I’m stoked to discover new connections and inspirations in the water and on the mat.”
Tell us a bit about Sukhaline?
“I started the website www.sukhaline.com as I prepared to leave Canada for work abroad. Our pursuit is "Be inspired, and inspire those you share your life with and those who you just met with a smile or kind words. Experience your life with joy, good health and energy. Connect your body and mind through yoga, sport, the ocean and your natural world.”
It’s easy to love Cyd - with what she stands for and all she is doing in this world. I only recently found out about fundraising efforts for Waves of Hope she started in 2011, amongst other things. We'll be following this rad chica and updating you regularly.
“Be adventurous and do these things that call to you. Its not always about whether it will be easy or following your passions, but it is about deciding what it is that you want and making it a priority. Sometimes you might have to sidetrack from it, but always knowing what is your focus.”
Yes, you just nailed it… all of it.
My first interview with Cyd left me excited to interview more rad, adventurous wave-sliding yoginis.
We also just learned she will be hosting a Surf Yoga Retreat, May 16th - 23th 2015.
Stay tuned, we'll have a page up soon with all the deets.
Marketer, Writer, Teacher. Having been a yogi and surfer for over a decade, Stacey decided to attend a surf yoga retreat. She found it time-consuming sorting out which retreat to attend and who to support with her hard-earned money. From this hatched iSurf iYoga, a website for wave-sliding yoginis to come together to share their journeys and where they can easily find inspiring, sustainable adventures. Other passions: mountain biking, skiing, boarding (all kinds), raw food, turtles, chocolate, Sci-fi and traveling. She fell in love with traveling on a four month trip to South East Asia on her first adventure 14 years ago. "Just like the experience of surfing the first time, I felt like I came alive."
Join our fun Instagram contest for your chance to win a Sanga Living yoga retreat in Costa Rica this November - flight included!
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