Eva Estlander

Finnish Surfini finding roots in Mexico

We were lucky enough to meet Eva for a quick hello in Sayulita and what stood out for us was her gentle, humble and kind nature that makes her seem way beyond her years. If you met her, you’d be on the first plane to Sayulita to join her and her business partner/ bestie/ fellow ISIY ambassador Leah Tisdale for one of their Los Diosas retreats. After graduating with a Master's Degree in Economics, Eva left the hustle of a Finnish city life for the warm waters and friendly waves of Riviera Nayarit, opting instead for a lifestyle that promotes health, balance and a deeper peace of mind. Practicing yoga, surfing and eating fresh tropical food is the life her dreams are made of.


What she said:

When did you decide to make
 surfing part of your lifestyle?

I first tried surfing on a trip in Bali about 8 years ago. I had always felt drawn to the sport and thought it looked absolutely amazing. I stood up on my very first lesson and thought to myself “ha, this doesn’t seem to be too hard!”. OH BOY was I wrong. After that I tried it a few more times in different spots but didn’t really get into it until I met my boyfriend who used to be professional surfer. He had the patience to really teach me the basics, and ever since I’ve been practicing the art of surfing.


Favorite books and why?

Well, this one is tricky. But I’d have to say Many Lives Many Masters by Brian L. Weiss. It was one of the first “new agey” books I read and it’s just simply a really good read, and makes you think about life as something more than what we perceive.

Leah_Eva_ambassadors_8.jpgAnother favorite book (for completely different reasons) is A Thousand Splendid Suns. This book really touched me and made me realize how lucky I am living the life and I try to stay grateful every day.

What helps you get in the flow?

Music. Hands down, after surfing and yoga, it’s the thing. I put on super peaceful (or as some people would call it “hippie music”) and just zone out. Oh, and then I light some incense or palo santo for the full experience. Another
really soothing thing that I do is that I go to the North side of Sayulita and just sit on the beach staring at the ocean (I think it’s called meditation :D).

Why do you think surfers gravitate to yoga and/or vice versa?

Because they complement each other perfectly. When you think about it, when you surf, you are basically doing a chaturanga and a Warrior 2. No, but seriously, I find they work really well together. I really notice in my yoga practice if I’ve been surfing a lot and vice versa. Surfing makes my yoga practice stronger (makes me stronger) whereas yoga gives me more fluidity in water and makes me more agile.

Leah_Eva_ambassadors_7.jpgWhen did you last push the boundaries of your comfort zone? And what
 was the outcome?

I really pushed my boundaries when I moved to Mexico. I didn’t speak the language and had zero friends. It turned out to be the best decision of my life. Oh boy have I grown. I now speak Spanish and have amazing friends around me while living the lifestyle of my dreams; eating fresh tropical food, surfing cute waves and doing sun salutations under the palm trees. Beach life - yes please!

Craziest travel experience you've had?

Traveling through Sri Lanka in a train being the only blonde girl in the entire train. They were not very shy with their looks, to say the least.

In what environment do you feel your best?

I love the environment that’s created in yoga classes and the feeling of community it creates. I also love all kinds of ceremonies, such as new moon or full moon ceremonies. Anything with a depth to it. It makes me feel whole, inspired and excited.

How has your yoga practice/ surfing/ travelling changed your
perspective in the world?

I’ve always loved traveling and exploring cultures. We have so much to learn from each other and it really is mind-blowing how much we may differ in our views and perceptions of the world. It’s been really good to learn different ways of thinking and not be so close-minded. With yoga and surfing now being big parts of my life, whenever I travel, I look for local studios/surf possibilities and follow them. As far as how it affects me in how I move throughout the planet I now carry a yoga mat and surfboard around with me.


To learn more about Eva, her surf camps and yoga retreats with Las Diosas, check her out on social media:

Instagram: @evaestlander and their new account for Las Diosas is @ilovewaves_life

Facebook: @ilovewaveslife

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