Meet up with the lovely Andy who grew up between Caribbean island, USA and France to finally end up in Sydney, Australia.
Child of the Ocean, Andy share with us her passion for Yoga and Surfing and how they are interacting in her daily Aussie life. With good vibes, the beautiful yogi/surfer girl give us tips to dare and create our own opportunities in order to achieve our dreams!
1) Hello Andy, tell us more about you…
My name is Andrea (or Andy for my friends) and I am currently living in Australia. I have been living in Sydney since 6 years now, and it all started with an university exchange program. I grew up in Saint Martin island in the Caribbean sea, then I spent some times in Florida (USA). I had the chance to travel a lot during my childhood thanks to my parents (my dad is English and my mom is French), and to discover the world.
I always wanted to live close to the ocean to have the beach and surf lifestyle that I liked, and this is in Australia where I found my balance. I finished my business and journalism degrees here, and in 2015 I decoded to do my first yoga teacher degree training (YTT 200 hours).
Today, I am very lucky to make a living from my passions: journalism, yoga and surfing. I wrote freelance for several brands, and in the same time I am teaching yoga class and organizing Surf & Yoga retreat around the world.
2) When starts your love story with surf ?
Because I grow up in Saint Martin, an island surrounded by turquoise water and beautiful waves, the ocean has always been a part of my life. I started very young with body board, and surf board came a little bit later during my adolescence. This is in Florida and France, around the age of 18 that I really started to surf (I know it can seem surprising); and I developed my surf skills when I moved to Australia. The past 5 years have been incredible for my surfing level as well as all the personal and professional opportunities that I had.
3) What is your best memory while surfing?
My first girls surf tip in Indonesia last year is my best surfing memory for now. I did lot of surf trips before, but this one was special and I developed my surf skills a lot. Just picture it, eleven girls on a boat in the middle of Mentawai’s islands, nobody there except waves and good vibes every day! These 10 days were incredible, I will never forget it. My perception of fear and difficult waves have completely changed since then.
4) What is your favorite spot?
The name of the spot is Burger World located in Mentawai (of course). This spot is famous and well-known because of its ideal setting, perfect waves for regular footed with breathtaking landscape.
5) Shortboard or longboard?
Mid-Length! I really like longboard, but my favorite board is a mid-length 7’6 that I am bringing with me during all surf trips. This is important to find THE perfect board with whom we are comfortable in any circumstance. I also love my fish board 5’8 that helps me a lot to improve my short board skills, but if I want to have fun and catch most waves as possible, I always go with my 7’6!
6) What do you feel when you are riding the perfect wave?
Everything and nothing in the same time, haha. A feeling of well-being, and pure joy that I cannot feel anywhere else. The perfect wave (or any kind of waves) has the power to bring me back to present moment. I can feel the power of the nature around me, it gives me humility and helps me to get some perspective in my daily issues/problems.
7) Tell us about your ordinary daylife in Sydney
I wake up mostly early in the morning, I start with my yoga practice or outdoor exercise, then I have my breakfast, and after I work few hours on my computer according to what I have to do/produce.
If the waves are good, I go surfing for one hour. Right now this is winter in Australia, and I have to admit that I am not a fan of cold water, so I am surfing less compared to Summer/Spring time. But my friends are always there to push me into the water, and I try to surf at least one to two times by week. I love surfing with my friends, this is so motivating and we are laughing a lot without taking us seriously.
The rest of the day it’s a mix between yoga course, articles writing, shooting coordination and so on. Because of the sanitary situation, no travels are allowed outside Australia so unfortunately the rest of my Surf & Yoga retreats have been cancelled, I try to adapt myself as I can.
8) Now let’s talk about Yoga, tell us about your first Yoga experience…
It all started 10 years ago in Florida when I was 15 years old, I went with my mom to a beginner class in one yoga studio nearby. I came by curiosity, and also because I just read an article on Vogue magazine with nice photographs of Giselle Bundchen doing yoga postures. My main goal at this time was to have the same beautiful legs as Giselle! Later on, I understood the real power of Yoga between your mental and body, but I like to think that this first introduction changed something in me for the best!
9) What do you like about doing Yoga?
For me, Yoga is an Art and this is so fascinating. Even after doing one yoga teacher training of 500 hours recently, I still have a lot to learn. The philosophy and all the learnings can apply to your personal daily life at all levels. Yoga helps me to overcome obstacles in my personal life and to become the person who I am today.
10) Do you think Yoga and Surfing is a good mix?
Absolutely! I think that I could make quick improvement in my surfing skills because I was doing my yoga routine every day. Yoga helps me to work on my balance and have the necessary mobility/strength to do smooth pop-up.
The breathing exercises also help me to remain calm in all situations, so that I can anticipate the next move. The ocean and nature by definition is unpredictable, and thanks to yoga you can develop your mental flexibility to adapt yourself and give you perspectives in all situations.
11) What do you feel when you do Yoga?
Mostly, CALM. This is the time to let go. Even if some postures can be difficult or uncomfortable sometimes, like surfing, I am living in the present moment and it helps me to forget about the rest and to be focus on my mental and body performance.
12) If you have to choose between surf and yoga?
Impossible, haha. I love them both, they are part of my life and I feel lost without it!
But if I have to really choose, I will do yoga in winter and surfing in Spring/Summer.
I love surfing, but as you know it is really difficult for me to practice during Winter time because of the cold temperature (that is why I keep going to Indonesia during this season). Yoga has always been there for me, but I have to admit that I rather like to spend my sunny day surrounded by friends and good waves!
13) Do you have any environmental causes that is important to you?
The protection of the ocean and to decrease our daily use of the plastic! We just need to change simple habits that can make huge difference on the long-term basis. As a surfer, we are spending most of our time in the Ocean, and this is our responsibility and duty to do our best to protect it so that everybody can enjoy it as long as possible.
14) Do you have any advice for someone who wants to realize his/her dream?
DARE! It can seem silly, but you have to trust yourself. Don’t give up at the first obstacle, and you need to have a clear vision of what you want. Just do little steps every day into this direction. Your dream does not need to be big, it can be simple such as subscribe to your first yoga class, or sending an application for your dream job. Just DARE, because we only have ONE life so we have to live it at 100% and create our own opportunities!
15) Anything you would like to add?
“FAKE IT T’ILL YOU MAKE IT”
You can follow the beautiful Andy on Instagram @noshoes_noworries