In lululemon’s newest campaign, “This Is Yoga.” professional surfer and wunderkind Maddie Peterson cuts through the water with precision and grace.
The nineteen-year-old is ranked third in North America—no small feat—and has been surfing since she was a just a little kid. We sat down with Peterson to hear more about her campaign with lululemon, what newbie surfers need to know, and how she forgets to breath sometimes (!).
You embody the yogic practice of trust—how long did it take you to really trust yourself out in the ocean on your board?
It definitely did not happen overnight, as I think trusting yourself goes hand-in-hand with security. For me, security in myself and trust of my surfing didn’t occur until I realized my choices were affecting me physically and mentally. I now know I have a choice to trust. I have a choice to wake up each morning, and to either trust myself as a surfer and be ‘okay’ with who Maddie Peterson is, or not to trust. And I now know that the latter choice hurts me.
How have the lessons you’ve learned while surfing—like the principle of trust—impacted the way you relate to others and the world around you?
I’ve learned without trust you can never have a happy relationship. That relationship could be with the ocean, your spouse, sibling, or even the relationship you have within yourself. It’s hard to be at peace when there’s no trust.
A lot of people have a big fear of the ocean—there’s something about not knowing what’s beneath the surface that scares them. What advice would you give to someone who’s ready to face that fear?
There’s always going to be an unknown and a mystery no matter what you do. The more you imagine yourself in those freak situations you see on the news, the more your internal fear will tell you not to go into the ocean. Life is about taking chances!
Alright, we want to become cool surfer girls like you! Where do we start?
Yes!!! So one important tip I can give all is to get a big enough board that you’ll likely think is “too big.” The bigger the better! The more board under you will make it easier to get up. A shorter board will make it way harder and more frustrating.
Is there a limb of yoga that you wish you were better at? How are you working on developing that aspect?
Some days it feels like I need to work on it all! Recently, I’ve been working on breathing. I tend to hold my breath while I’m doing things (surfing, working out, etc.), so being intentional about my breathing and ‘letting it all go’ has released a lot of tension.