Just 5% more mobility can make a huge difference!
The body feels so much better after an easy yet intelligent 10-15 min. practice. Daniel Schudt
I am keen to support anyone who wants to take a leap from stiffness, tension & pain towards moving more freely with joy. Living the stoke and paddling out at age 70+ is the goal.
The work presented on this website is inspired by a life-long dedication to sports and athleticism - informed by two decades of experience as a massage therapist, surfer & yoga instructor.
My dream as a kid was working in the world of sports. I was obsessed with physical exercise from an early age. My knees were not co-operating though. Chronic pain started when I was fifteen. By the time I was twenty I couldn´t run or cycle, play soccer, basketball or any other beloved sports anymore. No physio or doctor was able to figure out the reason for the inflammatory reaction in the knees.
I detoured to study business economy and ended up working as a marketeer in the Software industry. Successfully, yes. Working hard, partying harder. Just deep inside I wasn´t at ease, something wasn´t right. Only few people around me understood. One day a friend finally shook me by the shoulders: “Wake up! Dare the change, man!” Then I met someone who shared his story about backpacking in New Zealand and this was the sign I needed. I quit my job at Microsoft at age 28. No interest in the comforting sabbatical. Just craving to go travelling without having to think about coming back.
I had discovered surfing around that time too and so I made Bali the first stop. Here I fell in love with the ocean and the way how surfing magically rooted me in the present moment. That was new and exciting. And I met Toshi – a surf-coach who impressed me with his sheer unshakable equanimity and calmness amongst the crazy surf-camp crowd. He introduced me to Yoga & Meditation. Something clicked.
The issue with my knees however, had gotten so bad that I could hardly walk 20 min. without painkillers. I got back to Germany to finally take the time and sort this out. None of the osteopaths, physios and doctors I´ve worked with over the decade prior could help me. Thus I opted for one last desperate attempt: An absurdly invasive surgery altering the leg axis. It left me walking on crutches and in physio therapy for half a year only to find out then it didn´t help the case at all. I was still experiencing the same old pain. I was devastated.
During recovery from surgery I started with yoga. I got absolutely consumed by it, practiced asanas (postures) and pranayama (breathwork) daily. Trainings & workshops with several renowned international teachers further inspired me. I had entered a completely new world, with access to new information and different healing modalities. One single Kinesiology session resolved the knee pain for good. Wow! My first run on the beach after more than a decade of pain left me in tears of joy. A pivotal moment that I will never forget. I´ve always been fascinated by the human body and what it can achieve but now I wanted to learn more! I started studying Massage in 2006 and there my childhood dream took shap in reality: I found the work that I truly love. Today I still give treatments every day and I am not getting tired of it.
SURFERS HEALTH developed naturally out of this. Essentially I am sharing my passion! For more than a decade the majority of my clients have been surfers. I learned about their physical issues & limitations and then I am an aging surfer myself, turning 50 soon. So I have always been keen on figuring out the most functional stretches and exercises to maintain a supple, strong and pain-free body. Because just like my clients I want to surf for many more years to come. Gerry Lopez´s picture is on the altar of the studio :).
I am ever so grateful for having met those people who opened my eyes and supported me on the journey. And I encourage everyone to never stop believing in your dreams!
My own practice? I surf almost every day if possible. And then I practice all the stuff I share here in the videos : Mobility work, maintaining flexibility & internal strength. I am religious about post surf stretches. I add some workouts in the gym, some running with the dog. I make sure to get decent sleep and follow a mainly plant-based wholefood diet. A game changer was building a habit of a short daily morning practice: The foundation is the joint mobility sequence, some yoga moves & stretches plus breathing exercises & meditation. Moving the body, quietening the mind - inviting some equanimity & flow.
The Workspace : Dawn Collective Shala in Arrifana/Aljezur, Portugal.
Here I give massage treatments and offer yoga & mobility training in group clases and 1:1 sessions. After having organized, hosted and run 150+ yoga retreats all over Europe with yogabija.eu it was just great to settle on the stunning and wave-rich south-west coast of Portugal and co-create this Yoga- and Massage Studio in 2018. Find out more about the studio and all that we offer: www.dawncollectiveshala.eu