Have you ever thought about how perfectly skiing & yoga complement each other? Skiing is fast, adrenaline-pumping & risky. Yoga is calming, meditative & mindful. Combining the two creates a perfect balance of mindful fun.
The biggest benefit that yoga can bring to your skiing is injury prevention. Out on the slopes it is cold and we use our cold muscles in ways or in an intensity that we generally aren't used to. Yoga can help reduce stress, strain and possible injury.
If you're planning a skiing holiday I would highly suggest attending as many yoga classes as you can before you head into the snow. Balance, concentration, flexibility & strength form the basis of most yoga classes and these are also the most important skills to get you down the mountain with a big smile on your face!
See your yoga mat as you see you your skis…and see your skis as a yoga mat
Here are a few tips to help you find alignment on your skis:
- Feet should be shoulder-width apart, as if in Mountain Pose, to create a stable base for the body.
- Knees should be in line with the toes.
- Hips should be tipped slightly forward. This is a somewhat unnatural position for most people; however, ski boots help encourage this shape in the lower body. This posture helps you gain control.
- Shoulders should be dropped, or relaxed, as in Mountain Pose.
- Torso should be still & stable. Referred to as a “quiet upper body” in skiing, having a “still” torso is akin to riding a bicycle with the lower body doing most of the work while the upper body provides stability.
- Hands should be in front of your body to encourage forward movement and to initiate pole plants.
Here are a few poses which will help strengthen, lengthen and balance you prior to skiing:
- Forward fold: A yoga pose for hamstrings as it helps to loosen the back and stretch hamstrings and calves.
- Warrior I and II : Stretches hip flexors and hamstrings on the back leg whilst strengthening feet, ankles, glutes and quads on the front leg.
- Chair pose: classic ski and board pose, warms up and builds strength in quads.
- Reclined cobblers pose: improves flexibility of inner thigh muscles, which can cause knee injury in skiing if not stretched.
- Tree pose: helps with balance, tones & strengthens quads, calves, ankles & spine whilst stretching hip flexors, inner thighs, chest and shoulders. Improves balance, promotes mobility in the hip and knee joint, very important for turns whilst skiing.
- Downward facing Dog: Stretches the back & opens the chest. Vinyasas can build core strength.
- Crescent Pose (high lunge): stretches hip flexors & hamstrings on the back leg whilst strengthening feet, ankles, glutes & quads on the front leg. Low lunges are also good!
If the idea of yoga & skiing tickles your toes, have a look at our next escape:
Pause // Play // Ski
16th- 23rd March 2016
Morillon, French Alps
Daily morning yoga with a mountain view, afternoons to ski/board to your hearts content, a full body massage, meditation techniques for the curious, a B-EA-U-TIFUL chalet complete with a sauna and right next to the ski lifts. Oh, and of course stinky french cheese and wine are also included!