Ski and snowboard season is finally well underway! Before you hit the slopes, take some time to prepare your body and mind for an epic day outdoors. Adding yoga to your routine before heading to the mountain can help clear your mind and also prevent muscular soreness.
High energy sports like skiing, snowboarding, and even snowshoeing combine almost every element of fitness, including strength, endurance, and agility. Skiing and snowboarding can be intense on the body, so yoga can help you prepare for a day on the slopes by stretching and warming your muscles while deepening your focus on the present. Here are a few helpful postures to get your snow flow started, but feel free to work in any other poses that work best for you.
Fierce (Chair) Pose
Fierce Pose is very similar to skier stance. Practicing it on your yoga mat will strengthen the legs and core. The deeper you sit your hips back, the more intense the posture becomes. This physical intensity also promotes concentration on the breath. This practice will also help train focus, which can be helpful when you’re flying down the mountain.
Like Fierce Pose, Goddess will also strengthen your legs and core, but it will also open your hips to improve your control down the mountain. Different to chair pose, this posture is similar to the stance snowboarders often use, and can strengthen those muscles before you hit the snow.
This pose, a variation of Downward Dog, lengthens the spine, relieves tension in the lower back, and strengthens your shoulders and arms. This is helpful to protect those areas from injury when things don’t go as planned, and can help train arm and shoulder muscles for maneuvering with ski poles.
Triangle continues our pattern of strengthening legs and core, as well as the oblique muscles. However, it also provides the added benefit of increasing spinal mobility. By bending the spine from side to side, two of the six different movement of the spine. This increased mobility prevents the spine from injury.
Side Angle Pose
Side Angle offers similar benefits of triangle, but with a twist: a spinal twist. By bending and twisting the spine from side-to-side, as well as bending forward and backward, you can prevent strain and injury during intense activities like skiing and snowboarding.
Try practicing yoga before heading to the mountain, or even just as you get ready to ride to see if it changes your day on the slopes. Some ski and snowboard instructors that have implemented yoga at the beginning of their lessons have even noticed that their students “progressed much more quickly. No matter how new or advanced your abilities on the hill, adding some yoga before you play can help strengthen both mind and body, helping every mountainous experience be a good one.
Stay safe out there!