I’m a new yoga convert: I’m obnoxious. I’m proselytizing. I’m spreading the word. I’m trolling for other yoga converts.
Most of all though, I’m all about incorporating yoga into my ski season conditioning.
For years I’ve avoided yoga. While many of my friends embraced a consistent yoga practice, I did not.
I found yoga intimidating. I didn’t have the right clothes, I didn’t know the right studios (nor what distinguished one from the other) and I really wasn’t interested in spending so much time in downward dog.
I’d try yoga from time to time, but usually drop it in favor of running, weights or cycling.
But now, while I’ve come late to the yoga bus, I’m on it.
And I’m trying to spend between 10 minutes to 30 minutes each day in yoga practice — in my home. While this might not work best for everyone, it works well for me.
Yoga Offers Strength, Stamina and Stability
In the past, I mostly thought of yoga as stretching. But now, I’m appreciating how much strength and stamina yoga actually requires.
Some recommended strengthening poses for skiers and snowboarders include:
These poses build muscle strength, utilize aerobic capacity (deep breathing under stress, you know) and improve balance and stability.
Of course, just doing a few slow sun salutations each day can work wonders as well.
The Mental Payoff
The more I do yoga, the happier it makes me. I think this is because I have to concentrate on two things: breathing and holding the posture. This takes all of my brainpower, so my mind stops wandering. For at least 10 minutes each day, yoga makes me live in the moment.
Skiing has a similar benefit. When I’m skiing, I’m focused. If I start thinking about what groceries I need to buy, I’m more likely to fall.
Links and Resources
Video: I’m visual so videos are my preferred resource. Not only can I see what I’m supposed to do, but they are especially helpful when the instructor talks me through the postures and ensures that I’m both breathing properly and holding the poses an appropriate length of time.
Yoga for Skiers and Snowboarders, YouTube. A 20 minute class for all levels led by Chaz Rough of Yogamazing.com. There is a commercial and some explanation at the beginning. Postures start at 2:40.
SNOWGA: Yoga for Snowboarders…(and Skiers), YouTube. A 30 minute gentle yoga routine from Canadian yogi and snowboarder, Jessica Pyper.
Pyper also has a SNOWGA in the Summertime video, for preseason conditioning.
Après Ski Yoga, YouTube. Twenty minutes of blissful stretch and relaxation designed to counteract the impact of a day on snow. Do it before you hit the hot tub. Anna Kathalina Langer is the instructor.
There are many, many more yoga resources on YouTube. It’s worth taking some time to explore and find exactly what you want.
Yoga Sequence for Skiers and Riders, POPSUGAR Fitness. A 3-minute standing series with links to instructions for each posture. Start on the right side, repeat on the left. You’re done in less than 10 minutes.
Apps: With so much on YouTube, the only reason to download an app is to have offline yoga workouts and quick access to a library of postures and workouts. Without much research, I chose Daily Yoga, a free app with a subscription option.
Daily Yoga doesn’t have a ski or snowboard specific routine, but it has just about everything else including lower leg and back strengthening series and a helpful 15 minute Morning Yoga routine.
Daily Yoga also has meditations (as does YouTube).
More Pre-Ski Season Workouts
For the past 6 years, I’ve worked with some wonderful physical therapists who developed excellent pre-season ski and snowboard workouts for Braveskimom.com.
Here’s a list from which you can choose:
- My Favorite “Get In Shape for Ski Season” Workout (I do this one all year ’round. It’s super.)
- Get in Shape for Skiing and Snowboarding
- Get in Shape for Ski Season
- Get Ready for Ski Season in 15 Minutes Per Day
- Getting In Shape for Skiing (Alpine Skiing, That Is)
- Getting in Shape for Snowboarding
- Getting in Shape for Telemark and Cross Country Skiing
- The Procrastinator’s Guide to Getting in Shape for Skiing
As you can see, there really is something for everyone (and almost every snowsport) here.
I’m no yoga expert (not even close), but I am enthusiastic! Please share your favorite resources, tips and suggestions.
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