Get Fit: Yoga Moves for Ski Season
Published on 10/25/2012
By Arya Roerig
Crushing moguls and slaying the first fresh powder of the season can make you feel like a pro on the slopes, but if you’ve been taking it easy on the beach all summer you may be soaking those hip flexors in the hot tub the rest of the day. Bring in the chalet-friendly yoga moves. Improving balance, flexibility and concentration is beneficial to any sport and skiing and snowboarding are no exceptions.
A week or two of prepping with some of these simple poses will help to get your joints and muscles ready for the slopes by increasing your range of motion, combating muscular imbalances and maybe even preventing injuries.
The chair pose strengthens the core and the knee joints and trains your upright balance. It also increases the endurance of your quads- one of the main sore spots for new or out-of-practice skiers. Standing with feet and knees together, squat and raise your arms above you with palms facing each other. Hold for five deep breaths. Will also make you feel super buff chilling on the lift.
Healthy foot and ankle muscles are key with all the tension and pressure that comes from being strapped or clipped-in all day. Child’s pose is a calming pose that is gentle on the hips, thighs and ankles and is wonderful for back pains or just to unwind. Drop your knees, sit on your feet and keep your big toes touching. Bring your belly to rest between the thighs and rest your forehead to the floor reaching your arms in front of you.
Warrior poses help to develop stamina and an aligned stance that will help you keep your balance. In a lunge position, bend your front leg at a 90 degree angle to the floor and turn your back foot to the side. Face your torso to the side and look toward your bent leg. Raise your arms and turn your palms upward. Stay for five deep breaths and reverse sides.
Goddess Pose (Guys- call it whatever you want)
A pose to open the groin- how could you go wrong? While standing, place the soles of the feet on the floor, toes pointing away from each other and bend your legs. The goal is to move into a squat position. You can also do this position on your back as a restorative pose and this position will help relieve hip tightness from all that twisting and turning.
If just starting out in the yoga world, move slowly and listen to your body’s reactions. If something hurts or is too tight, stop and move backwards. The best way to practice is to enlist the help of a beginner’s class- many resorts even offer classes designed specifically for skiers and snowboarders. Stretching before and after any intense activity will not only refocus your body and strengthen the mind but speed up your recovery and keep you feeling tip top in the process.
Check out our friends at Yoganonymous for a great resource to help you get started!
Photos from YogaJournal.