For many the February half term is an opportunity to escape to the mountains and get some skiing in.
So far the season has been great in Europe with plenty of snow throughout the Alpes. Skiing is a second passion of mine; and one that I look forward to every year. Yoga complements skiing in many ways - before, during and after your day skiing.
At a very high level - both activities require you to focus on what is ahead of you (Drishti), to keep regular breath (pranayama) and to physically move / adapt regularly (asana). By the end of your practice, or day on the slope, you are usually happily tired whilst invigorated at the same time.
Using yoga to prepare for your holiday.....
Preparing to go skiing
Build up core strength to enable greater balance, whilst also building on quad strength. Undoubtedly there will also be a time to push yourself along the piste, and carry the skis - so shoulder strength and mobility is also useful. Possibly a bit late to get really prepared for half term but how about using yoga to help prepare for skiing in the Easter break?
Pre skiing warm ups
Essentially this is a bit of warm up to prepare the body before you hit the slopes. As you would with running, some sequences to get the joints moving and muscles warm makes sense. Sun Salutation A or B are great warm ups - particularly with Chair pose in Sun Salutation B being featured. Why not pulse in chair pose up and down, to the left and then to the right, followed by slowing sitting deeper into the chair at 3 different levels?
Post skiing stretching (if you have time and are not too distracted)
Spinal twists, glute opening in pigeon pose and a forward fold allowing your arms to hang to the ground, really can relieve stiffness from the day's activities. Hold the poses for a number of breaths (how about 10 inhales and exhales through the nose counting to 4 each time) in each pose to really allow your body to unwind.
YogaTonicUK run a number of ski fit classes on Monday night at 815pm each week to help prepare you for your ski holiday.
Have a wonderful and safe time on the slopes. Hopefully you will find some of the tips, sequences and poses helpful.
Tim & Shannon: Part time yoga teachers from Cookham, Berkshire. We thought it would be fun to share our learning experiences with like minded people.