I was just in Aspen, CO the beginning of November and the beautiful mountains are already snowcapped. There is so much buzz and excitement as the ski season approaches with more fresh snow on its way out West, the chill in the air at home in Illinois and the latest ski and snowboard movies on tour to awe us and pump all of the skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts up for the season. I’m so excited for it all! But mostly for the Pagosa Springs, Colorado hot springs, snowboarding/skiing and yoga retreat guided by Alchemy Tours, February 3 –6, 2011. In the meantime I’ll continue to train. Here are some of my favorite yoga asanas for snowboarding and skiing.
- For shoulders and wrists Side Plank (Vasisthasana) stretches and strengthens the wrists and strengthens the arms, all which will help for falling out on the slopes and pushing yourself up. And shoulders are super important for posture in skiing and snowboarding too.
- For core and spine Boat (Navasana) engages and strengthens the core muscles. Strong core muscles enhance good turns on the slopes and alleviates pressure from the knees, protecting the joint from injury. Awareness of your center also helps to initiate movement and distribute weight more evenly making it less strenuous on the whole body.
- For strengthening the legs, hips, knee joints and lower back Chair pose (Utkatasana) helps to prevent ACL injury by encouraging bending of the knees. It also helps with absorbing impact especially if you fall, go off cliffs, jumps or like bumps.
- For balance Eagle (Garudasana) improves your concentration and sense of balance. It also strengthens the ankles and calves. On the slopes this will be helpful for side balance progression, refined balance recovery skills and muscle memory. It also helps with relaxing those feet in those stiff boots, sidestepping and traversing.
- For flexible legs Down Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana) energizes the body and stretches the hamstrings, calves and arches. Because skiing and snowboarding require so much lower body strength its essential to keep the legs flexible.
- For hips Low lunge (Anjaneyasana) opens your hips. Having powerful and flexible hips encourages balance and good turning habits and decompresses the lower back, which improves coordination and takes pressure off the knees.