After a long, hot and dry summer nothing gets you more excited than the first dusting of snow on the ridge tops and the chilly snap in the air that tells you winter is coming.
When the forecast predicts colder weather, you get giddy because the temperature drop is like a promise, an assurance of a fun-filled, shred-tastic season. You can’t wait to take your snowboard or skis out of that musty closet and hit the slopes. As soon as the resort opens, you are ready to ride; you have been itching to make turns since last April and can’t wait to get out and shred.
Yoga helps you condition for winter sports by strengthening your body, focusing your mind, and training your flexibility.
Be careful when you first head to the slopes this winter because a lot of that pre-season stoke can turn into pre-season pain if you haven’t been conditioning yourself. Most snow-sport related injuries happen at the beginning of the season because, hey, it’s been a fun summer spent chilling at the beach and maybe working out for the upcoming winter wasn’t one of your top priorities. Thankfully, yoga is here to help you condition your body for shredding and avoid that injury.
Yoga is an extremely good way to get your body in shape for the winter season. Great news for all you doubters: yoga is easy to learn and can be practiced at your own pace. When doing yoga, you listen to your body and push yourself at an individual level. Sound familiar to any of you skiers or snowboarders? Because the principles are very similar.
Yoga helps you condition for winter sports by strengthening your body, focusing your mind, and training your flexibility. When you practice yoga, you can gain more endurance on the hill, be more focused when riding a sketchy line, and really tweak that Japan-air that has always been just beyond your grasp.
Considering the advantages for your body, it’s easy to see why professional athletes practice yoga on the regular. Olympic Gold Medalist Jamie Anderson, for one, can be seen some days at my local South Lake Tahoe yoga studio. From the awkward angle of downward-facing-dog, I have spotted her execute the same pose only a few mats away. Albeit she looks much more poised than me, Anderson isn’t grunting or sweating like I am. It is both humbling and inspiring to know that such an incredible athlete practices yoga as well.
Witnessing Anderson, who is an internationally renowned snowboarder, stretching it out in my studio reminded me of my friend and professional snowboarder Jason Robinson, an avid practitioner of yoga as well. Jason, or J-Rob as he’s called, does yoga everyday and doesn’t need a yoga-mat to do it. I have seen J-Rob stop mid-conversation, get on the living room floor, and start doing yoga. J-Rob travels the world to snowboard, films for Absinthe and Think Thank Productions and he is a member of Lib Technologies’ international team. His career places a lot of demands on his body, and J-Rob stays conditioned for those demands by practicing yoga.
Condition your body and stretch it out for the winter sport that you love. Luckily, yoga can be practiced pretty much anywhere and at an individual level. One of the best ways to become disciplined at yoga is to attend classes at your local studio. However, if you are on a budget or short on time, Hulu, Netflix, and YouTube videos are a great way to practice at home. Once you’ve gained some yoga knowledge you can bring your sweet skills to the beach or the park for some outdoor practice.
Text by Terra Breeden
Photography by AJ Steed
Terra Breeden is the founder and owner of Indah Yoga Wear and an editor at the SNC Eagle’s Eye. To learn more about any of the yoga clothing featured in this article head on over to www.indahyogawear.com .