Yogi duo Tim and Shannon have kindly shared their tips for getting SkiFit with top six recommended yoga poses to practice before leaving for the mountains, before each day’s skiing and after a day on the slopes.
The suggested poses can be used to build strength in the legs, ankles and core, whilst also helping to develop a greater sense of balance and flexibility.
TOP 6 YOGI POSES FOR THE MOUNTAINS
- Pre Holiday: Chair Pose Ukkatsana; Strengthens quads, glutes and calves
- Pre Holiday: Half moon pose Ardha Chandrasana; Strengthens standing leg and ankle, whilst engaging abdomen and glutes
- Pre Holiday: Twisted High Lunge Parivrtta Anjaneyasana; Quad, hamstrings and core are strengthened as a stable balance is maintained.
- Before (and post) skiing: Downward dog Adho mukha svanasana; Arms and legs are strengthened as weight is distributed equally through palms and heels.
- Before skiing: Dancer pose Natarajasana; Standing leg and ankle are strengthened, whilst also focusing on balance.
- Post skiing: Spinal twist Jathara Parivartasana; Enables a spinal twist after a day’s skiing when you may want a gentle stretch.
Sun Salutation B (Surya Namaskar B) is a particularly good way to warm the whole body up before skiing as it specifically includes the chair pose to engage glutes, while also introducing a full range of movement throughout the body. Increasing the heart rate and raising the flow of blood around the body helps to loosen the muscles, thereby stimulating a greater range of movement before reaching the slopes.
“Developing a stronger core, leg and upper body strength will allow individuals to benefit more from their time in the mountains.” said Yoga Tonic’s Shannon
- Movement (Asana): With regular yoga practice, students develop greater sense of proprioception (feeling of self movement and body position).
- Focus (Drishti): to maintain a steady gaze or mental focus. This is important when skiing as the gazing spot is focused downhill in the direction of travel.
- Breathing (Pranayama): A regular and consistent breath will help skiers and snowboarders centre themselves and feel calmer on the slopes.
“By getting ski fit, we can ski harder and faster for longer, and will have more stamina, getting less tired when trying to keep up with friends and family, both on and off the slopes.
The other important reason for getting ski fit is to reduce the risk of injury. Getting injured is not only painful but also inconvenient when returning to everyday life.” added Tim.
So what makes this journey to fitness different?
Tim and Shannon Phillis are both yoga instructors, as well as mad keen skiers and have developed something new and unique to prepare us for Winter.
A six-week online programme provides over six hours of video content to follow before heading to the slopes, with cardio conditioning, yoga and meditation sessions each week. Each class is no longer than 35 minutes, so even the busiest person can find squeeze in the time to get Ski Fit.
The programme includes over 6 hours of yoga, cardio conditioning and mediation sessions. You can revisit sessions, and most importantly you can stream them year after year. It is suitable for both skiers and boarders and you don’t need any past experience to follow the programme.
Crucial Cardio Conditioning
The cardio conditioning (HIIT – high-intensity interval training) sessions will improve cardiovascular fitness and have been chosen to emulate many of the movements experienced when skiing. Building stronger quads and glutes, along with activating the core will provide greater stability on the slopes. The sessions are designed to also raise the anaerobic threshold so that the muscles can work more intensely for longer periods – for when you need to go down that mogul field!
Tim and Shannon Phillis believe that yoga compliments improving levels of fitness with the combined benefit of enhancing balance, strength, flexibility and agility.
“In yoga, we often talk about the benefits of breathing to help maintain a clear focus. Similarly, we refer to our ‘gaze’ when holding poses, which is equally important when heading down the slopes anticipating what lies ahead.” said Tim.
If you have ever felt afraid or overwhelmed whilst on the slopes, short meditation sessions that guide you through mindfulness and visualisation techniques can help you handle new and challenging situations. Tim and Shannon take you through breathing exercises and focus on how to remain grounded at all times.
If you would like to try Yoga Tonic’s SkiFit programme we have good news:-
MadDogSki.com have downloaded the programme and we are about to embark on our six-week programme online. We’ll report back on how we get on…
If you are interested in ski fitness you may also like to read the following:
Get Fit to Ski with Great Britain’s best skier, Dave Ryding.
Ski Fit Yoga Classes in Cookham, Berkshire