Practising yoga can seriously improve your skiing. On the face of it, they seem like two completely different activities; one calms the nervous system, whilst the other can give you an exhilarating adrenaline rush. Yet they actually have a lot in common. On a physical level, skiing and yoga both require balance, strength, and flexibility, whilst mentally they offer a distraction from everyday life, reducing stress, anxiety and depression symptoms. We believe this makes them a natural pairing, which is why we’re delighted to host our first Skiing & Yoga week here at Chalet Fourmiliere in Morzine this spring.
Hosted by yoga teacher and massage therapist Shruti Srivastava, our retreat will refresh your senses and reawaken your body in time for spring. We asked Shruti why skiing and yoga work so well together.
Yoga is known for its ability to increase flexibility and range of motion. This is especially important for skiers, who need to be able to move quickly and easily on the slopes. By practicing yoga regularly, both before and during a ski holiday, skiers can improve their flexibility (particularly, for example, in the hamstrings and calf muscles), which will help them to move more easily and reduce the risk of injury.
Yoga is also an excellent, low impact way to build strength, particularly when it comes to the core, which is essential for skiing. The core muscles help to keep the body stable and balanced on skis, and they also support the lower back, which can be strained during skiing. By incorporating yoga into a training programme. skiers can build strength in their core and other key muscle groups such as the quadriceps, which will help them to ski more efficiently and with less fatigue.
Balance is crucial for both skiing and yoga, and practicing one can benefit the other. Yoga poses, such as Tree pose (Vrksasana) or Eagle (Garudasana) pose, require a great deal of balance, which translates directly to skiing. The better your balance, the more control you will have on the slopes.
Skiing and yoga are both great ways to reduce stress, anxiety and promote relaxation. The focus required for skiing and the mindfulness involved in yoga can help skiers and yogis alike to clear their minds and reduce anxiety. By combining these two activities, skiers can get the best of both worlds and enjoy the physical benefits of skiing while also promoting mental wellness. Plus, the benefits of being in the mountains, fresh air and nature all help to raise endorphins and create feelings of happiness.
By increasing flexibility, building strength, and improving balance, skiers can reduce their risk of injury on the slopes. Yoga is a low-impact activity, which can help to prevent injuries caused by overuse or repetitive motion. By incorporating yoga into a physical training programme, skiers can help to prevent common injuries such as knee or back strains. Of course, yoga is an excellent way to recover from such injuries if needed!
Next time you head to the mountains for a ski trip, don’t forget to take your yoga mat and favourite yoga poses to help you get ready for the slopes. Whether you’re a seasoned skier looking to improve your performance on the slopes or a yoga practitioner looking to try something new, why not combine these two activities to help you achieve your goals and improve your overall fitness, health and wellbeing? Discover our forthcoming wellness retreats here.