Skiing and Yoga Holiday Testimonial 2012
A Skiing Yoga Holiday Review to tempt you into joining us next time!
What yoga teacher Katharine Lawrence had to say about the yoga practices on our Skiing and Yoga Holiday 2012!
“Oh SnowYogi! A wonderful week of waking up in the snowy mountains with gorgeous sunshine!”
Ashtanga Yoga and Skiing and Snowboarding
I had read in the past about how skiing pros using Ashtanga Yoga as part of their training. So, I was keen to see how the practice would aid the SnowYogi guests on the slopes! Also, see how my Ashtanga body held up to a week of snowboarding lessons! Day one, we rose early to begin our first yoga session of the day. Starting using the practice of Ashtanga beginning with the Surya Namaskara to wake the body up and begin moving in time with the breath. Then, we worked mainly with the standing poses.
The Ashtanga Primary sequence is about realigning the spine. The initial poses give us length through the spine but also really start to work into the legs. Perfect for strengthening ready for skiing. It’s also fantastic to start to achieve that body awareness so needed on the slopes. Knowing where you are in space and what your body is doing, finding that balance between effort and effortlessness is a great skill for skiing! A fine balance that became so apparent with a board strapped to my feet for the first time!
Just relax and breathe. A phrase that applies to both yoga and snowboarding!
Morning Yoga class
The Ashtanga in the morning warms the body and prepares it for the day skiing ahead. Turns out, feedback from the group was that they really noticed the difference on the day off without yoga in the morning! Honestly, that flexible body that yoga cultivates also helps in softening those falls!
Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana is the first balance that we find in the Primary Series. It has 14 vinyasas, so 14 breath synchronised movements. Plus, the holding of the pose, once you get there, means that you are balancing on one leg for a long time! It’s about the strength in the standing leg, the use of your Bandha (energy locks) to maintain your balance, the use of Drishti (a focal point). All in all, helping you not wobble! Furthermore, lengthening of your hamstrings combined with keeping a smooth even breath results in a demanding pose that requires concentration (Dharana). A great way to practice the sixth limb of Ashtanga Yoga and prepare for skiing!
Evening Yoga class
The evening classes after a day skiing or snowboarding at the ski area San Bernadino were slower-paced and more restorative and nurturing. More time was spent on the floor than in the morning class and poses were held for longer allowing time for the body to begin to soften and to relax again. Lengthening out the legs and opening the front body, keeping the focus on the breath and developing ahimsa (non-violence)! Classes also consisted of Pranayama (breath control), to bring balance to the energetic body and also chanting, a great way to work together as a group and create super healing energy within and for those around us.
The combination of the mountain air, sunny days and twice-daily yoga practice was an invigorating week full of life…Om Shanti…Om peace.