With the adrenaline rush of riding through the fresh powder snow combined with mountain air, sunshine and the chance to completely let go, it’s no wonder the addictiveness of skiing and snowboarding appeals to so many. The slow and thoughtful practice of yoga seems very far removed from the high-energy, fast paced action of the slopes. Yet their differences make them totally complimentary.
Both skiing and snowboarding demand a lot from the body, as cold muscles are called upon to perform a variety of tasks on the slopes, not to mention the high levels of concentration needed to stay upright, pick the path and avoid less controllers riders. The last thing you want to happen when you come on holiday is to injure yourself. Especially if the sun is shining and there’s a fresh blanket of snow.
A morning yoga practice of a dynamic flow yoga will warm up the body with strengthening and stretching asana in order to get prepared for the day on the ski slopes. It will awaken the mind, bring heat to the cold muscles and build stamina for your turns and powder runs. An evening practice of gentle, restorative yoga after a full day skiing or snowboarding will unwind and relax the tired body. This gentler, longer session with pranayama and meditation exercises helps the mind and the body to really let go, allowing you to enter a state of deep relaxation after a hard day’s exhilaration. Finally, some spontaneous yoga practices on the snow slopes will help you to become aware of you true self and of your attitude.
In Sanskrit, yoga means union: union between the body, the mind and the soul. Nowadays, we are increasingly losing the connection between our mind and our body; we are distancing ourselves from nature and no longer know what we should believe in. Yoga enables us to find our own inner path. Yoga high in mountains is a unique way of relaxing, one that helps us to be consciously aware of the beautiful landscape, to have a relaxed feeling of physical well-being, and to find inner peace.
Yoga in the snow promises not only a mountain adventure, but also an energizing and revitalizing experience in the beauty of nature and the good company of like-minded people. The yogi non-skiers will be surprised to discover the pleasure of the winter sports combined with the yoga practice. The non-yogi skiers will be astonished to feel the benefits of yoga in the body and the mind. The yogi-skiers will just enjoy this combination so much that they will cultivate gratitude, feel contentment, and surrender their lives.
Yoga high in the mountains will let you feel alive and connected to nature as well as to everyone and everything around you, discovering that love flourishes in your life!
Anna Baroni (Yoga instructor)