Yoga for the Slopes
I technically finished up teacher training in January but since I missed a weekend for a wedding I had some makeup hours to do. I gave myself the month of February to get settled and finish up all of my makeup hours. One workshop I chose to take was Yoga For the Slopes aka Yoga for Skiers.
I have been skiing since I was a little munchkin and have gone consistently besides when I was in college so I would say I am fairly okay. Luckily, in my 20 years of skiing I haven't injured myself besides maybe a bruised ego (knock on wood). I also have never done a warmup anytime I have gone out skiing. Thinking back on it and my experiences with physical therapy and sports and all my life goals this is shocking to me. Every other sport or physical activity I participate in I always warmup and stretch before. Skiing is just has rigorous a physical activity, if not more, than a bunch of activities I participate in weekly.
Circa early 90's. This was my first time skiing in Colorado and I was about three years old. Notice the sweet one piece out. Also, I'm pretty sure I'm eating the snow...
A slightly older version (with just as awesome of a full piece suit on) of myself catching some great "ups". I was always a little bit of a daredevil... although when you are that close to the ground you don't have far to fall.
Enter in: Yoga for the Slopes. To be honest, I needed makeup hours so I was looking at any studio in Boston to find workshops. I was lucky that I found a workshop that actually applied to my life and interests. I attended the 4 week series Yoga For the Slopes at North End Yoga with Sarah Lowell in February and I learned so much!
Our class was filled with a variety of levels of yogis. The first class we learned a general warm-up for “the slopes”;. The essence behind it was move every part of your body and get every joint moving and warmed up. We then spoke a lot about building your poses from the ground up and using anatomically correct position in poses other than tadasana such as plank. Sarag than broke down the Sun Salutations for beginners. We did our first 1 minute plank (twice)--- this would be a consistent practice in our series. The teacher encouraged us to do 2 1 minute planks a day or as many days as possible a week noting the many benefits of plank work. We then went through a nice long, relaxing cool down flow.
Each class we went through a general warmup for the slopes and then delved into different aspects to relate to skiing. We did a great glute strengthening flow one day and spent a lot of time doing wall yoga another day—wall dog and other poses. We learned how to adapt many of the poses for the ski slopes or the ski lodge which was very helpful. On our last day, we did some more glute strengthening with different bridge variations. We did 2 two minute planks to end of the week with a 1 minute locust pose in between to end off the series. Our last 30 minutes was a restorative flow with a lot of the poses at the wall.
Sarah was able to fit a lot into the 4 week series and I learned a lot from these workshops. My favorite takeaways were the glute strengthening series and I took one of my classes at GymIt through it this past week. They loved it (and hated it just a little). The wall poses were really helpful for older populations and for myself when I didn't have my mat or much space. I've been trying to stay consistent with my plank holds and locust pose holds but some days it falls through the cracks. Making that a consistent practice is on the top of my to do list for March.
I went skiing two weekends ago and I will say I didn't take as long with my warmup as I would like but I still moved my body a little. I had to continue some of the joint movements because it was so damn cold too hah!
Rachel, Kerry & I Skiing at Crotched Mountain in New Hampshire!
Thanks to Sarah Lowell & North End Yoga for this great opportunity to continue learning. I hope to get into the studio more often.