Yo for Yoga!
We are stoked to introduce, the first of our Guest Blog Series!! Check out these mountain moves from Sam Scott, content Manager at Snow+Rock Group! But first, a quick profile so you can get to know her, keeping it real:
Occupation: Content Manager @ Snow+Rock Group
Sports: Snowboarding, Surfing, Running, Cycling, Swimming, Yoga and Pilates
Skiing or Snowboarding: Snowboarding
Ambitions: My aim is to spend my summers teaching yoga at a holistic retreat somewhere hot by the coast, and my winters teaching snowboarding in the cold mountains
Hobbies: Writing, reading, music and sport
Worse Job: Data entry at an Engineering firm. Oh my! Watching paint dry would have been more entertaining
Who inspires you: Too many people to mention but someone who I met very briefly recently but follow her religiously on social media now is Squash Falconer. It’s not only because she is doing amazing things but it’s her attitude to life. It’s inspiring!
Secret Talent: I used to compete in tournaments in Martial Arts for the country when I was a teenager.
Favourite Quote: “I am not born for one corner, the whole world is my native land.” Senaca
Guilty Pleasure: Dipping sour laces into English Breakfast tea
Yoga for Skiers and Snowboarders on and off Piste
As a seasoned skier or a newbie, there are moments when you’re standing at the top of the mountain, whether it’s a blue or black run and feel overwhelmed by fear and doubt; you’re not alone.
As someone who spends most of my time near the city, I find that high altitudes can inhibit my ability to breathe calmly. Just like skiing, yoga requires focus and strength and can allow you to calm your mind when irrational fear kicks in. But also helps prepare the body for the up and coming winter season.
Despite my active lifestyle in my day-to-day life, burning quads, sore shoulders and cramp in my calves are my normal ski experiences. To counteract this I practise these following yoga poses before, during and after my daily runs down the mountain.
Before and Apres’ Ski Yoga
Whether you’re based in the mountains or the city, the following asanas are good for a before or apres’ ski yoga practice to help the body recover and get the blood, oxygen, and heat flowing back to the body.
Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation)
This series of movements is used mostly in hatha yoga traditions, practised 2-6 times in a row, traditionally at sunrise but can be lovely way to end the day..
Keep it slow and simple with long holds, moving with your breath.
2. Virabhadrasana 1 (Warrior 1)
Hold for at least 30 seconds or more, Warrior 1 helps strengthen your shoulders, arms, legs, ankles and back as well as opening your hips, chest and lungs. It also improves focus, balance and stability whilst encouraging good circulation and respiration.
3. Utkatasana (Chair Pose)
Does this one remind you of something? Showing similarities to skiing, the benefits of chair pose are toned legs muscles, strengthens hip flexors, calves, and your back. It helps to stretch out the chest and shoulders and stimulates the heart, diaphragm, and abdominal organs.
Try it with long holds, and add on a twist to the left and right with your palms together in front of your chest, or airplane arms (arms open towards the sky and the earth).
4. Gomukasana (Cow Face Pose)
One of the best poses you can do for opening tight shoulders and hips. It creates a deep stretch into the hips, ankles, shoulders, chest, deltoids and triceps as well as aiding chronic knee pain. It also strengthens the spine and abdominal muscles and helps decompress the lower spine during the forward fold variation.
5. Garudasana (Eagle Pose)
Eagle pose gives you stronger arms, legs, knees and ankles and opens the shoulder joints, helps to create space between the shoulder blades. It also allows for the hips and IT bands to open, whilst increasing circulation to all joints and improving digestion, balance and focus.
Squeeze the elbows to open the shoulders and raise the arms, and squeeze the knees together to feel the maximum effects of the opening effects of this pose.
6. Supta Baddakonasana (Reclining Butterfly Pose)
A great restorative pose to open the hips and the lower back. It’s benefits include the stimulation of the abdominal organs, heart and improve general circulation, whilst stretching the inner thighs, groins and knees. It is definitely one of my personal favourites.
For a modification of this pose you can use two folded blankets under the outer thigh for support.
7. Savasana (Corpse Pose)
In Savasana it’s essential that the body be placed in a neutral position. Lie on your back, let your feet fall out to the side with your palms facing up and relax.
Savasana helps calm the brain and helps to relax the body and reduce fatigue. Just what your body needs after a day of shredding the powder.
Yoga On The Slopes
While you’re on the slopes, you can stay focused and calm by using your yoga techniques:
1. Pranayama (One-To-One Breath)
Breathe in 2, out 2 (or 3, 4, etc.) By focusing your breath, you also focus your mind and help oxygen flow.
2. Uddiyana Bandha (Upward Abdominal Lock)
Support your core and your spine by engaging the muscles of the belly. This will help keep your lower back strong by strengthening your abdominal muscles to help support your lower back, whilst stimulating the blood circulation in the abdomen and blood flow to the brain.
3. Ardah Uttanasana (Half Forward Bend)
This is a great pose for stretching your torso, strengthening and relieving your back and legs. Use your poles with your arms fully extended, then fold halfway. Let the head hang and the neck relax. I promise you, this will come in real handy while waiting in the lift line. If you find your hamstrings to be too tight, a modification is a slight bend in the knee.
Photo credit: http://www.yogapaws.com/yoga-blogs-yoga-paws/
By Sam Soat
Thanking you Sam!
P.s Winter is coming eager beavers. YES! Snooks love x