“You must love in such a way that the person you love feels free.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
“Snow provokes responses that reach right back to childhood.” ~Andy Goldsworthy
Here I go again! Snowga from Park City, Utah this time! Darren and I have made it a yearly trip to go skiing out West and it’s the highlight of my year. This was my 3rd ski trip (ever!) and we went with a group of 10 people. We had a blast! I love everything about travelling and all the better when you spend the most part of your day outdoors being active. I honestly don’t know how people ski all day without stretching first (or how I did without on my first trip). Every morning I rolled out my travel mat and practiced for at least 20 minutes. My morning yoga routine stretched out my sore muscles from the day before and woke them up for another day on the slopes. My quads, knees, shoulders, and triceps were the most sore so I did whatever pose/sequence that felt good to my body.
A glimpse at my snowga morning routine… (click on the name of the pose to see a full description courtesy of Yoga Journal)
- 5 rounds of sun salutations… (surya namaskar A) (or more depending on if I needed more to get my muscles moving) Warms up the entire body. Slow and easy.
- Cat/Cow… Loosens your spine and neck. Slow and easy, move how ever feels good to your body.
- Downward facing dog… (adho mukha svanasana) Lots of breaths here. Move your feet around to stretch the hamstrings. Move however feels best! Drop down to your elbows into Dolphin Pose to get an extra shoulder opening stretch.
- Forward fold with arm variation… (uttanasana) Stretches the shoulders and hamstrings… From standing, interlace your fingers behind your back. Fold forward over your legs and let your hands fall over your head with gravity. Feel the good stretch in your shoulders. Option to bend your knees and just focus on the shoulders.
- Warrior I & II… (virabhadrasana I & II) Builds strength and confidence.
- Chair pose… (utkatasana) The essential pose for snow skiing. Builds strength in the knees and quads and gets your body used to the skiers stance.
- High lunge variation… Stretches the hips… Take both hands to the inside of your front leg (on the ground) and go as deep as you can. Elbows to the ground if it’s available to you. Option to drop your back knee and go into low lunge (anjaneyasana)
- Pigeon pose… (eka pada rajakapotasana) Stretches the hips and glutes… Lots of breaths here. Wiggle around to find the perfect stretch.
- Cow face pose… (gomukhasana) Stretches the shoulders and hips at the same time… Use a strap if you cannot yet bind your hands behind your back.
- Hero’s pose… (virasana & supta virasana) Stretches the knees… Lean back onto your elbows if your knees say it’s okay and get a really good stretch in your quads and knees. This may be my favorite pose of all time.
- Half moon pose… (ardha chandrasana) or any other balance of your liking. This pose requires both strength and balance, two things very important on the slopes.
- Easy seat with neck rolls… (sukhasana) Stretches the neck and shoulders… Sit however is comfortable to you and gently roll your neck.
- Spinal twist… (jathara parivartanasana) Twist it out. Relieves soreness in the lower back and can help relieve upper back stiffness.
- Corpse pose… (savasana) Breathe.
What kind of snowga post would this be without evidence of me actually skiing? Here’s the “official video” of my Park City 2014 ski trip… awesomely edited by my brother! That’s me, the pink jacket wonder. (not available on mobile devices for some reason. Watch on your laptop or desktop!)
Related posts: Snowga…
“People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway.
If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway.
For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.” ~Mother Teresa
I admit the first time I did a juice fast I wanted to drop a few pounds. And it continues to be a perk of cleansing, but there us so much more to it. Detoxing was never meant to be a 3-day crash diet, but a daily lifestyle to help your body function at its optimal level. Besides the fact that juice cleanses make me feel great I wanted to research why. In my research, I’ve learned that our bodies store excess toxins (most commonly in fat cells) and the only way to flush them out is with a detox regimen. Specifically, alkaline liquids are great at doing this job. An alkaline liquid is any liquid with a pH over 7.0 (anything under pH of 7.0 is considered acidic). Maintaining a slightly alkaline pH is important for optimal health.
The most commonly found toxins…
- Metals… like lead and mercury
- Chemicals… like parabens and BPA
- Pesticides… from the food we eat
Flush it out with these alkaline liquids… use as a part of a daily regimen
- Warm water with lemon… As easy as it sounds. Boil water and add the juice of 1/2 lemon. Drink every morning before you have breakfast, brush your teeth, or drink any other liquids.
- Apple cider vinegar… The natural enzymes in ACV naturally helps to balance your bodies pH. It helps stimulate cardiovascular circulation, detoxify the liver, and cleanse the lymph nodes. Add 2 tablespoons of ACV to 16 oz. of water. Add honey if you need to add flavor and sip throughout the day.
- Green juices… When you juice fresh fruits and vegetables nutrients are absorbed quickly and efficiently. Your nutrient intake is also increased exponentially. Put simply, you will eat more quantity and a wider variety of vegetables in juice form than you would if they were in their original solid form.
- Super greens… Kale, spinach, and broccoli, oh my! Super greens are a type of green produce that are very dense both in color and flavor. This is due to their high nutrient content. Super greens are usually very dark in color, such as kale, spinach, broccoli, and chard. Benefits of super greens include that they are high in phytonutrients, are a good source of fiber, provide digestive enzymes and help to heal tissues.
- Salads… Make a salad out of those super greens!
So no, you don’t have to juice fast to get the healthy rewards of detoxing. I do like to juice cleanse every once in a while, but these detox lifestyle remedies are a great way to keep my body happy in between cleanses.
Preventative strategies… keep the toxins out
- Eat real, whole foods… such as fresh produce, eggs, milk, whole grain rolled oats, etc. These foods are not processed or minimally processed and thus easier for your body to absorb nutrients and digest.
- Buy seasonal, local, organic produce… Hello farmer’s market. Foods sold at your local farmers market are not only usually organic/mindfully grown, but they didn’t have to travel half way across the world to get to you.
- Wash your produce… Washing helps to get any left over chemicals/pesticides off of your non-organic produce.
- Get good sleep… 7.5 to 8.5 hours each night. Adequate sleep improves mood, immune function, and overall performance.
- Exercise regularly… Yoga anyone? 30 minutes a day is all you need! Exercise improves mood, flexibility, strength, and even detoxification!
- Drink lots of water… Water naturally flushes your system… And you’ll feel much better at the end of the day than if you drank soda all day.