Snowga. Part 2…

“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.

ski lift

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


On my last ski trip, I regretfully have to say that I did not practice yoga while there. However, while I was in my beginners ski class the ski instructor asked me if I played sports. I said, “No, but I do yoga” and he said, “You yoga people! You’re all naturals!” I was pretty happy that he thought I was a natural! And I really do believe that yoga helped me with my balance on the slopes. Of course, I took another ski lesson this trip. This time my ski instructor, Bill said that he does yoga himself and that it “promotes a body awareness that is very important on the slopes.”

This time, I came across a Yoga Journal article about “Yoga for snow sports” and of course, wanted to try it and tell you about my “snowga” experience!

With this being my second ski trip ever  I was willing to try anything to keep me from breaking bones, tearing muscles, or, ya know, running into trees… especially if it involves yoga.

Warm up before you Fly down… I didn’t take pics this time (sorry for my slacking!) so click on the name of the pose and it will take you a detailed explanation of the pose courtesy of Yoga Journal. I did, however, take a picture of my feet:

Early morning yoga before hitting the slopes…

“Utkatasana (chair pose) is essential. It gets the lower body comfortable with the bent-knee, flexed-ankle position that is the downhill skier’s default stance. And it strengthens the quads so they can protect the knees.” ~Anne Anderson, certified professional ski instructor and Kripalu-trained yoga teacher


Me & Darren at 12,000 feet

Poses that Hurt so Good after a few days on the slopes… These are poses that I practiced every morning to ease my aching muscles!

I had one fall on the slopes where I twisted my knee and I had an “ah-ha” moment. I am quite positive that if I didn’t stretch and strengthen my knees and legs that I could have seriously hurt my knee in that moment. So my conclusion is… snowga works!

Ski on,