Skiers are normally toting ski poles. But these days, many are also toting yoga mats on the hill as yoga offers muscle-preparedness and mental concentration, two essentials for the avid skier.
To cater to the trend, ski resorts on the West Coast are beginning to offer yoga ski holidays. Representing the first ever yoga retreat sponsored by a ski resort, Jackson Hole offered a Mindful Ski Camp, a two-day event with Dharma talks, group meditation, and skiing, which took place on Jan. 31-Feb. 2.
While ski resorts in Washington state have not yet sponsored yoga retreats like this, they may be soon. The travel site muchbetteradventures.com, originally known for creating personal cycling and skiing adventures, is soon launching a service that will help plan yoga ski holidays through connecting skiers with yoga teachers and studios in mountain areas.
As Seattleites, we are lucky that our city is home to many fabulous yoga studios; and we are just over an hour drive to ski resorts in the Cascades and Olympics. To prep for the upcoming spring ski season, Jaime Schmitz, owner of Live Love Flow Yoga in Capitol Hill, offers some suggestions on how to blend skiing and yoga before your next mountain visit.
“The feeling of fluidity, precision, dynamism, power, and presence,” connect skiing and yoga, for Schmitz. Skiing and Yoga are two of her biggest loves and for years she has been blending the two as a ski and yoga instructor and a prior member of The Whitman College ski team.
While Schmitz recommends a host of yoga poses including chair pose, mountain pose, and tree; for her, warrior one is really, as she puts it, the “Mac Daddy” when it comes to yoga poses that help prepare the avid skier.
“We need power and rotation in skiing,” and she explains that is exactly what Warrior One Offers.
Schmitz offers this step-by-step guide to the benefits of Warrior one, and how it enhances skiing:
- Foot power: we grip the earth with our back foot, and that dynamic and strong foot hold is essential for quick edge to edge turn response, our feet our one of the most important elements in skiing
- Hip Opening & Power: W1 opens the back hip flexor, we need open hips for fluidity and the ability to drive the turn radius
- Ham String and Quad Power: W1 utilizes power mostly in the front quad and hamstring, it strengthens the legs, of course we need that strength for power
- Upper Back Opening and Buoyancy: W1 opens, lifts and strengthens the upper back- so many skiers complain of sore backs, this pose really creates the power in the upper back!
At her studio, Schmitz is happy to recommend more yoga poses that help with skiing into classes currently offered, and equally happy to talk more about her experience blending the two.