By Melanie Buckley Jackson
Ski season is well underway, and we’re experiencing epic snow conditions in Park City and Deer Valley. To keep your body limber and ready for the slopes all season long, I highly recommend incorporating yoga into your daily routine.
Skiing requires your body to perform. Cold and tense muscles are called on to absorb bumps and impact on downhill terrain, and your core is asked to maintain balance and prevent falls. Hips, knees and ankles keep us in a skier stance for an extended time; your upper body keeps you going on flats and pulls you out of powder, all while looking graceful and fluid. Warming the body up with yoga prior to skiing will stretch and make muscles supple. Yoga also aids in circulation and can warm the muscles so they aren’t cold; thus, making you less prone to strain and injury.
Before you strap your boots on, take time to inhale, drop the shoulders, turn your focus inward and scan for pain and tension in the body. This will calm the mind and highlight injury prone areas before you take to the mountain.
Forward bends such as Warrior 1 (Virabhadrasana I) and Warrior 2 (Virabhadrasana II), engage hips, legs, shoulders and low back. Chair Pose (Utkatasana) is almost identical to the ski stance. This pose helps strengthen legs and glutes, while aiding in ankle flexion and stability to create a stable base for the body. Downward Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana) stretches the upper and lower body, helping the shoulders, knees and ankles perform. Side bends and planks will strengthen the core and help balance, which is crucial for safe skiing.
Yoga also trains the mind to focus and promotes body awareness. A sharp mind can help you avoid a tree, keep you away from an out-of-control skier and guide you through shifting snow. Body awareness can increase confidence, which in turn helps you feel and look good and improve your skills. So get loose, breathe, be safe, have fun and DO YOGA!
Now is the time to make yoga a part of your daily ritual. Come join me for our regular Yoga classes, held in the Fitness Center at The Post, 5 days a week.
Melanie Buckley Jackson is a highly sought-after personal trainer, yoga teacher and nutrition coach who has worked with individuals of all fitness levels and ages — from professional athletes to weekend warriors to those new to exercise. Melanie is a Licensed Acupuncturist and Chinese Herbalist with more than 20 years experience in the healthcare industry.