Yoga for skiers

Today was our fourth full day of skiing since Christmas, with our second round of visiting friends here to ski, among other things. It’s been great snow, and an added bonus is that I’ve got some sweet new skis, Salomon Jewel Origins. This weekend, I also got the chance to really test out my gear against below zero temps (report: everything held up great with the exception of my gloves, but I’ve got problem hands that are always cold, and I fixed this situation by walking into one of the many outdoor stores around and asking for the warmest glove they had: the answer = Black Diamond Mercury Mitt). Big Sky touts itself as the “Biggest Skiing in America” for a good reason – combined with its neighbor Moonlight Basin, there are 5,512 skiable acres and 4,350 feet of vertical drop. That translates to a lot of terrain, which translates to it’s pretty tough to ever get bored. I love the drama of Lone Peak – suddenly you turn off 191 and there it is, all 11,166 feet of it. A simply stunning mountain that demands that you be in awe of it. 

Interestingly enough, after our first two days of hitting a lot more runs than I thought we would last weekend, what was most sore was my core. Which I took to be a good sign; I was using it for stability while getting my muscles to remember what to do on the slopes. I’m always intrigued by the number of people who say that their quads end up sore after skiing. OK yes my quads get sore too, but they don’t scream at me. First of all, I’ve got to believe that a regular yoga practice with quad strengthening poses like warrior I, II and good old utkatanasana (chair pose) will prevent you from blowing out your quads while skiing. Second, if you use your core and and other body parts properly, the quads don’t have to take the hit for every move you make. 
This season I’m writing a six-part series on yoga for skiers on; check out the 5 Warrior warm-up, Twists & Abs for your core, and Yoga’s got your back. And coming next I’ll share my fave apres-ski yoga pose.