Let’s face it, most of us aren’t going skiing until next winter rolls around. But nearly a year off the hill can put a damper on your skills and improvement.
Luckily, strong skiing isn’t only about time on the slopes. Yoga, as well as other exercises, can improve your fitness level and benefit you once you put your skis on again. Many professional skiers are now incorporating yoga into their training. They’ve figured out that yoga can improve your strength, flexibility, coordination, and more – all key to skiing.
How you can use yoga in the offseason to improve your skills once you’re back on the slopes.
7 Ways Yoga Can Seriously Improve Your Skiing
1. Strengthen your core
Core strength is needed in every yoga post and is also key to good ski posture. If your core is disengaged whilst skiing, you will tend to fold your upper body and put pressure on your lower back. This can make it more difficult to turn. However, the more you strengthen your core, the easier it will be to keep it engaged while you’re skiing.
Plank, boat pose, and chair pose can all strengthen your core. No idea what we’re talking about? Here’s a handy little guide to core yoga poses.
2. Increase your focus
Both skiing and yoga require a strong focus to execute them in good form. Being able to focus for long periods of time on your yoga mat will inevitably increase your ability to focus on the slopes.
3. Build up your balance
One key factor to skiing is having good balance. The more balance you have on skis, the less you’ll have to actively use your muscles. If you feel like you’re not so hot in the balance department, try some of these standing yoga poses to build it up.
4. Develop your coordination
Both skiing and yoga require you to use all of your muscles in sync. Again, something that doesn’t come naturally for all of us, but something that can easily be improved through a bit of yoga. Figuring out where your arms, shoulders, hips, and legs go in a yoga pose, will make perfecting that ski posture much easier.
5. Get into alignment
A common mistake many skiers make is not being aligned over their feet, but rather, leaning back to far. Yoga focuses on getting into proper alignment in each pose. If you gain awareness of your body’s alignment on the mat, you’ll be able to tap into this when you’re on skis as well.
6. Improve your flexibility
Low temperatures on the mountain can make muscles stiff and slow to react. Developing flexibility beforehand will help your muscles deal with those cold temps.
Through different twists and bends in yoga, you’ll stretch your muscles and increase your range of flexibility. And that fall that could be potentially disastrous will be nothing more than a snowy blunder.
7. Prevent potential injuries
By far, yoga’s biggest benefit to skiing is injury prevention. If you only ski once or twice a year, the intensity of skiing can be a shock to the system. The full practice of yoga will make you a more fit, stronger skier, who is less likely to have an injury on the hill.
Have you tried yoga? Or do you practice it regularly? We’d love to know if it’s improved your skiing. Let us know in the comments below.