Yoga for skiers and snowboarders: introducing SNOWGA

If you think Snowboarding + Skiing are the Cheese – then you should know that Yoga is like the Wine! Like a fine cheese + wine combo, yoga offers snow-sports a match made in shred heaven. Whether you are a week-a-year snow-warrior or a regular shredder, a practise of yoga is the perfect balance ~ the Yin to the Yang so to speak.

Over the years I have seen + experienced how powerful the partnership can be for snow sports + for other fall-line mountain sports through the seasons.

Being a keen snowboarder + a yoga teacher based in the French Alps, I LOVE to share my two passions blended in the form of SNOWGA yoga.

WHat is SNOWGA

SNOWGA is the STYLE OF WINTER YOGA that was born from my quest to evolve from a contracted stiff + achy snow-lover to a resilient, supple + strong mountain woman. The following movement + mindfulness practices feature in the toolbox when sequencing SNOWGA sessions:

  • Yoga Flows, Somatic exercises, Yin Yoga
  • Qi Gong Flows
  • Neuro-centric drills
  • Pranayama / Breathwork
  • Acupressure + MFR
  • Mindfulness, Intentions, Meditations, Visualisations

SNOWGA sequences vary in content depending on the purpose + intended benefits sought. These are the key aims:

  • to prepare for winter + injury prevention
  • pre-shred joint-mobility + warm ups
  • post-shred to soothe + lengthen the key muscle groups, decompress the spine, hydrate the tissues + joints
  • recharge, destress + recovery

Yoga for skiers + snowboarders ~ the benefits

Yoga takes us a step beyond most workout styles by applying breath + mindfulness tools to balance the nervous system + energy levels, to support ourselves psychologically + visualise our goals on the snow. It’s for this reason that we see professionals + amateurs alike using yoga in support of their skills + performance on snow as well as for the physical health benefits.

Here are 8 ways that I believe Snowga can complement your shred:

Improve your stance, balance + co-ordination skills ~ which goes to support the very essence of skiing + snowboarding ~ Balance in motion.

Strengthen + lengthen the key muscles that are overworked + overloaded by a day on the hill to minimise injury fatigue + cramp + develop stamina so you can ride harder for longer.

Learn proper use of your core muscles to stabilise the spine + develop your agility so you can adapt your skills to shred varied terrain in variable conditions + bail while avoiding injury.

Help you improve your focus, concentration + spatial awareness.

To manage your fears so you can keep a steady head while you challenge yourself, perform tricks, risk assess, gauge features + conditions, pick your lines + keep yourself safe in the mountain wilderness.

Mobilize the spine, hips, shoulders + ankles while Stabilizing the knees. This enables you to ski + board fluidly + keep progressing your skills whatever your level.

Become more in tune with how you feel on any given day and learn how to integrate your body and mindset to improve how you ride.

Help us collaborate with our natural environment with improved sensory awareness to get the most out of our ride time. Since snowboarding + skiing are very sensory sports, yoga helps us with the skills required to sense, adapt + absorb what’s dictated by the terrain + conditions.

Where can you practice Snowga Yoga?

You don’t have to be on-snow to practice Snowga (although it is a thing and we do it for fun because yoga outside is incredible + in the snowy mountains it’s simply extraordinary + creates a vibe of immense presence like no other if you ask me).

Do SNOWGA AT HOME Visit my YouTube Channel + select SNOWGA playlists for 15 minute pre-winter season training and/or

10-15 min targeted sessions to release tensions + build strength, mobility + flexibility before or during the winter.

Come to CLASS this winter if you’re in the French Alps (Tarentaise ~ Bourg St Maurice ~ Les Arcs area)

We practice indoors somewhere warm + dry with a mat + a blanket + blocks + a strap.

CONTACT Bec Black to organise a PRIVATE SESSION in your accommodation or Online

Look for Snow + Yoga holidays or events that combine the two.

I was treated to a Yoga + Ride weekend with like minded mountain girls in Avoriaz courtesy of Roxy – a great example of a snow + yoga combination holiday.

We started the morning with Yoga led by British Snowboarder Aimee Fuller (2 x Olympian in Slopestyle & Yoga instructor) followed by breakfast + a day of riding boards + fatbikes in the snow!  I was in company of wise, motivated + energised women with these things in common: They all ride ~ they all yoga + they are all moving their own mountains.

Read more about the Roxy yoga + Ride weekend from Marie Goupry and Lucy Paltz

Picture credit to Charley Rosset

Go to the Blog for more tips and suggestions as to how to enhance your mountain balance in winter.

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