Ski Season Strengtheners

Ski Season Strengtheners

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Burns Vap, Margaret
What do yoga and skiing have in common? The need for balance, flexibility, and focus. Yoga helps cultivate these qualities, so it follows that practicing yoga can improve ski technique. Think of yoga as injury insurance and one of the best ways to improve skiing skills. By being able to concentrate on breathing, graceful transitioning movements, and cultivating an awareness of body balance and alignment, any level of skier will get more out of time on the mountain and be less injury-prone.

Try these five moves to stay strong and limber during ski season; aim for three to four times a week all winter.

WARRIOR I
Stand tall with your feet together. Step your right foot back about four feet, turning the back heel down. Square the hips forward by pulling your left hip back. The back leg is energized and straight while the front knee bends. Lift your arms overhead; keep the fingertips reaching high as your hips drop down. To challenge your balance, gaze up toward your hands. Hold for five deep breaths and repeat on the other side.

WARRIOR II
Stand tall with your feet together. Step your right foot back about four feet, turning the back heel down. Bend your front knee to come into a lunge; your knee should be directly over your ankle. Take your arms out to the sides at shoulder height; reach the fingertips away from one another. Drop your shoulders down your back and gaze out over your front fingertips. Hold for five deep breaths and repeat on the other side.

WARRIOR III
Stand tall with your feet together, arms by your sides. Step your right foot back and remain on the ball of the foot. Keep your left leg straight and strong as you lift the right leg; as the leg comes up, drop your torso down. Balance here for five deep breaths and repeat on the other side.

REVERSE WARRIOR
Stand tall with your feet together. Step your right foot back about four feet, turning the back heel down. Bend the front knee slightly. Drop your right hand to the back of your thigh as you lift the left arm up and back. Lean back and look up. Hold for five deep breaths and repeat on the other side.

FALLEN WARRIOR
Come into a push-up position with your shoulders lining up directly over your wrists. Keep your right leg straight as you bring the left leg under you and out to the side, with the foot flexed and the leg as straight as possible. Allow your right hip to drop down until you feel the stretch. Hold for five deep breaths and repeat on the other side.

Margaret Burns Vap is a yoga instructor/entrepreneur and the founder of Big Sky Yoga Retreats, offering yoga and outdoor fitness getaways in Big Sky and Bozeman.
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