• SNOWGA - YOGA WARM UP FOR THE MOUNTAIN

SNOWGA - YOGA WARM UP FOR THE MOUNTAIN

In her blog post “Find The Right Balance Between The Heart And The Sea”, Billabong Active Ambassador Caroline Beliard, who was a pro snowboarder before she became a yoga teacher, wonders why she never practiced during that time. Of course riding contests and filming steep lines in the backcountry require extraordinary fitness, calm and concentration, but really every rider benefits from these ancient teachings. Especially if you apply this age-old practice to train for and calm down after riding.

Growing up in the Alps, snowboard journalist and yoga teacher Anna Kathalina Langer has felt and utilized this connection early on. To wind down and stretch out after riding, as well as to prepare muscles, body and cardio system for destroying the mountains.

For us, she put together some of her favourite “snowga” poses, that help build up strength, balance and stamina when practiced over a period of time. But they also make for a great warm up on the mountain that can be done fully geared up.

TADASANA VARIATION (MOUNTAIN POSE)

Find a comfortable stance, feet hip distance or wider, close your eyes and take a deep breath.Lift your hands overhead on an inhale, grab your right wrist with your left hand and bend towards the left on an exhale, stretching your right side body. Come back to the middle on an inhale and repeat on the second side.

VIRABADHRASANA 1 VARIATION (WARRIOR 1 / HIGH LUNGE)

Step back with your right foot and bend your left knee so it’s above your ankle, shin vertical. Keep both hips square to the front and your right leg as straight as you can. Lift from your lower and belly and circle your arms up on an inhale. Stay for at least 3 breaths or longer, breathing deeply in and out of your nose.

MALASANA (HIGH SQUAT)

Stand wider than hip distance, turn your feet out (approx. 45°) and bend your knees so they are above your ankles, thighs parallel to the ground. Stay for at least 6 breaths. Place your hands on your knees for support or lift them for more work in your legs. Hold your upper body upright, chest and shoulders wide, and ground through both feet.

To come out, press into the ground and straighten your legs.

SKANDASANA (DEEP SIDE LUNGE)

Stay with your legs wide apart and your feet slightly turned out. Exhale bend your right knee (heel stays on the ground) and stretch your left leg, pointing the foot up. Come back to the middle with an inhale, exhale move to the second side, bending the left knee. Try to keep your spine long and your chest open. Support yourself with your hands (fingertips) on the ground or keep your hands in prayer front of your heart.

Do at least 3 rounds on each side. You can move in a slow, meditative way, or increase speed with every breath, moving more quickly from side to side.

TADASANA VARIATION (MOUNTAIN POSE)

Step your feet back together, close your eyes again and take a final deep breath to finish your snowga warm up. Open your eyes and enjoy your day on the mountain, warmed up and energized to take on anything it throws at you! And check back for the second post on Après-Ski Yoga after you’re back.

Photos: Conny Marshaus / conny-marshaus.de

Sequence & Write Up: Anna Kathalina Langer / annakathalina.com