Yoga is not only a great way to train for the season and warm up before riding, as snowboard journalist and yoga teacher in the Austrian Alps Anna Kathalina showed us in her previous blog post SNOWGA. Her “Après-Ski” yoga practice is also an excellent way to stretch your muscles and fascia, calm your mind and restore energy after an exciting day playing with the forces of nature.
You can do this straight off the mountain in your thermal under- or activewear, on a yoga mat or even just a carpet with a blanket or towel to lie on.
Start by sitting on your heels or on a folded blanket between your heels. Close your eyes and take a couple of deep breaths. Then walk your hands out to come to all fours and stretch your spine in all directions for a couple of breaths.
DHANURASANA (BOW POSE)
Lie on your belly, bend both knees and grab your ankles. Gently pull your knees together and press your hip and pubic bones down. Inhale deeply into your belly and exhale out of your mouth to rock back and forth. Release and rest for a couple of moments to digest.
ANJANEYASANA (LOW LUNGE)
Step your right foot in front (knee above the ankle), keep your left knee on the ground (pad if you like) and energetically pull both legs towards each other.
Lift from your lower belly and circle your arms up on a inhale. Reach your heart up and gently bend backwards from your chest, without pressure in your lower back. Let your hips sink a little bit on the exhale. Stay 2-3 breaths or longer.
PARVRITTA PARSVAKONASANA (PRAYER TWIST)
Exhale and let your hands sink down in front of your heart, lift your ribcage with the next inhale and then twist towards the right. Press your hands together to deepen the twist. Keep your right knee centered above your ankle.
UTTHAN PRISTHASANA (LIZARD POSE)
Come back to the middle and with an inhale and lower your hands (or forearms) to the inside of the front foot (or on to a block/big book) with an exhale. Keep your neck long and your heart open. For more challenge, bend the back (left) leg and grab the foot with your right hand to add a thigh stretch.Stay for 3-6 breaths.ARDHA MATSYENDRASANA (HALF LORD OF THE FISHES POSE - SEATED TWIST) POSE
To finish, come back to kneeling and sit to the right side of your heels. Step your left foot to the outside of your right knee and keep both sitting bones grounded (use a blanket / block if one hip is in the air). Inhale stretch your spine and lift your left arm, exhale twist to the left, placing your fingertips behind you. Hook your right elbow outside the left knee for more leverage to twist deeper. Stay for 3-6 breaths, come back on an inhale and switch your legs to repeat on the second side.
Come back to Virasana (kneeling), the first pose, after the second side to close your session with a little meditation, or lie on your back, arms and legs spread to your sides, for deep relaxation in Savasana.
Depending on how long you hold each pose, this sequence can take as little as 15 minutes or as long as almost an hour, and will leave you feeling fresh, stretched and ready to take on your next adventure.
Photos: Conny Marshaus / conny-marshaus.de
Sequence & Write Up: Anna Kathalina Langer / annakathalina.com