Yoga improves balance, strength and flexibility, but can it help optimise skiing and snowboarding ability? Snow+Rock Marketing Assistant Daisy Maddinson joined Ski Club Great Britain for a snow sports-specific hot yoga class to find out.
When I turned up at Fierce Grace Brixton Studio in normal yoga attire (long pants and a tee), I was surprised and in slight dismay to find out that the class was in fact a hot yoga class, with temperatures averaging 39°C.
Entering the room felt like that same overwhelming surge of heat and humidity that you get when stepping off of a plane in a tropical country. Once I had gotten over the initial shock of the heat, I settled down at the back of the studio with around 20 others and got stuck into the class.
The class began with the instructor asking if there were any injuries in the class – almost a silly question in a room full of skiers and snowboarders – and encouraged us to stop if we experienced pain and to never push our bodies too far.
However, even to someone who knows the difference between Warrior and Cobra position (pictured), finding comfort in these poses was difficult because this was no beginners’ class!
After planking with an arm and opposite leg raised, and then struggling to sit in squat position with my arms stretched skyward for what felt like forever, it was safe to say that I felt the burn!
Dripping with sweat, I was walked through poses that would strengthen key muscles, improve stamina and reduce injuries.
On a trip to Tahoe in 2008 I broke both my ankles snowboarding – yoga formed a large part of my rehab. Yoga has made me more aware of how to use my body and improved my movement. It has taught me how to stay calm under pressure, breathe better, hone concentration and clear my mind. All of these things translate into better performance on the mountain.
With peaceful pistes and early-season offers aplenty, Christmas is a great opportunity to improve your on-piste skiing precision. Dynastar Ambassador and TDCski Coach Giles Lewis, based in Val d’Isere, France, shares some of his top tips for optimising technique, performance and enjoyment: