bring your yoga to the mountain

Winter is back!

Here is one of our old blog, but we loved it so much that we want to repost it!

We all know that winter boarding (Skiing and Snowboarding) requires stamina, strength, balance and intense concentration; as much as ocean sports do. But it is unfortunately very easy to get injured in the snow.

Yoga is the perfect way to reduce the risk of injury by increasing your range of motion and allowing you to stay in the game for a longer and safer practice.

Yoga in the winter

Yoga is beneficial for a skier/snowboarder since it also increases strength in the core muscles, which provide support in the event of falls, and support the spine through all of the twisting, bending and stabilizing required for riding.

Either you’re skiing or snowboarding a day, a week or a season, the following poses, will help to improve your balance and flexibility and blossom your peak performances in the snow.

What You Need: A yoga mat and comfortable clothing (I love my O’Neill365activewear).

Practice those poses as a warm-up before hitting the slopes, or afterwards as a cool down.

1. Mountain Pose /Tadasana

How: Stand up tall, chin parallel to the ground, ankles line up under knees, toes pointed straight ahead. Engage your quadriceps and root your feet into the floor. Point your tailbone toward the ground and engage your. Relax your shoulders and rest your arms at your sides.

Benefits: This is a good foundation or starting pose, where the entire body is engaged in order to help you find your center of balance while standing.

2. Chair pose/ Utkatasana:

How: From Mountain Pose, bend your knees and drop your tailbone towards the floor as if you were about to sit in a chair. Lift your chest and raise your arms straight above your head alongside your ears. Pull your shoulders away from your ears. Breathe and relax.

Hold for 10 seconds and repeat three times.

Benefits: Strengthens the core, reinforces the strength in the spine and develop the leg strength and form needed to maneuver even through the toughest run.

3. Chair twist / Parivrtta Utkatasana:

How: From chair pose bring your right elbow to the outside of your left knee. Press your elbow against your knee to deepen the twist. Open your chest.

Hold chair twists 30 seconds on each side and repeat three time.

Benefits: strengthens the mid- and low back and increases flexibility throughout the spine. Parivrtta Utkatasana is also helpful for improving balance, posture, endurance, and confidence.

Adding the twist to the basic chair pose will open the obliques to facilitate subtle changes in the core while you’re on your ski/snowboard.

4. Tree Pose / Vrksasana

How: Start in mountain pose. Engage your core as you shift your weight to your left foot. As you inhale, raise your right foot and place the sole on your ankle, calf, mid thigh, or upper thigh with your toes pointing down. Focus on a fix point as you breathe.

Hold for 30 seconds and repeat three times.

Benefits: Stretches your inner thighs, groin and shoulders. Strengthens your thighs, calves, core, and foot muscles. Develops balance and increases your mind / body awareness which is important when you’re on the slopes.

5. Bow pose / Dhanurasana:

How: Lie on your stomach, bend your knees and grab your ankles with your hands. Lengthen your spines and on an inhale, lift your head, chest, legs, hips up off the mat. Breath!

Hold the posture for 10-30 seconds, working up to one full minute or more.

Benefits: Great after a long day on the mountain! Stretchs hip flexors and core which is important when you ski/snowboard. Also improves posture and spinal flexibility.

6. Forearm plank hold:

How: Forearms are on the ground so that both your elbows and fists are flat to the ground. Hands shoulder width apart, finger spread wide. Curl your toes under and engage your abs by tilting your pelvis and pulling your belly button toward your spine. Engage your abs and squeeze your glutes, hold your body very straight and don’t sag your hips.

Benefits: Strengthens/Stabilizes core and shoulders. Creates focus and inner strength. Try to hold the pose for one minute and repeat 3 times.

7. Upward Plank Pose/ Purvottansana:

How: Sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you. Place your hands several inches behind your hips and your fingers pointing toward your bootie. Press your feet and hands down against the floor and lift your hips towards the ceiling; squeeze your shoulder blades together.

Hold for 30 seconds and repeat one to two times.

Benefits: Strengthens the arms, wrists, back and legs. Stretch shoulders, chest and front ankles.

8. Sage Marichi Pose / Marichyasana A:

How: Sit on the floor, with your legs extended in front of you, bend the left knee and place the foot on the floor close to your glute. Bend over the right leg while hugging the left shin into the body. Bring the left arm around the front of the left shin and your right hand behind your back. Grab your right wrist in your left hand. Open your chest and keep your shoulders away from your ears.

Hold for 20-30 seconds on each side.

Benefits: Stretches the hips, hamstrings and shoulders

9. Forward Kneeling Lunge:

How: Start by kneeling on one leg. Front knee should be aligned over heel. Keep your shoulders square, with your hands on the floor for balance. Keep your hips looking forward and stretch your body forward, feeling a nice stretch.

Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.

Benefits: Improves flexibility of hip flexors, which improves posture and lower back health and stability.

10. Seated Hip & Spine Twist:

How: Start sitting on the floor, with your legs extended in front of you. Cross the left foot over the right thigh, placing the foot flat on the floor. Ankle should be touching the right thigh. Make sure both sitting bones are on the floor.

Inhale and sit up tall. Exhale, rotate your trunk and take the right elbow in front of the left knee, applying gentle leverage against the left knee to move deeper into the twist. Turn your head to the left, in the direction of the twist.Place your left hand behind your back. Breathe, and keep your chest lifted and open.

Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.

Benefits: Improves spinal mobility and flexibility of gluteus and outer thigh muscles, which may help combat soreness in these areas after a long day on the snow.

11. Bridge/Setu Bandha Sarvangasana:

How: start on your back with your arms at your side. Bend your knees and keep them directly over your heels.

Lift your hips and chest off the floor and squeeze your shoulder blades together. Interlace your hands underneath your back.

Hold for 30 seconds and repeat one to two times.


Benefits: Strengthens back, chest and spine. Provides relief for the back and opens the hip flexors and rejuvenates sore legs.

12. Knees to chest/Apanasana:

How: Roll onto your back hugging your knees into your chest. Slowly rock to the right and left, massaging your lower back and relaxing the muscles.

Benefits: helps to keep your low back limber. Also calm the mind and rebalancing your energy, great after a long day in the mountain.

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