By Amruta Kulkarni, CYT 500
What are ski postures? After a challenging day on the slopes, it is important to stretch out your muscles and ligaments. Yoga poses that help to elongate and release tension in the muscles and ligaments are critical to preventing injury and stiffness after an exhilarating day of skiing. Your level of skiing ability does not impact the necessity of keeping your muscles, joints and ligaments flexible and pliable. Our bodies work hard to provide us with a perfect run down a favorite bump run or a fast time through the gates on a GS race course. Practicing Yoga asanas that stretch out the hamstrings, quadriceps, lower back and shoulders will help to keep you feeling loose and flexible.
Uttanasana or Forward Fold is one of the best Yoga poses for stretching out the back of the hamstrings. Dancer Pose will stretch out and lengthen all of the muscles in the front of the body, upper chest and shoulders. Reclining Twist will lengthen your lateral torso muscles as well as your lower back. Tension in the hips is one of the primary causes of lower back pain after a day of skiing. Fire Log pose will stretch out the hips. Extended Child’s Pose is a wonderful asana to close your Yoga practice as it stretches out the entire length of your torso, arms and chest. It is also quite restorative in nature.
Dancer Pose or Natarajasana
To practice Dancer or Natarajasana, start by standing in Samasthiti at the front of your Yoga mat. With your next inhale, shift your weight to your left foot and grasp the top of your right foot with your right hand as you raise your foot up behind you. Keep your right foot and knee in alignment with your right hip. Do not let your right leg splay out to the side. Feel your balance and readjust your center if necessary. Keep breathing fully and deeply.
With your breath, gently press your right foot against your right hand as your expand the form of Natarajasana more fully. Work on opening your heart in this pose and expanding your rib cage. You will feel a stretch all through your quadriceps, your torso, arms and shoulders. Hold this pose for up to five full Yogic breaths.
To come out of the pose, exhale and release your hand bringing your feet back into Samasthiti. Pause for a moment and feel the difference between the two sides of your body. Repeat Dancer Pose on the left side. You can enjoy Apres Ski Postures all year long.
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