Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Yoga for Skiing

Since I've been practicing yoga, I've noticed an improvement in balance and leg strength while I'm skiing. My yoga instructor Josh McGirk in Denver explains why: "Certain poses like Chair Pose and Warrior I and II are excellent for building strength and endurance in the legs for downhill skiing," he says. "Strong legs translate to shorter recovery time, reduced muscualr soreness and more effective skiing."

In addition, the breath control one learns in yoga practice helps with endurance and increased oxygen delivered to working muscles, McGirk says. "Increased oxygen transfer also reduces muscle fatigue and increases effective caloric consumption."

"Tree Pose, Dancer's Pose and Eagle Pose improve balance, which can reduce falls and increase ankle, knee and hip flexibility and range of motion," he says. Have you ever watched a beautiful skier carve perfect silky turns in the snow? That's balance and strength at work!

Core strength is needed for bump skiing. The way to get that is through Boat Pose, Bow Pose and Bridge Pose, McGirk says. "These all are fantastic core strengtheners, and we know how important a strong core is to successful skiing"

Poses like Crocodile, Side Plank, Tabletop or Reverse Plank, and Downward Facing Dog are excellent for shoulder strength, helpful in lifting yourself up after a fall.

There's no question that Yoga should be part of your ski training regime. For more Yoga/skiing connections, contact Josh at Jlmcgirk@gmail.com or visit his website www.jlmtherapeutics.com.