Benefits of Yoga for Skiers (According to a Colorado Athlete)


I always tell my yoga students in class that “joints move”. That may sound ridiculously obvious, but when we get into a pose and concentrate on holding ourselves in it, we can forget and tense up. Try tensing up on the ski slope and you’ll dump it immediately.

See your yoga mat as you see you your skis…and see your skis as a yoga mat

Your skis are loosely planted on the snow and your body moves about in order to constantly redistribute weight so you can keep your balance. The slope is like a moving yoga mat. If the floor of the yoga studio were to pivot and tilt a bit from time to time, you could actually stay in quite a few poses if you knew when the tilts were going to happen. After all, that’s how you stay up on your skis.

On the slopes, you predict when you tilt your body, sink into your stance or stand higher, depending on the conditions of the trail. By seeing and feeling the ski trail, you make the necessary decisions to stay standing. It’s really no different on your yoga mat.

Specific poses strengthen your ability to stand, tuck, tilt…and ski with gusto

Yoga is an excellent way to help you with your skiing. If you’re a beginner, the poses in’s beginner’s sync give a good foundation. You can also customize the syncs on with the new “Modify This” button.

Getting started with a ski beginner’s yoga series.

The basic poses on beginner’s sync help you build strength and stability where you need it. The locust pose is a personal favorite for ski strength building. I’ve spent enough time on the ski slopes in Colorado to know that skiing can quickly make your lower back tired and over-stretched. Locust will not only help you develop good habits for keeping your chest up and preventing overstretching, it is also a safe way to build strength in the lower back as well.

Building on your base of yoga knowledge               

A second series of poses also includes basics such as warrior. Warrior will help tweak your leg muscles so that you knee joints get good lateral support. This helps prevents twisted knees, one of the most common ski-related injuries. Play around with your warriors. You can always pause the sync and play around with a pose.

Practice dropping deeper into your warrior pose to extend the length of your muscles in your legs. Practice a more-shallow stance to mimic when you’ll be bouncing up to float over ruts and small moguls or just to adjust for the pitch of the slope.

Topping it off – Getting deep

A third series delves deeper into the essential basics for skiers, such as kneeling warrior. This posture opens your groin and hips while also lengthening your quads. Not only will this give you greater mobility, it lengthens the muscles so you can build more muscle and also remove excess tension on tendons and ligaments, which will prevent injury.

Yogasync me! Still want more yoga for skiers? has five total Yoga for Skiing syncs, including this 20-minute core-focused sequence:

Yoga for Skiing 4

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About Vincent Gerbino

Vincent Gerbino is a YogaFit™ Certified Yoga Teacher. “Yoga isn’t what I do, it is who I am.” Yoga completely changed my life for the better. Soon after I started my own practice, I said to myself that I had to eventually become a teacher so I could give to the world what Yoga gave to me. In 2006, Vincent began teaching Yoga, five years after he began his own practice. Vincent is also a trained barefoot runner, a co-organizer of the Boulder Barefoot Running Club, and enjoys bicycling, rollerblading and hiking.

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