OOT-kah-TAHS-anna – Ski Posture

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Are you finding yoga on your skiing excursions!?  The temperature drops, the weather leaves you with no visibility, and windburn even with a face mask on, yet I still find myself going outside to go skiing. Even in the wrath of Mother Nature I find myself wanting to get closer to her, stand strong against her howl, just to make myself  believe I can still have an enjoyable time. squaretop-park-city-1

It was brought to my attention last week in a yoga class at The Shop in Park City, UT that life is one big contradiction and is made up of a bunch of smaller contradictions. For example, I find that confronting weather head on (with the proper amount of clothing, of course) just to engage ourselves in a sport that may or may not bring you moments of ecstasy is a contradiction to what our body wants; correct me if I’m wrong.  I find that enduring a cold sweat on a 45 min hike to experience a 15 min downhill ride through crusty rocky slabs, then tell yourself and your friends “today was awesome” is a contradiction within a contradiction (hence the really low snow accumulation in Park City, right now.) I find that skiing at a resort to experience the great outdoors to be a huge contradiction. However many contradictions we face day-to-day, they are all worth the experience, these contradictions bring harmony and balance to our lives.

So, I suggest attacking this experience with a fierce pose! utkatasana So stand up tall, all four corners of your feet press into the ground, legs muscles engaged, side bodies long as you reach your hands, palms facing towards one another towards the sky of opportunity, where there is no limit. Then keeping your back flat slightly bend your knees and reach your arms and torso out in front, coming to a table top. So that your body is an upside down L. Feel your back engaged, your core engaged, your buttocks, and shoulders engaged. Relax your brow and just feel how STRONG you are! Next bend your knees even more and touch your finger tips to the ground, and from here keeping your legs bent where they are,  sweep your arms to the sky and notice your chest lifting as well. Your core is engaged your hamstrings and gluteus all equally engaged. Staying in this posture for a few breathes, maybe even 10, is strengthening fascia around your joints and larger muscles to protect you from any bumps, stumps or sluff that you are going to encounter on your next ski run! Now grab your skis, boots, jacket, and poles and attack those slopes with your fiercest pose, and save the “back seat” for the chair lift!

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