Now's the time to think about ski fitness to make sure you'll be able to make the most of the slopes this winter. While the obvious reaction might be to work on cardio fitness or strengthen your quads with loads of squats, yoga may the perfect solution to work on balance, improve strength and make injury less likely. We asked the yoga and fitness expert, Attila Dardai at the lovely Waldhaus Flims Alpine Grand Hotel and Spa to tell us more about why yoga is a great way to prepare for your next ski trip.
Why is yoga so important for skiers?
Yoga is not a classic “fitness sport”, but more of an age-old, holistic technique used to self-heal the body and soul. This is precisely why so many yoga exercises are ideal for athletes. This is especially true for skiers, who are in the same particularly dynamic angular position for long periods of time. The muscles are under great strain and even slightly incorrect skiing techniques can create unnatural positions, which add more stress to the joints that are already under pressure from skiing itself.
Other factors such as icy conditions, a mistake, or swerve or brake to miss an unexpected obstacle can quickly result in serious injuries. Yoga creates optimal joint alignment and strong, flexible muscles, optimizes balance, promotes coordination and concentration and quickly improves stamina through targeted breathing techniques.
It isn't just beneficial for skiing though. Yoga is a fantastic practice for health in general for a number of reasons:
1. Strengthens heart and blood circulation
Every yoga exercise is based on the concept of stretching, relaxing and deep-breathing, which increases blood circulation and concentration.
Through slow, controlled movements, proper breathing and relaxing there is no strain on the heart but rather a strengthening effect. A strong heart pumps more blood and improves circulation and oxygen supply throughout the whole body.
When done correctly, yoga exercises can prevent buildups of toxins in the body and aid in removing existing toxins and mineral deposits found in bones and arteries.
2. Decreases stress
Yoga promotes parasympathetic activation that leads to deeper relaxation so that the body can recover and regenerate. Not only does yoga help to relieve existing stress but also prevents it from reoccurring. Yoga enhances the internal resources that are needed when dealing with stress.
3. Reduces postural problems and back pain
Problems such as poor posture can lead to permanent damages and stress can cause back pain that makes life difficult. Both of these can be alleviated through yoga. In a relaxed manner, correct posture is learned and better body awareness is developed. Elasticity is improved in the ligaments, muscles, and joints making the body more flexible.
There's no need to put your yoga routine on hold when you're on holiday since we can organise sessions for you so you can stretch and relax after a day on the slopes. And for those who've never practiced yoga before, your next holiday might be the perfect opportunity to give it a try. You might just be hooked!
Treat yourself at the Spa of the Waldhaus Mountain Resort & Spa, just voted No.1 Luxury Spa Hotel in the Alps by the Financial Times in the 2017 Pink Snow edit. To discover more about the Waldhaus spa click here. Just call our Client Concierge team and they will create the perfect programme for you.
To find out more staying about the wonderful Waldhaus Flims Alpine Grand Hotel and Spa, call 020 8246 5300 or click here.