Sore legs or muscles after a day on the slopes? Yoga is a low impact exercise that has been proven to help ease pain, increase mobility and loosen stiff muscles. Yoga is also not just a "band-aid" to cover the pain. It creates balance and allows the natural healing process to take place.
Below are four easy yoga stretches for Skiers and Snowboarders:
1. Mountain Pose:
Stand straight up with your hands and arms engaged so that the shoulders are moving away from the ears, your spine is long and straight, and the inner sides of your feet are touching without the ankles rubbing against each other. Lift your toes, so that your arches lift up, and try to keep that same feeling when you place your toes back down. Engage your quadriceps slightly too, and hold the pose for 60 seconds. Repeat one to two more times.
2. Chair Pose:
From Mountain Pose, bend your knees deeply and drop your tailbone towards the floor. Reach your arms overhead, palms facing each other, pulling your shoulders away from your ears. Look up towards the ceiling and breathe deeply while holding for 30-60 seconds. Repeat a few more times.
3. Goddess Pose (for men too)
Sitting up, fold your feet in and let your knees fall to the side, as if you’re in a “butterfly” stretch. Placing a cushion under your lower back for support (and maybe one under each knee if you have tight hip flexors), keep the soles of your feet touching as you lie down and let your arms fall to the side. Breathe there for five minutes, and come out of the pose slowly.
4. Tree Pose
Begin standing with your arms at your side. Find a focal point and balance on one leg while. Slowly bring your other foot up to the standing ankle, calf or thigh while the lifting foot is pushing the knee out to the side. If able to balance, lift arms up to the side like branches growing from a tree. Keep on the focal point to help with balance. Hold for 20 seconds and shift to the opposite leg.