Gravity Haus Breckenridge partner Bhava Yoga (Colorado’s only ski-in, ski-out yoga studio!) keeps us skiing and riding in tip-top form. Daily classes, ski season yoga workshops and special sound healing and solstice events are on tap and we can’t wait to take our skills from the mat to the slopes.
Call on these six powerful poses to get ready for ski season! Bonus: Gravity Haus members receive 20% off class punch passes and your first class at Bhava is free.
- Focus: Psoas
- Pose: Low lunge (anjaneyasana)
This muscle is part of a group that is very important for a “limber” body. Stretch it often and your hips and lower back will thank you. Start on all fours with your shoulders stacked over your wrists, and your hips over your knees. Step your right foot forward between your hands and bring your hands onto your front thigh. Keep your tailbone tucked slightly to focus the stretch in the psoas. If you don’t feel much of a stretch, wiggle your right foot further forward and find a deeper lunge. For more challenge, also lift your left knee away from the floor and straighten your left leg. Repeat on the second side. Hold for several breaths.
- Focus: Outer hips / glutes
- Pose: Standing figure 4 (eka pada utkatasana)
Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Balance on your left leg and bring your right knee toward your chest. Cross your right ankle on top of your left thigh (just above the knee) and hinge at your hips to sit back slightly. Flex your right toes back towards your right knee. Work to press your outer right knee towards the floor, while keeping your pelvis/hips level. Hands can come together at the heart center, or use the wall for balance. Hold for several breaths and repeat on the other side. Note: you can also do this same pose lying down on your back. The standing option also challenges your core — an added bonus for the season!
- Focus: Inner thighs
- Pose: Supine bound angle (supta baddha konasana)
Lie on your back. Bring the soles of your feet to touch and open your knees wide. Rest your arms along your side. If this is too much tension on the lower back, you can prop blankets or pillows under your knees to elevate them to comfort. You should feel the stretch inside the thighs, not in the lower back.
- Focus: Spine
- Pose: Supine twist (supta matsyendrasana)
This is a great way to neutralize the spine after any activity! Lie on your back with your legs straight. Pull your right knee towards your chest. Wiggle your hips over to the right and then gently pull your right leg across your body towards the left, keeping your knee bent. You can place your left hand on top of your right leg. Extend your right arm out to a “t’ position. If it feels OK on the neck, look towards your right thumb, otherwise look up to the ceiling. Hold for several breaths and repeat on the other side.
- Focus: Low Back + Hamstrings
- Pose: Standing, or seated forward bend (uttanasana)
This pose stretches both the hamstrings and lower back. It’s the perfect stretch combo after a day on the slopes. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, toes pointing forward so that the outer edges of your feet are parallel. Bend your knees slightly. Hinge at your hips and fold your torso over your legs. If you have tight hamstrings, keep your knees bent. For more of a hamstring stretch, work towards straight legs. Be careful not to overstretch your hammies! Hold for several breaths.
- Focus: Core
- Pose: High plank pose (phalakasana)
Core, core and more core! The strength of your core is so important for ALL activities. A simple high plank pose is a great way to tone and strengthen this area of the body. Challenge yourself to hold it for one minute at a time. Don’t forget to breathe! Be careful to keep yourself in a true plank position and do not lift or lower your hips/booty. This takes the pose out of the core and into the lower back (not good!). Want an added challenge? Add weight onto your back with a dumbbell, plate, or other object.
“It’s a very delicate balance of strength and stability to remain limber and in good shape for sports like skiing and snowboarding,” says Bhava founder Jenni Frank. “Yoga isn’t JUST stretching. There are elements of strength in the practice as well, assuming you are activating those muscles while holding the stretch.”
Gravity Haus offers access to extraordinary yoga programming in Breckenridge, Vail AND Winter Park. Unlock yoga discounts and perks when you become a member!