My Favourite Après Ski Yoga PosesBack
Posted by Sarah Kekus on 24 Apr 2017
After a hard day’s skiing your body needs poses that alleviate tension. Sun Salutations are a great place to start as the continuous alternation between flexion and extension keeps the spine mobile and stretch both the front and back body. Furthermore, holding Down Dog offers a great stretch to both the calves and hamstrings. In addition there are a few more poses that are helpful.
Poses that twist the torso help to stretch out the stabilising muscles of the torso which often get tight after a day skiing, especially if you’ve been pounding moguls or skiing back-country crud! My favourite is the seated twist, Marichyasana C as this also provides a safe and effective stretch for the gluts.
The adductors play a key role in stabilising the legs whilst skiing. Sitting upright in Baddha Konasana is the best stretch I know for both the Magnus and the smaller adductor, the Pectineus.
I like to stretch my quads one leg at a time. Bending a foot back to the outer thigh and pressing the knees together as in Trianga Mukha Eka Pada Paschimottanasana works well for me and you can still watch TV, keeping an eye on the snow reports! If you find this puts too much strain on your knees then a supported bridge (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana) would be another option. Place a firm yoga block beneath your tailbone (saves the gluteus muscles having to work!) and take the rest of your weight on your shoulders, back of your head and evenly distributed through both feet.
The rest of the poses I’ve chosen mainly target the hamstrings. Of course a simple option is to just hang over your legs in Utanasana whilst you are waiting for the kettle to boil. But my more targeted choices are Trikonasana which not only stretches the hamstrings but also catches the side abdominal muscles as well as the calf muscles. Next I’ll move into Prasarita Padottanasana which bilaterally stretches the backs of the legs. And then, my final pose before heading for a hot shower is Supta Padanghustasana; with the weight on your back you can gradually increase the stretch with each exhalation. This “leg-saving” practise can be done in less than 20 minutes so don’t say you haven’t got time!