Looking to get ready for an incredible winter on your board or recover from a long day on the slopes? You should consider adding yoga to your routine. The practice can help you build strength, improve balance, recover after a tough day and it can even help you learn more about your body and the way it works.
Before you gather your gear for your first big day on the mountain this season, try these four yoga poses to improve your snowboarding.
Supine Pigeon Pose
Excellent for loosening up the muscles in your lower body that get worn out on the mountain, this pose will help with flexibility and recovery.
How to: start flat on your back, except for your right ankle, which should be resting on your left knee. Slowly and carefully, press your hips downward, your head up and, breathing out, bring your left knee toward your chest. If you can, reach your arms through and use them to bring your left leg in further—but stop if you’re in pain. Breathe for a few rounds and then switch legs.
A great choice for building up lower body strength, the high lunge also helps riders with their balance and gives the hip flexors a good stretch.
How to: start in downward dog, moving your right foot between your hands, while remaining on the ball of your left foot. Keeping your rear heel raised, lift your upper body and arms toward the ceiling. Your front knee should be at about a 90-degree angle and you should breathe through this pose, while keeping your eyes ahead.
Particularly helpful after a long day on the slopes, this pose helps stretch and strengthen the back, calf, shoulder and hamstring muscles that tend to get a lot of use.
How to: start on your hands and knees, with your wrists under your shoulders and toes on the floor. Slowly shift your weight onto your hands and feet and adjust your position until your body is in the shape of an upward arrow. Relax and find your stretches, while breathing.
This pose is great for building up strength in the legs and core and helping with balance. Since the pose employs many of the muscles used on the mountain, it’s a crucial addition.
How to: start standing straight up with big toes touching and heels slightly apart. Bend your knees and lower your tailbone to the floor as you reach your arms over head. Breathe long and deep, keep your eyes up and stay relaxed.
All photos courtesy of Shutterstock.