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9 Yoga Moves Every Skier Should Know

Alyx Walkinshaw, a yoga and fitness instructor in Santa Fe, takes us through the best yoga moves for skiers looking to improve and maintain their strength and flexibility all season long.

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Video Transcript

[MUSIC PLAYING] ALEX: Hi. I'm Alex. I'm a yoga instructor in Santa Fe, New Mexico. And today I'm going to go over nine yoga moves that every skier should do this season. 

For this pose, start with your feet wide. Inhale, your arms out in line of your shoulders. Exhale, hinging at the hips and folding forward, palms to the outer feet, ankles, or shins, breathing in to lengthen and then breathing out to bend the elbows, and to use the upper body strength to fold the body in half. Keeping the spine nice and long and extended as the chest stays open. Palms to the hips and help to rise back up. 

Starting from a standing position, bring your weight into one foot. Step that opposite leg back. Lunging into the front leg, inhale your arms overhead with the gaze forward, shoulders down the spine, chest open, equal weight in both legs. Bring your hands to your hips and step your back leg, forward and then switch. So in this posture, make sure the spine stays nice and long, the inner thighs are engaged, the chest is open. 

In this pose, start by sitting on your heels. Come up to your knees, step one foot forward, and lunge into that leg as you reach your arms overhead, relaxing your shoulders here, away from your ears, and keeping the spine long, crown of your head lifted. Chest nice and open. Arms can come down beside you to step your knee back, and then to switch sides. Allow your belly to stay toned so that your lower back stays supported, and allow your weight to come forward and down in the shape. 

This next pose, start by coming into a standing position, feet together, legs together. Inhale your arms over your head coming into a deep seat, inner thighs hugging towards the midline, gaze coming forward, chest nice and open as the low belly comes in to support the low back. Allow your gaze to stay forward, and to intensify you can start to lift the heels to strengthen the ankles, the knees, and the outer hips more. To exit the posture, ground the feet, come to stand, arms down beside your body. 

For this pose, start with your feet flat to the ground, palms behind your knees, elbows are out wide. Rock on to the base of your tailbone and reach your heels up in line with your knees, keeping the chest open, palms light, your arms out nice and wide. Gaze stays forward. Feet coming down to reset and letting the chest kind of open, give yourself a little break. And then rocking back again onto the tailbone. Option now to intensify by straightening the legs out in front of you as the arms extend out wide. 

In this pose, sit on your heels, palms on your thighs. Come forward to table top. Tuck all 10 toes behind you. Walk your hips back over your heels as you walk your arms up your thighs. Chest open over your hips, gaze coming forward as your shoulders stay relaxed. This is a great pose to open up the tops of the feet and the bottoms of the feet. You can hold this for anywhere from 5 to 10 breaths, and then come forward for a counter ankle stretch by untucking the toes, leaning back on the heels, letting the knees lift away from the ground as the weight comes into the hands, chest staying open, spine staying long. 

In this pose, come onto your back, knees bent, feet flat. Bring one ankle to your opposite thigh. Option to press the knee away to create a little more space in the hips. And then interlace your hands behind the hamstring, keeping both feet active as you slowly lower your entire spine onto the ground, keeping the chest open, the low back grounded, and the belly nice and engaged. Bringing that foot down and switching sides. 

Remember, you can use your palm to press the inside of the knee a little bit away from you to provide a little bit more space in the hip. And then interlace your hands behind the opposite leg as you lower your spine down. This is a really great stretch for the outer hips and the sit bones, as well as the low back. Low belly staying toned as the lower back stays grounded. To release the posture, just allow each foot to come down one at a time and the arms to relax beside the body. 

Coming onto your back in this pose, knees bent, feet flat to the ground, bring your knees to your chest. Let both knees fall to one side as you extend that opposite arm out with the gaze lifting or the gaze falling towards the opposite palm. Your other hand can rest gently on your body, keeping the chest nice and open as the shoulders stay relaxed and the spine stays long. Returning your gaze to the center and then letting both knees come in over your hips, and switching sides. With the breath in, you can let your chest stay nice and open, spine nice and extended, and with the breath out there's a little bit of a twisting sensation between the ribs and the lower hips. Keeping your legs relaxed as they stack on top of one another and the side body nice and long. Returning your gaze to the ceiling, your knees back over your hips, and then letting your feet come back to the earth to finish. 

In this pose, come onto your back. Bring your knees into your chest and extend your legs up towards the ceiling. Arms relaxing beside the body, palms can rotate open, chest is nice and open here as the entire spine is grounded on the earth, letting your whole body just relax, even your legs. This is a great way just to reverse the blood flow in the body, great way to let the heart lift a little bit above the crown of the head for some fresh blood and oxygen into the brain. To come out of the pose, bend your knees to your chest and let your feet come back to the earth. 

Thanks for joining me for this workout, and I'll see you next time. 

Flexibility