5 simple yoga morning stretches to improve your skiing

Snowgi, Adie Robertson from Love Breathe Yoga reveals her 5 must do morning movements when waking in the ski lodge.

If you could take a morning ski or snowboard pill that promised to energise body and mind, improve posture, balance and co-ordination, build strength and flexibility, increase endurance, promote positivity and wellbeing and speed up recovery, would you?

A few simple yoga activations will give you all that imaginary pill promises.

When you wake-up, pull back the covers, getup and start moving. Movement allows you to access your shakti, bringing energy from the inside out and stretching muscles relaxes them, a vital step towards injury prevention.

Invest in your body daily, giving it the best chance to stay strong and injury free. Never force the stretch, work within your comfort zone, and with each breath let go a little more.

Spinal TwistIMG_3527

Spinal Twist will help to release a sore, tight back whilst inducing a feeling of wellbeing.

Take the feet apart to shoulder width loosely swinging and wrapping the arms around the body, keeping the spine straight.

Turn onto the ball of each foot allowing the head to turn at the top of the twist.

Beginning with the arms at waist level, let them rise up to shoulder height and notice how the thoracic (upper) back benefits from a gentle squeeze.

Slowly unwind and feel the difference.

Hip circlesIMG_3528

Hip Circling works to loosen the hips whilst providing a great core workout.

With feet shoulder-width apart, hands on hips, engage the core muscles gently by pulling your lower belly in away from your clothing, and simply ‘be like a belly dancer’ gently circling the hips forwards, sideways and backwards.

Repeat ten circles each way.

Feel how loose and relaxed your hips are.

 

Quadriceps StretchIMG_3530

Take your weight onto the right leg.

Rest your hand on your left thigh and bending the left knee draw the foot up behind you, simultaneously running your hand down to the ankle.

Keep the hips square and knees together as you push the foot away and into your hand behind you. Increase the stretch by pushing back more.

Swap legs and repeat.

 

Iliopsoas and Hamstring stretch combo.IMG_3531

Take time to strengthen and lengthen the iliopsoas (psoas major and iliacus muscle) the main hip flexor and lower back stabilizer.

Adopt a lunge position, ensuring the extended leg is in correct alignment with the shin at ninety degrees, the ankle directly below the knee, forearms resting on the thigh.

Breathe into the front of the hips feeling them open a little more with every breath you take.

Hinge your bodyweight back and drop your hands either side of your extended (bent or straight) leg, and breathe into the hamstring as it stretches.

Pull the toes back towards the head to increase the stretch if required.

Hold both stretches for 20 seconds and repeat twice on each side.

Relaxation

Lying on your back in savasana, with palms facing up, take a big breath in and tense your whole body like a starfish. Breathe out, relax. Repeat twice more. IMG_3534

Consciously scan your body, tensing on the inbreath and relaxing on the outbreath; feet, legs, buttocks, hips and pelvis, lungs and chest, back, shoulders, hands and arms, neck and head and finally your face. Watch the breath as it flows in and out of the body and allow yourself to rest for a few vital moments in stillness and peace.

Gently bring yourself back to the world around you by beaming a brilliant sunbeam in through the crown of your head, filling your body with vitality and light, until you can actually feel it circulating within you.

Learning to relax deeply induces a state within the body where the brain sends out transmitters to heal soft tissue injuries like nothing else can.

Do this if nothing else.

Read more: 7 dynamic ski exercises to get you fit for the slopes

Read more: Is your boot fitter getting it wrong?

Read more: Three week home exercise program to get fit to ski

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