If you think yoga is all just heart-centering and resting in shavasana on the floor, you have another think coming. There are all different types of yoga practices, and while some do focus primarily on breathing and restorative poses to help your mind and body relax, other practices, like vinyasa or power yoga, focus on building strength.
Ashley Battersby, a former U.S. Ski Team freestyle athlete turned yoga instructor, wholeheartedly believes in the benefits of all types of yoga for skiers, but especially practices that increase flexibility while building strength and stability in the lower body. This type of yoga not only helps skiers loosen the muscles and ligaments that become overworked and tight during skiing, but also helps to increase strength in key stabilizer muscles that can help prevent injuries on the slopes.
“A lot of skiers have no idea how much yoga can impact their skiing, from increasing performance to preventing injuries,” Battersby says. If you’re not sold on yoga because you don’t see how it can benefit you as a skier, try this 20-minute yoga practice deliberately designed by Battersby to build strength in the lower body muscles skiers rely on most. Warning: This yoga workout includes pistol squats.