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Why Breathing Matters

In yoga, as in skiing, it’s all about your breath.

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You can breathe with your eyes open or closed.Photo courtesy of AIM Adventure U

If you’re a skier doing yoga to loosen up and get stronger for ski season, you might be wondering what the deal is with all that breathing. We asked Ashley Battersby, former pro slopestyle skier and current yoga instructor, what gives.

“Whether you’re doing yoga or any sport, breathing is the most important thing you’re doing,” she said. In fact, the breathing is why she got into yoga in the first place: She was having a hard time calming her heart rate and anxiety at the top of the start gate, so she started going to yoga classes to help her learn how to control her breathing.

“It helps calm everything down to breathe deep. It also brings more oxygen into the body to help the muscles recover and chill out,” she says. “Bringing down your heart rate in a stressful situation or on top of a scary line you’re about to drop is important so you can have complete focus.”

According to Battersby, everything you do in yoga translates to the slopes—and to everywhere else in life. If you can manage to breathe deeply when you’re trying to get into a yoga pose on a mat, you can learn to breathe deeply when you’re pushing yourself in new terrain. “If you’re stressed and taking short breaths, what’s going to happen when you have dynamic movement and your skis are moving around on the mountain? Breath is so key,” she says.

Developed by SKI magazine and Ashley Battersby, a professional skier who also is a certified yoga instructor, our self-paced online Yoga for Skiers class through AIM Adventure U will increase your flexibility and balance, strengthen your entire body, relieve sore muscles, and prevent injuries. It also will help you reduce daily stress, and boost your confidence on and off the hill. This all-access course focuses on both the mental and physical aspects of training that can benefit everyone on the mountain, from the expert veteran skier to someone just starting the sport. So join us here to not only get in shape for the season, but to look and feel great!