Yoga: Hot or Not?

Yoga is good for skiers. But is hot yoga better?
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Yoga is good for skiers. But is hot yoga better?

We’ve all read stories about professional football and basketball coaches incorporating yoga into their teams’ fitness regimen (a practice which, I might add, we would pay some cold, hard cheddar to watch). So it comes as no surprise that yoga is the secret weapon of pro skiers like Ashley Battersby, a former slopestyle skier who’s renowned for throwing the hugest tricks on the circuit. After all, yoga and skiing are both all about flexibility, strength, and focus. But our question is: hot or not?

Battersby, who is also a certified yoga instructor who partnered with us for our Yoga for Skiers course, definitely thinks hot yoga is better for getting deeper stretches. “From the moment you walk into the room, your muscles are warm and ready. And deeper stretches increase both flexibility and strength,” she says.

As far as calories burned, hot yoga may feel like it’s much more taxing, but on average a 150-pound person burns around 25 calories per hour more in a heated room than in non-heated room, mostly because your heart needs to work a little harder to pump extra blood to your skin’s surface in order to cool it, via sweat, in a hot room. However, sweating detoxifies your body (read: cleanses out those apres beers), and the heat prevents injury because your muscles are already warm.

To get your body completely ready for ski season, Battersby recommends a combination of hot yoga, heavy lifting, and cardio on a bike. “For me, spinning on the bike is important to keep everything flowing and moving, even if you don’t go super hard—even 20 minutes can be enough.”

She also recommends continuing your yoga practice throughout ski season to stay strong and flexible. “I’d recommend doing it after shredding,” she says. “That way you can get in your skiing and keep the energy to perform on the mountain first and foremost.”

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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 make this the best ski season ever!

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