In the snowboard season, your body can see a ton of mileage on the slopes and hours in a car travelling to and from the mountains. Time in the car mixed with snowboarding can leave you feeling stiff and achy. A typical ski day for me consists of driving for 45 minutes, snowboarding hard for many hours, followed by a journey home. I have found it very beneficial for my body and snowboarding to add yoga into the equation. Stretching is an essential part of every sport, and yoga provides an amazing warm-up and/or warm down to keep you mobile and prevent injury.
It takes as little as a couple of minutes a day to bang out these 7 snowboard yoga poses. They can provide huge relief and benefits for your body. When you’re just off the slopes or out of the car use these to relax, rejuvenate your body, and ease aches/pains.
It doesn’t take much space either. You can do them in your hotel room, living room, or bedroom. A little goes a long way to making you healthier, happier, and in optimum shape to snowboard!
7 Yoga Poses For The Snowboarding Season
This series of 7 snowboard yoga poses will help you warm-up before riding, or restore your body and calm the mind after an action-packed day of exploring on the slopes. Use these daily for maximum benefits and hold the poses for as long as feels comfortable!
1. Downward Dog
If you can only do one pose, this gives you the most bang for your buck! It is an energizing symmetrical pose that stretches out the whole back body, your feet and calves, your legs and lower back, and into your shoulders and upper back. It realigns the body and restores symmetry. Stay here for as long as you like or can endure.
Have your fingers spread wide, and your hands active to keep your wrists strong. Try putting your hips to each side to get a deeper stretch in your side body and also pedal out your feet.
2. Cat + Cow
Extending and flexing in this way is incredible to warm up the spine and work out the kinks! It gently encourages the movement of your vertebrae and provides relief for the back. This pose is amazing to awaken and reinvigorate the body after sitting for long periods or after a strenuous activity like snowboarding.
Be present and move slowly, feel everything along your spine and pause at the spots that feel like they need a little more loving!
5 Pillars Of Snowboarding = Mobility, Flexibility, Balance, Endurance, Strength
3. Ape Squat (a.k.a Deep-Squat)
This is a natural, resting position for the human body. It can help to correct and return your posture to a strong, mobile state. The deep squat is perfect for restoring joint health which is crucial for snowboarding. Restore your flexibility, stability, and mobility with this pose. This position targets the ankles, knees and hip joints as well as the thoracic spine. This is a fundamental position and movement that will help improve your range of motion on the snowboard.
Take your feet to around shoulder width apart. Drop down with your butt between your feet. Roll to the outside edges of your feet, try not to let all your weight collapse into your arches. Try to keep your heels on the ground, if this is not possible place a book or small wedge under the heels until you can squat with your feet flat on the floor.
4. Low Lunge With Quad Stretch
This one is a beauty for stretching out the quads and hip flexors. It provides amazing release and relief for those muscles that get tight from squatting all day when snowboarding and having your legs constantly engaged. If you have sensitive knees you can use a folded blanket or towel to cushion the knee joint.
Set your knee back and make sure your knee and ankle are stacked on top of each other in the supporting leg. You can lift your arms up to the sky or if you are looking for a deep stretch, bend your back knee and catch your foot. Don’t forget to breathe here, it can be an intense stretch! Flow through downward dog and change legs.
If you can move freely, you can get more creative and snowboard beautifully
5. Seated Twist
Twists are a powerful way to lengthen out the spine and stretch out muscles in the back and core. They are great to help digestion which can be useful if you have eaten some stodgy pub food at lunch or after a day on the slopes.
Imagine a soft piece of silk pulling you upwards from the top of your head. Get tall and create length in the torso. Lift your right hand into the air and cross to the other side, so your left elbow is on your right knee. When you inhale feel and imagine yourself getting taller. As you breathe out, go deeper into the twist. Slowly and mindfully come out of the twist and do the same thing on the other side.
6. Child’s Pose
A restorative pose that will soothe your body and nervous system. Child’s pose is wonderful to stretch out the shoulders and upper back as well as open up the ankles. You can have your knees together or as wide as the mat to get a deeper stretch in your groin. Rest your forearms and forehead on the mat for a more passive version of this pose. Or get active and engage through the hands and arms. Use long inhales and exhales to relax and melt into the mat after riding long and hard during the day.
A little yoga every day will keep you snowboarding long and hard for the rest of your life
This is the magic pose to heal yourself. When snowboarding you have adrenaline pumping and are hyper-focused on your external environment as you scope your line and flow down the mountain. So, with Savasana, it’s amazing to take the time to relax, reflect and go inward.
Lie flat on your back, close your eyes and get comfortable. Consciously breathe in and out. Feel your belly rise on the inhale and fall on the exhale. If you have a sensitive lower back pop a pillow or rolled up blanket under your knees. Set an alarm for 5 or 10 minutes as it has often ended up in an accidental long afternoon nap for me! Revitalize your body and mind with this pose to get a great nights sleep.
After a day snowboarding on the slopes or car journey to get to the mountain, these 7 snowboard yoga poses will give your body some loving and much-needed relief. Take care of yourself this snowboard season. Take the time to stretch out, relax, and create length throughout the body after interacting with gravity all day on your board and taking some bails!
Practice this active flow to boost your balance, strength and mobility on a snowboard: