Yoga- if you haven’t tried it, you might think it’s a bunch of light stretching and heavy ‘ooms’ in an overheated room.
But with the growing popularity of yoga, all different types of yoga styles have emerged across the country: hot yoga, power yoga, forrest yoga, pre and post natal yoga, and the list goes on.
“Once I began to integrate yogic principles into my ski lessons, I discovered that my students' fears were dissolving."
- Ski instructor, Anne Anderson
But have you ever heard of Snowga? Snowga is the latest creation of combining yoga and skiing. The idea of snowga was developed by Anne Anderson a certified ski and yoga instructor. The 90-minute class offered at Mohawk Mountain in Connecticut teaches you how to improve your skills on the slopes by incorporating yoga principles like meditation, breathing techniques and stretching poses.
Anderson boasts that snowga can also help people with their fears on the mountain.
“Once I began to integrate yogic principles into my ski lessons, I discovered that my students' fears were dissolving. Yoga has a natural benefit of healing- it calms the mind and body and is a true compliment to snow sports education,” Anderson told FoxNews.com.
The snowga class begins at the base of the mountain with a 15-minute warm-up of breathing exercises and gentle yogic stretches and postures. In the next 75 minutes of her class she moves her students up the mountain for their ski runs and instructs them to keep their minds calm by using the breathing techniques they learned.
Anderson says that breathing is the key to everything and helps build courage and self confidence in her beginners. U.S. Ski Team freestyle mogul skier, Heather McPhie says she does yoga almost every day she skis.
“It is so helpful in keeping my body more physically prepared and is a wonderful pause in my day where I get away from everything else and just center,” McPhie told FoxNews.com.
While Anderson’s students descend down the mountain they continue to work on their breath and practice some of the poses she taught them during their warm-up like the mountain pose (straight back and arms up to the sky) and the chair pose ( legs bent-to-the-waist and arms pointing upward in front of you- similar to a racing tuck in skiing).
Julia Rosenblatt an experienced skier and yogi attended Anderson’s snowga class and said the warm-up poses and meditation was a great way to start a ski day.
“We concentrated more on the way yoga improves awareness, concentration and relaxation – overcoming the distracting tension that often accompanies skiing. What we did will definitely help me in my continuing effort to improve my skills,” Rosenblatt told FoxNews.com.
Although Snowga may sound like another attempt to capitalize on a trendy sports fad, Dan Sherman an industry insider from Ski.com says a number of resorts like Aspen and Banff already offer regular yoga classes at the tops of their mountains.
“People are drawn to the mountains because of their beauty and revitalizing spirit, so it makes sense to combine these benefits with those offered by doing yoga,” Sherman told FoxNews.com.
So far Snowga is only offered at Mohawk Mountain, but Anderson does have plans to bring her new teachings to other mountains and even wants to develop a snowga kids program.
Whether you are looking for a different kind of ski lesson or something to bring you a little sense of calm and serenity before hitting the slopes, Snowga is a new and unique experience for the winter.
“I am all for people doing whatever they want on the hill,” Olympic gold medalist Jonny Moseley told FoxNews.com. “But I think the concept of yoga like moves to prepare for skiing is great,” Moseley added.
Price: $47 for a 90-minute class and 4 hour lift ticket, $57 for a 90-minute class and 8 hour lift ticket.