Yoga for Winter Conditioning
with Christy Prior
With winter season halfway complete here in Queenstown, we have fully immersed ourselves into the 2021 ski season. We’ve felt the chill in the air, stepped onto the beautiful dusting of snow on the mountain tops, and made our way to the spinning chairlifts in order to enjoy the crisp alpine air and expansive views from up the mountain.
It’s essential we strengthen our bodies to enhance our on snow performance, as skiing and snowboarding use muscles that are specific to the sport. Practicing yoga has become a go-to for many snow sports enthusiasts to build confidence, improve joint strength, and help ward off injury.
We caught up with legendary snowboarder Christy Prior, who has represented New Zealand in the Olympics and has achieved podium results at the World Cup, X Games, Dew Tour, and Burton Open. She was even named Snow Sports NZ Snowboarder of the Year for four consecutive years.
Christy, who is also a 500-hour qualified yoga teacher, has used yoga and meditation to achieve a successful snowboarding career. Here at Nadi we want to help you continue preparing for the winter season, so we asked Christy about yoga and what moves she practices to build strength and coordination for snowboarding.
Question: What are your favorite yoga poses to prepare for the winter season?
Christy: “Some of my favorite yoga poses to prepare for winter are seated meditation – to stay centered and grounded.
Warrior 2, chair and side angle to strengthen the legs – and the mind.
Pigeon and every variation of it – hello quads, hips, hip flexors and psoas.
Handstand – to train resilience and perseverance.
And I love to do wild thing to keep the vibes high as well as a supported fish pose over blocks/props to keep my heart space open to possibilities.”
Skiing and snowboarding are dynamic sports that require endurance and a lot of strength. Yoga helps to improve your flexibility, balance, strength, and confidence, all important qualities on the slopes. Whether you use yoga to help you to strengthen or recover from snowsports, yoga is a great complementary practice for your winter activities.
With the mind-body connection yoga helps you to instill, practicing yoga regularly also keeps you feeling calm and centered.”