If attending Bulldog Yoga doesn’t get you ready to hit the slopes, there’s a chance nothing will.
Through refreshing and unique styles, the Boulder-based yoga studio challenges strength, flexibility and endurance levels. It’s ideal for folks ready to carve through the snow on a board or skis, as it will not only sharpen the body and brain’s reaction time but will have people twisting, bending, balancing and moving all at once.
Their classes also incorporate cardio and increase the respiratory efficiency of thin, high-altitude mountain air.
To prep for snow season, Studio Head “top dog” Katy Conicella and Studio Manager Sarah Woodward recommend focusing on three main areas to strengthen and stretch: the core, the glutes and the quads, hamstrings and hips.
Core muscles work together to support and stabilize the spine and the pelvis. Core strength and flexibility is key to maintaining balance in an upright posture while cutting lines in the snow.
To strengthen, try boat pose or side plank. Increase the difficulty by adding hip dips, and leg raises.
Locust pose will also help strengthen supporting muscles along the spine. Recover with a gentle spinal twist.
Glutes make up the biggest muscle group in the body and stabilize the legs as they bend, extend and rotate. To strengthen, use a classic squat and sumo squat variations. To stretch, try reclined pigeon pose.
Together, the quads, hamstrings and hips control pressure and absorb the ground-impact forces of skiing. This helps protect the knees from injuries like the common tear or rupture of the ACL.
Strengthening and lengthening these muscle groups are equally important in working to avoid imbalance and instability of the hip joints.
To strengthen the quads, check out crescent lunge, warrior II, and reverse warrior.
For the hamstrings, move into Triangle Pose, then focus on pressing your front heel down and pulling it toward the center of the mat.
Use runner’s lunge to stretch the quads and hips, and half splits to lengthen the hamstrings, with the option to support the upper body with a block under each hand.
Skiers and snowboarders can use these movements to tone muscles and hone focus. This powerful mind-body connection will improve proprioception—the awareness of your body’s movement through time and space—and lead to greater success on the mat and on the mountain.
Through the power of Bulldog Yoga, people can enjoy their winter season to the fullest.