#winterready – How Yoga can help your Winter adventures

Get #winterready in Lockdown 2.0

As many of us face ‘lockdown’ or heavy restrictions in our lives currently, we want to showcase some of the amazing partners that we work with and the local suppliers available in Morzine to bring the mountains to you and help get you as ready for winter as we all are!

Yoga – the unsung hero of winter touring

Guest blog by Emily Ruth Yoga

It’s no wonder that touring has become so popular the last few years, what an incredible way to experience the mountains, for locals and visitors alike. With guiding available from a number of the incredible snow schools in Morzine, the possibility of getting away from the crowds, and into the backcountry safely, is now a reality.

My personal journey into touring has been a gradual one, borrowing snowshoes, and hiking with my board on my back for the first time 5 years ago. Completing my Avalanche Safety Training Level 1 course in Canada, the land of powder, 3 years ago. To owning a full split board set up in Spring 2020… before swiftly getting locked down into confinement! 

The beauty of self powering your way through the mountains really captured me. Returning to nature without the need to jump on the lifts, the peace and tranquility of hearing snow softly crunch under your feet, and the sheer freedom and joy it brings riding down! However, this idealistic beauty often means many of us overlook the fitness factor of hiking up mountains with essentially weighted feet. It’s hard work, and takes a toll on your body! But if you’re proactive about looking after your health and wellness, you’ll feel fresh as you head out into the mountains this Winter.

Yoga has played a huge part in this for me. Not only building up physical strength and endurance, but also managing my breath and mindset, and releasing tension after a long day outdoors, playing hard! Whether you’re an avid Yogi, or you’ve never set foot in a Yoga class before, there are unlimited benefits to this ancient tradition which has shot into the 21st century.

Photo by Jackson Lana

Here are 3 ways Yoga can help your Winter adventures:

1. Strength & Endurance

The practice of Yoga focuses on placing the body into postures that create flexion, extension and compression, moves the spine in all directions (keeping your spinal column fascia hydrated and young!), and encourages the body into all 3 planes of movement. When you combine this with fluidity, and precision, moving mindfully with your breath, you begin to cultivate fire and strength. I think the most common misconception about yoga is that “all you do is stretch”. Whilst yoga absolutely promotes healthy flexibility within your body, which I think we should all strive for, it also creates a lot of strength and functional movement, all of which benefit you in your mountain endeavours!

2. Lung capacity, Abdominals & Breathwork

In yoga we practice breathing fully, and properly. Now I hear you thinking, I already “breathe properly”, but in actuality, a lot of us have been conditioned to breathe in, and pull our bellies in! What should happen when we breathe naturally, is our belly should expand on our inhale, and draw back on our exhale. Diaphragmatic breathing not only strengthens your diaphragm, and tones your core muscles, including the pelvic floor, it also ensures we are successfully circulating oxygen to all of our cells leaving us feeling alive and fresh. How often do you stop and take a really deep breath? Why not take 3 deep breaths here and now, in through the nose, and out through the mouth. Hands on your sides, at your lowest ribs with your fingers forwards, thumbs back. Literally feel this space expand and contract as you breathe!

3. Release. That. Tension.

Ok. Tension in your body isn’t all bad. It’s what keeps us together and holds us up. But when we exercise, get nice and warm from say, touring up mountains, ride back down, and then don’t stretch, we end up feeling tight and can eventually create some pretty uncomfortable imbalances in our bodies, which can lead to pain. Creating a regular Yoga routine to move your body, release tension in your fascia (connective tissue), and cultivate functional mobility through active stretching can counter this, and aid you in staying fit and healthy all Winter long!

If you’re out in Morzine this Winter be sure to say hello! Whether you’re into touring, or riding the lifts, come and get involved in a good dose of Yoga to support your activities! I have online and in person classes, as well as private sessions at your chalet if you want to really sprinkle some Winter magic!

Stay safe, stay healthy, and bon shred!

Emily may be a familiar face to some of our past guests, as we were lucky enough to have Emily part of our team as a chalet host on her first season in Morzine. She lives in  Morzine year round and teaches open classes and private yoga sessions in Morzine and online, available for all levels. Ideal for a pre mountain warm up, post mountain cool down or a when taking a ‘down day’, you can join one of Emily’s classes when in Morzine at our local studios or book a private session in your own chalet. Flow into your day, nourish your body, mind and breath – and feel great!

Looking to get #winter ready from home? Why not join Emily for some yoga during lockdown via her online classes or Youtube channel? We highly recommend!

[email protected] 

INSTA: @emilyruthyoga / FB: @emilyruthyoga

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