Aprés Asana Yoga Practice

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Aprés Asana Yoga Practice

Targeting Muscles For Skiing and Snowboarding

Former ski racer and current Ski & Snowboard Club Vail coach, Kirsten Cooper, will lead Apres Asana at the Vail Vitality Center from 4 to 6 p.m. on Sunday, March 20.

In this workshop, participants will target the muscles that work hard while skiing or snowboarding. They will learn to simultaneously stretch and strengthen their hamstrings, quads, glutes, hip rotators, and core in order to stay healthy for spring on the slopes.

“We often think of ‘ski conditioning yoga’ as chair pose and strengthening the legs, but the importance of proper body mechanics (i.e., balanced strength and flexibility) is absolutely imperative to stay fit for skiing and avoid injuries,” Cooper said.

Apres Asana will focus on ways to be strong and flexible in all the places that snowsports demand, Cooper said.

“It will also target those major muscle groups and joints that get so tight and sore in the ski season by allowing for longer, more restorative holds,” she said. “This allows for more opening in the muscles themselves and, in turn, more space in the joints they control, resulting in less soreness and fewer aches after a day on the hill.”

The second half of the practice will be more restorative, targeting similar muscle groups but especially geared toward unwinding tension in all of the muscles that create the low-back pain so often associated with skiing and snowboarding, Cooper said.

Cooper spent the better part of her life competing as a professional ski racer. She was 10 when she first practiced yoga as part of conditioning for skiing, but it wasn’t until age 16 that yoga became a staple in her conditioning program.

“I suffered from shoulder, back, and knee injuries at the time, and yoga not only helped my body feel so much better but also helped me quell the intense stress of being an elite athlete,” she said. “Competition is extraordinarily stressful on the body and mind; yoga became a place where I didn’t have to be better than everyone around me. It became, and remains, a place where I can be in uncomfortable positions in a safe space so when I find discomfort in my life, I have a few more tools to handle it.”

Athletics are all about pushing past your comfort zone, and yoga provided Cooper with the best possible tools to live constantly beyond where she felt comfortable.

She believes that by spending time to breathe deeply and move with intention, yoga can help anyone create an internal shift through which rejuvenation and further self-inquiry arise.

After navigating the world for ski racing then getting a bachelor’s of science degree in integrative physiology, Cooper is now pursuing a master’s degree in sports psychology while coaching ski racing and playing in the mountains she loves so much.

  • Date: Sunday, March 20
  • Time: 4 to 6 p.m.
  • Location: Vail Vitality Center
  • Cost: $25 for members, $35 for non-members

To register, visit www.vail vitalitycenter.com or call 970-476-7965.

Credit and rights belong to OMG I Yoga.


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