You could be forgiven for dismissing
ski yoga as the latest gimmick for people with more money than sense (and there
are certainly plenty of those here).
Holidays that combine skiing and yoga
classes are nothing new, but doing yoga on skis takes the concept a step
further. The Swiss yoga piste, also
known as the chill-out slope, was dreamed up by Sabrina Nussbaum, a local ski
instructor and yoga teacher. She noticed that her fellow ski instructors
were taking up yoga after suffering knee and back injuries, and thought that
everyone could benefit from skiing in a more “yogic” way.
Sabrina has selected four particularly
scenic sites at which to do eight asanas (yoga postures). The slope is a red run and the sites themselves are
off-piste, so beginners would struggle to reach them, but really the postures
can be done anywhere on the mountain. You can pick up a “Yoga on
Snow” leaflet at the surrounding ski lifts and follow the routine for
started, appropriately, with a tadasana (mountain pose). I
dropped my poles, stood up straight and closed my eyes. Sabrina told me to
relax my feet and be aware of the mountain beneath them. It may have been the
fresh air and sunshine, or the altitude, but I immediately felt relaxed and
happy. After each pose, we skied for a while, applying the principles of the asana to the skiing…..We stopped on top of an easy run to work on prana, or life force. This involved covering my ears and concentrating on my breathing. We
skied down with our ears still covered, focusing on breathing calmly – quite
difficult when you can’t hear other skiers whizzing up behind you.