By Amruta Kulkarni, CYT 250
There are a number of Yoga poses that will warm-up both specific muscle groups and the entire body for a challenging day on the slopes. Skiing can be either leisurely or very demanding. In part, the snow conditions will determine the level of intensity and challenge for many skiers. In order to ski at your optimal level and to prevent injury, it is important to spend some time warming up for the day ahead. Practicing five to ten rounds of full Sun Salutations will help to lubricate all of your joints and warm-up all of the major muscle groups in the body.
After warming up with several rounds of Sun Salutations, practicing a Warrior Pose sequence that links together Warrior I, II and III will help to invigorate you and hone your sense of balance. Warrior I Pose will open up the front of your body and make you feel expanded and exalted. Warrior II pose will ground you and focus your concentration in an unwavering fashion. Warrior III pose will help you take flight and sharpen your sense of balance. By linking the three warrior poses together with the movements of the Sun Salutation, you will continue to warm up all of the major muscle groups in your body for the day ahead.
Warrior I Pose
To practice Warrior I, stand with your feet three and a half to four feet apart. Turn your right foot towards the front of the room and perpendicular to your Yoga mat. Turn your left foot in to a 45-degree angle towards the front of your mat. With your next inhale, bend your right knee to a ninety-degree angle and raise your arms overhead in prayer position with your palms touching each other. Do not extend your right knee beyond the line of your ankle. Hold this pose for up to five breaths. Feel the stretch through the entire length of your torso, arms and shoulders. From Warrior I Pose you can flow directly into Warrior II Pose.
Warrior II Pose
From Warrior I, bring your arms down to shoulder height with your palms facing the floor. Hold you gaze or drishti a few inches beyond the third finger of your right hand. Maintain a strong focus on this point as you hold the pose for three to five complete breaths. With your next inhale; you can glide into Warrior III.
Warrior III Pose
As you gaze over the middle finger of your right hand, shift your weight entirely to your right leg and lift off the ground for a one-legged balancing pose. Bring both arms directly in front of you with your palms facing each other in prayer position. Raise your left leg to hip height with your toes pointing towards the floor. Maintain a strong and steady gaze at one spot on the floor. Hold for three to five breaths adjusting your balance when needed. To come out of the pose, inhale and come back to Tadasana at the top of your Yoga mat.
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