Meet Georgina, a ski and sport fanatic physiotherapist who spends her summers in Poole, Dorset and her winters working for Action Sportive Physiotherapy in Val d’Isere, France. This spring, Georgina embarked upon her own journey into the world of yoga and ended up in Rishikesh, India for a month to complete her 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training Course.
After the many ups (performing the chaturanga near perfectly - see below!, meeting new friends, exploring India) and a couple of downs (a pulled hamstring and admission to hospital for a stomach bug!), Georgina completed the course and is now Yoga Alliance certified to teach. Now that she has Yoga, Pilates and Physiotherapy under her belt she is super excited to return to the alps this winter season and pass on her knowledge and rehabilitation skills to the ski fanatics who find themselves in Val d’Isere. We asked Georgina a couple of questions...
What does Yoga and Skiing have in common?
Yoga and skiing have many attributes in common, and ones that we can utilise to help us improve both our control and performance within the two activities. Both yoga and skiing require balance and flexibility, endurance, strength and control as well as focus. By incorporating yoga into our daily lives, we are able to transfer the above skills into any activity we pursue including skiing and therefore improving our mind and body pre and post ski.
Yoga focuses on ‘asanas’ - postures and ‘prana’- breath control/life force. One thing that my yoga teacher said throughout the course was to be comfortable within the posture you are in. And how do you do that? By using your breath/life force to calm the nervous system and strengthen the energetic body within the posture. Again we can translate this to the slopes. When you are on top of that red/ black run, be comfortable and confident in the ski posture you are in and use your breath to calm the mind and focus on the enjoyment of the run.
What are the benefits of Pre-ski Yoga?
Practising yoga prior to your first morning run can prepare you as a whole (mind and body) for the challenges the day ahead may bring. Having warmed up those muscles which might have been stagnant for the last 11 months since you were last in ski boots and on skis can really help improve your flexibility and reduce the risk of injury. Last season I helped rehabilitate many acute calf injuries sustained from skiing secondary to the lack of pre-ski preparation. Yoga can also help improve that ‘ski stance’ your ski school instructor told you to maintain and enhance your endurance needed for a day on the slopes
What are the benefits of Post-ski Yoga?
Yoga can also be used as a restorative measure. You may well come home from a days skiing with burning quads, tight hip flexors and hamstrings, a stiff lower back and possibly a tense neck and shoulders! Yoga is a way of helping you to recover from any aches and pains/ slips or falls by using postures, breath and relaxation techniques to cool down, unwind and prepare yourself in a more beneficial way than you might have previously. Don’t worry, après drinks are still there post yoga session!
As a physiotherapist who is a keen skier and practices yoga, I believe that yoga has many amazing benefits that adds to a skiers performance and recovery. You could be that person who smashes its on the slopes day after day! Below are 5 yoga poses you can begin with prior to your holiday, and pre/post ski when you are with us, here in Val d’Isere.
Pre-ski Yoga poses
Warrior 1, 2 and 3
Downward facing dog
Upward facing dog
Please feel free to contact us on +33750847724 or at firstname.lastname@example.org for pre/post yoga sessions or a one off session to get you started and prepared or restored and energised.