Is Yoga Good For Snowboarding?
Yoga is something that’s been on my radar for quite a while now, though there’s never been a big enough impulse for me to actually give it go. Well, there have been a few things recently that have made me reconsider. Whilst I’m still not convinced that I am going to try it – that’s not because I don’t see the benefits, but because I’m not drawn to it – you could say that I’m on the fence…
First of all, a few friends have started yoga classes and they seem to be enjoying them. They tell me it’s hard work – a great all-round work out. They’re also spouting ideas and claims that it’s going to be useful for snowboarding. Interesting.
Then there’s this article that I spotted on GoneBoarding, written by Tammy Jones – which gives a decent overview of yoga and how it can be beneficial for snowboarders. It’s a good read actually, it looks at a bunch of specifics, things that can be helped by yoga, like shredding in the park and being prepared for freeriding.
The article includes a yoga routine that’s targeted at snowboarding, including a whole load of photos. If, like me, you’ve got no idea about yoga, it’s an interesting introduction. It also touches on the surfing-yoga connection and how “these two disciplines are highly compatible”, with a suggestion that it might follow that yoga is a good match for snowboarding. I like that…
So what about some of those benefits?
Flexibility is certainly something that could lure me in. I have started to make progress with nose grabs, but I’m sure that being more supple would help in my quest to get nose and tail grabs dialed, not to mention some of the other grabs.
Strength, of course, is something that can have a big impact on your snowboarding. I’m certainly of the opinion that if you’re fit, with strength in the right places, you can do more runs, more laps of the park, you won’t be put off by that extra bit of hiking to score the best line… meaning more snowboarding.
Balance and awareness are clearly attributes that snowboarders benefit from. If you’re sliding down a rail, with a change up in the middle, being coordinated and having good body-awareness is going to help. Same with spins, absorbing varied terrain off-piste, the list goes on…
Snowboarding fit – that’s an interesting thought. Is getting in shape for your next snowboard trip/holiday something that’s on your mind? If you look at people who snowboard regularly, perhaps ever week in a dome, maybe they’re doing a winter season, or they work in the mountains… they’ll be used to snowboarding – they’ll tire in linear way. For example, if they normally snowboard 4 hours everyday, but then spend 7 hours hiking off-piste, that’s going to be tiring.
But for the people who don’t snowboard often, perhaps one week away each year, they can be run through after the first few days on the hill. It’s common to hear people say that they’re aching in places they didn’t know they had muscles. Does that mean that more conventional forms of exercise aren’t particularly suited to snowboarding? Or that the people who make that type of comment aren’t particularly fit?
— Is yoga a good match for the fitness and attributes that snowboarding requires?
A curios point… a long time ago, I read an article in Whitelines (I think) that touched on yoga. I’ll admit that my memory is shaky on this – but there was a comment that stuck in my mind. The author said that after trying yoga, snowboarding slams started to hurt a whole lot more. I don’t know whether this was a throw away comment, or something the guy did actually feel – but either way, it’s stuck with me. Any views on this? It seems unlikely to me. It kinda makes me want to try yoga just to find out for myself.
Finding the time
Time isn’t always an easy thing to find more of. Putting snowboarding to one side, I have a consistent desire to stay fit and healthy. Sometimes I use the gym, sometimes I run, or cycle, and sometimes I skateboard. If yoga is a good match for snowboarding, and it’s fun, then subbing it in for other activities would be a good idea.
However, when I think about embarking on a new activity, I can’t help but remind myself that I regularly wish I had more time to go skateboarding…
What about you? Have you tried yoga, how do you view it’s effectiveness, and do you think it helps with snowboarding? Are any readers advanced in your yoga-practice – would you comment on how it affects your frame of mind, your outlook?