get moving and boost your mobility with this short sequence, focusing on those areas we want to keep fluid and flowy for when we hit the slopes, and maybe some unexpected bumps!
take your time to move through the sequence, moving your body with the rhythm of your breath as your create space and mobility throughout your whole body
ankles and feet
start off lying on your back with the legs up
wiggle your toes, point + flex your feet and roll your ankles to bring some movement into the foundation of our body
this is great if you've been in ski or snowboard boots all day, and you get the added bonus of reversing the blood flow in your legs too
stay here for at least 5 full breaths
take hold of the knee caps in each hand and trace circles with your knees
you can move both knees together, apart, in the same direction or in opposite directions - listen to your body and move however feels good to open up your inner and outer hips and thighs
move with your breath for at least 5 breaths
then come into windscreen wipers with your knees :
bring your feet back down to the mat, outside edges of feet as wide as the mat, then on an exhale, drop both knees over to one side
inhale to bring both knees back up, then exhale to the other side and feel outer hips and thighs and feet and ankles move fluidly
flow through 10 cycles
shoulders + chest
roll up to kneeling, and if it's ok with your feet, sit up onto your heels for a deep stretch for your toes and plantar fascia (if it gets too intense just tuck your toes under. you can always kneel onto a block or cushion too)
sit tall with a long spine and take some rolls back and forth with the shoulders for at least 5 breaths
stay kneeling as your bring your arms up, and then drop the elbows down into a cactus shape to bring mobility into your shoulder joint and also help keep your chest open - which is great to counteract that forward hunch we tend to have when skiing and snowboarding!
take a comfortable seat and practice moving the spine in non-habitual ways, like send bends and twists
try to keep both sitting bones grounded as you flow from side to side to open up side ribs and move the spine laterally, then take an exhale to twist over to one side, then inhale back to centre
you can add a wrist stretch here too by turning the fingers of one hand down and using the other hand to stretch the palm open
roll forward onto all 4's for my favourite mobility move of all time, cat cow!
on each inhale, drop the belly and lift the chest and tailbone, then exhale to press into hands and round through the spine
flow through at least 5 breath cycles of cat cow, then feel free to all some hip circles and circular movements
as always, listen to what feels good for your body!
back to the lower body
press back into down dog, and try pedaling the feet to bend one knee and the other to open up hamstrings and pelvis
settle back into down dog and ground strongly through one leg as you float the other heel up, bend the knee and trace circles with the knee cap, moving clockwise and anticlockwise for 4 breaths each way, then move to the other leg
groins and inner thighs and ankles
come to a wide legged forward bend (you can support the hands with blocks if they don't quite reach the mat), and then shift the pelvis from one side to the other, following the rhythm of your breath
now bring the feet slightly a little wider than hips distance apart and drop down into malasana, yogi squat
you can support the hips onto a block if it's more comfortable, or else settle in for at least 5 breaths as hips open and ankles flex
Try my short practice for skiers and snowboarders here, and if you'd like to find out how yoga can boost your overall winter well-being check out my blog post about the physical and mental benefits of a yoga practice for mountain lovers.