Sore After Skiing? Try Yoga.

Ski season is in full swing, so it’s a perfect time to remember that yoga is a great compliment to downhill winter sports. Yoga increases balance, flexibility and strength, which allows you to be a more confident skier. It also paves the road to injury prevention by helping skiers learn to listen to their bodies and not push themselves too hard—a surefire way to hurt yourself.

Sore after skiing? Try yoga.

Whether you’re a season pass holder who hits the hills any chance you get, or an occasional skier who heads out a few times each year, yoga can help make your experience on the slopes even better every time. Try a few sun salutations for an excellent warm-up before heading out, and some deeper stretches après-ski to loosen tired, tight muscles in the lower body (reducing that post-ski soreness the next day). For hard-core ski bums, regular yoga practice is a great total-body workout to build strength all over, balancing out the lower-body intensive sessions on the slopes.

An understanding of yoga poses can also help during your runs—concepts like mountain pose (tadasana) and chair pose (utkatasana) can help you find proper alignment on your skies or snowboard, preventing strain and imbalance, which in turn will give you more energy and confidence.

Another bonus? Yoga reminds you to stay centered and keep breathing, even when things get stressful—so when a careening skier cuts you off on the hill, or the lift lines seem endless on holiday weekends, you can keep your calm, carry on, and fully enjoy your time at the mountain.

For other thoughts and specific suggestions on pairing yoga and skiing, check out Yoga Journal’s article, Yoga for Skiers.