“My quads are burning,”
As we came to the end of our final run of our first day in Vail, there were bodily protestations. It was a beautiful day in Colorado. The temperature hovered right below freezing. The sun peeked out regularly as snow lightly dusted the mountain throughout the day. With Brian and the boys, our good friend, Felix & my nephew, Trainor, we had had an awesome first day on the mountain.
This is our annual 6th annual Spring break ski trip. My skiing has improved quite a bit since our first trip to Angel Fire in 2003. The credit is largely due to my asana practice. From improved balance to greater strength, the benefits are tangible and noticeable … even to my boys:“Mom, you could have never managed that run before.”
With my Favorite Guys ~ Vail 2008
That first day on the mountain, I thought a lot about the gift of yoga. I thought a lot about utkatasana, sometimes called “awkward chair pose” and how it’s similar to the form needed to traverse the Colorado slopes. I thought a lot about how Christina pushes us to hold poses well beyond what I’d “comfortably” choose. (We use to hold them for a minute, but now there are nasty rumors that she’s threatening to add on another 30 seconds!) The fiery burn I so often dread in class was now blessing me with the endurance to ski these gorgeous peaks. I thought about how the required concentration to refine an asana was precisely what I needed to keep my form, my balance and control on the slopes: FIRM the muscles to the bone, DRAW to the midline to keep the skis together, and (hardest of all because it’s so counterintuitive) LEAN forward to gain control of speed. Yoga off the mat & on the slopes, what a beautiful gift!
See ya soon at a lower altitude. Until then … Utkatasana, utkatasana … beep, beep, beep!