As an avid downhill skier for nearly three decades, Mariane Corallo ratchets up her "weekend-warrior behavior" every winter.
So she's keenly aware — maybe more than most — of subsequent aches, pains, aggravation of old injuries, even accidents that can end a season or future skiing aspirations. To start winter on the right foot, the owner of Rasa Center for Yoga and Wellness devised a six-week program of stretching, strengthening and conditioning specifically for skiers and snowboarders.
"It's definitely going to feed the skier in them," says Corallo, 43. "We're also working on injury prevention."
Just as the workshop welcomes all levels of skiers and snowboarders, it accommodates the accomplished or novice yogi, says Corallo. A short, "semiflow" practice that resembles many yoga classes starts the one-and-a-half-hour session once per week, she adds.
The primary focus, however, will be conditioning and stretching muscles central to skiing and snowboarding. Many postures will be held for four to seven minutes, some as long as 15, says Corallo. Prolonging each position brings a "yin" quality to the regimen that counteracts skiing, a very energetic — or "yang" — pursuit, she says. Even typical yoga classes tend toward yang energy, she adds.
Some traditional poses, such as "warrior," will be modified for the skiing and snowboarding experience. "Kneeling warrior," with one knee on the floor, foot braced against the wall, is an intense stretch for quadriceps, which every snow enthusiast taxes during a day on the slopes.
"You're just constantly sitting into your quads," says Corallo. "You're just never able to stretch them out."