Words by Frou Williams.
People have been practising yoga outdoors since its origin but this season, the latest trend has been all about taking it to the extreme.
We’re not talking being stifled by the heat of a 40 °C bikram class, we’re talking winter seasons, ski slopes and sub zero temperatures.
They call it snowga.
But what exactly is it?
It’s been dubbed the grown-up version of making snow angels and meditation in motion. Snowga is the fusion of snow and yoga and the organic connection between the two. So you’ve mastered the art of sweating out your eyeballs in hot yoga? Then why not try your hand and your downward dog off piste?
But how far are people taking snowga?
Some teachers are even altering poses so they are doable with skis or snowshoes. Classes have proved so successful that people are considering bringing in night time snowga with headlamps.
According to the New York Times, Anne Anderson first paired yogic breathing with skiing as an aid to calm students nerves before hitting the slopes. Happy with the results, she then spent the entire summer in her shorts, ski boots and on skis to work out what poses worked whilst using ski equipment.
The use of ski props really aids in peoples practise, helping them push that little step further into a pose.
Carin Gorrell, editor in chief of Yoga Journal, said “People who are passionate about practising yoga want to do it everywhere - they’ll tell you yoga goes with everything.”
If the premise of snowga is to enjoy your practise in chilly climates with stunning mountain views why limit yourself to just the slopes? Why not headstand from your balcony, chaturanga straight from apres or heck, why not warrior pose from the hot tub?
It seems that snowga is yet to stand the test of time but if you’re tempted to get your snowga on, you might just want to get a move on and head to the slopes before the end of the season is upon us, when all that’s left is the equivalent of a slush puppy. And nobody got time for slushga.