Yoga with Altitude
Bonne Santé Alps is a physiotherapy, health and well-being company that has been a specialist in the prevention and treatment of alpine injuries for over 20 years.
For the past few seasons the company has been providing yoga classes in both Val d’Isère and Tignes. The senior teacher, Rose (@roseyposeyyogi), is on an ongoing mission to show how the practice can provide many benefits for those wanting to get the most out of their time in the mountains.
It’s no coincidence that some of the biggest names in skiing and snowboarding include yoga in their lifestyle. Jenny Jones, Lindsey Vonn, Travis Rice, Jamie Anderson, Bode Miller, Chemmy Alcott, Hannah Teter, Hermann Maier, Ed Leigh (of BBC Ski Sunday fame) and Amie Engerbretson all work yoga into their training regimes, to name but a few.
For winter sports fanatics, yoga offers countless benefits to performance: from refining your technique to improving balance, injury prevention to the ability to fly (and return safely to the ground!). Off the mountain, it assists in curing a fuzzy head after one too many pints. But the real USP for your average holiday maker/seasonaire/fun time sender is RECOVERY! We have a tendency to pummel our bodies into the ground whilst out here and yoga is an incredible way to recover from minor injuries and chronic stresses.
People often assume that yoga and snowsports are the antitheses of each other, particularly if the latter is more socially orientated. The buzz of adrenaline that ensues from conquering a run or line at speed, does at first glance seem the polar opposite to the restorative, slow-paced, strengthening practice of yoga. However, when combined, yoga is the yin to skiing’s yang; they compliment each other, cultivating balance that enhances the quality of both.
Whether you are a beginner or a pro, snowsports require movement patterns that rely on core stability and control, as well as agility, balance, flexibility and coordination. Essentially, yoga provides a way of improving these skills, which go hand in hand with restoration. When you incorporate yoga practice into your week, it offers your body the opportunity to awaken, engage and strengthen its muscles in the morning and/or relax and lengthen them in the evening.
Alongside the physical aspects of yoga are meditation and breathwork, which both help to promote positive mental health too. By means of coordinated movement and breath, yoga calms and centres your nervous system. At its core is the creation of a mind-body connection, helping to build your sense of self, increasing bodily and emotional awareness and even reducing stress, anxiety and depression. Call it therapy! Something which is pretty tricky to come by out here, but often very much needed in a busy and hectic resort. Bring on Christmas week...eek!
Because of this dearth of mental health support, Bonne Santé Alps’ early-riser sessions and sundowner classes remain popular, both with seasonaires and weekly warriors. By providing you with more energy and vitality, the sessions will increase your time (and enjoyment) on the slopes.
If you’re finding it a struggle to haul yourself onto the hill, even just one or two practices a week will really help you get back up on the slopes, feeling the best version of yourself. And after all, if you’ve spent that much money on gear, equipment and a lift pass, don’t you owe it to yourself?
So get on a mat and bend it to send it!
Bonne Santé Alps has two yoga teachers this season for both resorts, Rose Martin and Hannah Campbell (@composureactive), who offer Ashtanga, Vinyasa ‘Flow’, Yin and Antenatal/Postnatal Yoga in weekly timetabled classes, or private one-to-one/group sessions that are suitable for all levels.
For those of you who think yoga isn’t quite up your street, Bonne Santé Alps also offer Pilates classes. Another form of exercise known to improve the quality of your mountain activities and reduce the likelihood of injury on the slopes by strengthening and conditioning the body. By using tailored exercises, resistance bands and small weights, the classes encourage muscle toning in all the right areas. So if you just fancy a workout - come and join!