Yoga and Ski Retreats

Yoga Ski RetreatWow, can it be that the holidays are already here? We’ve finally been getting some snow here in Colorado which always makes Christmas feel that much more special. But the white stuff has put just one thing on my mind: skiing! It’s the reason I moved to Colorado 15 years ago, and it still puts a smile on my face all these years later. As does yoga!

Finding a retreat that combines time on the hill with time on the mat would be a dream! So as I bid adieu to you until January 1 (with a special surprise or two!), and set off to enjoy my time away from work and with the family, I am happy to welcome Matt Candelaria, a friend of mine from Gaiam TV, with this guest post. 

Happy holidays, my friends! I hope you all get a little yoga as well as a little skiing or other outdoor playtime over the holiday break! xoxo

Strengthening the Body, Enriching the Mind, Expanding the Spirit

For people who love them, yoga and skiing offer many of the same benefits: great exercise, mental stimulation, and an opportunity to experience a connection with the wider world. And it turns out that yoga and skiing are mutually beneficial.

Yoga can be used to stretch the body and prepare the mind and mind and spirit for the day’s runs. Throughout the day, you will enjoy the benefits of your morning yoga. Being centered in both body and spirit can improve your skiing and help protect your body from injury. It can also accentuate the sensuality of your skiing experiences: the snow, the sun, the trees, and the mountain all made clear as the local, physical fringe attached to the larger world of both physical exertion and spirituality.

At the end of the day, yoga can be an ideal way to soothe aching muscles and synthesize the day’s experience and prepare the mind for a rejuvenating and restful sleep.

With this combination of benefits, it’s no wonder that people are seeking out yoga and ski retreats for the perfect winter getaway.

Yoga and Ski Retreats in Colorado

In recent years, many ski resorts have offered yoga and ski retreats in Colorado, but the number has dwindled this year. In the past, Copper Mountain, Telluride, and Beaver Creek have all offered combination yoga and ski retreats, but none of them have it on the calendar for this season. It’s likely they’re trying to encourage people to use the yoga offerings available in their spa facilities on a drop-in basis, rather than planning large-scale yoga and ski events. The Yoga Mat, the Denver studio that ran Copper Mountain’s Snow Salutes, now offers the event as a studio class.

But if you like Nordic skiing, consider the Devil’s Thumb Ski, Sip, and Spa day, which includes yoga in its schedule.

Yoga and Ski Retreats in the Region

Just outside of Colorado, though, there are options available. The Yoga Ski Retreat at the Alta Lodge in Alta, Utah, combines both resort and backcountry downhill skiing with five sapta yoga sessions over three days.

Another long-running yoga and ski retreat is the Big Sky Winter Wonderland Yoga and Ski Retreat. This retreat includes not only yoga sessions that are “vigorous but kind” in the words of a testimonial, but also a series of cooking workshops on tea, chocolate, and more. The focus here is on Nordic skiing and vinyasa flow yoga.

Yoga and Ski Retreats on the West Coast

On the west coast, there are a couple of good yoga and ski retreat options available. In California, Alpine Meadows ski resort emphasizes yoga in its 3-day classes for women, with yoga sessions offered each morning.

But perhaps the longest-running yoga and ski retreat takes place in Winthrop, Washington at the Sun Mountain Lodge. Celebrating its 11th year, this Women’s Ski and Yoga Retreat begins each day with yoga, followed by morning and afternoon Nordic ski sessions. In the evening, stretching sessions are included, but most of your time is free for socializing with the other women at the retreat.

European Yoga and Ski Retreats

And if you’re looking for a truly romantic setting for your yoga and ski retreat, consider your European options. There is a highly-rated and long-running retreat at Wengen in the Swiss Alps. This retreat includes both hatha and vinyasa yoga styles.

If you would rather experience the French Alps, you can try the trendily named Eat Pray Ski retreat, offering ISHTA style yoga and a diversity of skiing and snowboarding activities.

If you are looking to experience the combined benefits of yoga and skiing, there are many options available, from a studio in Denver to the Swiss Alps. With the diversity of yoga styles offered and the choice of Nordic or downhill skiing, you can find one that fits you.

Matthew Candelaria is writing on behalf of Gaiam TV.  He received his PhD in English in 2006, and is a lover of words with an insatiable thirst for knowledge and living well.

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