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Yoga of Skiing

I just got back from Vermont a few hours ago. I really love skiing. The activity is very much like yoga and, I would say, life itself.  The reality of this trip proved to be somewhat different from my expectations and anticipations based on the last experience.

The last year’s trip was great. The weather was amazing with plenty of sun-shine and powdery trails. My boy-friend and I even skied together (it took me a few years to catch up to his level). I booked the trip with the exact same expectations.

I woke up with high expectations to a really cold and rainy Monday morning to start the week in Vermont. My newly rented gear made me feel extremely uncomfortable and my old skiing outfit did not feel right either. I was sitting on the lift chair cold, uncomfortable and scared. I could not ski – my fear was overpowering my mind, paralyzing my body.  I was disappointed with myself. The self-doubts like a haunted ghost covered every cell of my being…

Thankfully, I did not give up. I took a break to practice simple breathing, allowing my body to relax and my brain to let go. I skied for a few more hours and I started to feel better already.  I felt pretty confident towards the end of the day, ready to rock the day after!  I woke up super early, did my special “skiing yoga” practice and registered for a lesson. After a few hours, I felt like I was ready to do more. My boy-friend and I took the lift towards the longer and more difficult trail together.  I was determined to do well.  Even thought, we normally don’t ski together, I was sill on the mission to re-create our last year’s experience. Again, I kissed the ground right off the first lift on the completely flat slope. After about ten minute struggle, I’ve managed to get up and ski, the fear came back.  I asked my boy-fiend not to wait for me…and I was all by myself, scared, body can’t move. Ah…what’s wrong with me?  I was so afraid to fall and to get lost. This is precisely what happened – I felt again on the flat terrain and got lost. After about three hours of skiing, I finally found a trail to take me back to the base, but it was seemingly an extremely difficult super steep trail. It took me some time to get back down, but I skied and I try to only focus a few feet ahead of me.

I was still disappointed. I was competing with my boy-friend. Honestly, I was even jealous and angry. I do so much: yoga, dance, run and I should do better!

Finally, on Wednesday, I woke up super early. I was so exited and still a bit nervous but the fear was gone.

I did a long yoga practice. I visualized myself skiing. I practice my parallel turns in Utkatasana, being in the heart and not the mind during my meditation. I did my pranayama with the focus on my heart beat.

I mapped out the trails from the top of the mountain to the base and hit the slope.  I had the best time. There was no effort in the muscles, no tension, and no fear! I skied for hours. I saw the most beautiful panoramic views of the Okemo Mountain. I was really in the moment, present to every breath, my body, the quietness and greatness of the mountains and the snowflakes dancing to the rhythm of the heart beat of the universe. The conditions were still not as great as last year, but I adjusted. After all, it was this year.

It was another great life lesion for me.  I would defiantly fall when I think of falling. I would not move forward when I doubt myself and I have no faith.

I have no control over the environment around me, but I have control over my emotions and thoughts. I can choose to ski through the slopes of life with joy and fall with a smile on my face, get up and continue or I can crawl down and feel pity about myself.  I can compete with others and be jealous or focus on my own path.

Skiing is a dance just like yoga and life – we can find our own rhythm and dance with it, be happy, grateful and have faith in what we are meant to do. Trust yourself and the universe will help you in all your endeavors.

What’s your skiing story?

This entry was posted on Thursday, March 3rd, 2011 at 2:30 pm and is filed under Advanture, Ski, Yoga. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One Response to “Yoga of Skiing”

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