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Words Tamara Batshon

Yoga’s immense popularity has spawned so many bizarre versions, ranging from karaoke yoga, laughter yoga, beer and yoga, and cats and yoga to silent disco yoga. The yoga craze carries on with what may be the strangest alliance until now, snow. That’s right, freezing weather and snow covered terrain instead of a sweltering indoor studio and floor mats. Any takers? But before you condemn this as yet another short-lived fad, it actually seems like a nice way to exercise and clear your mind while standing on a pristine blanket of white snow. It may also be here to stay…

The Snowga Trend

The inevitable name for this one is snowga, which is a combination of yoga stretches and winter sports, like skiing and snowshoeing. The hashtag #snowga has already surfaced on the social media- sphere, which quickly gained widespread popularity, featuring pictures of people posing in the snow in various yoga positions. While this has yet to pick up in Faraya and other Lebanese ski resorts, it has already become a popular trend in the United States. In Bozeman, Montana yoga and snowshoeing have become a regular activity. First, the participants trek to a spot; then, they do a warm up followed by 30 minutes of yoga. Finally, they snowshoe the remainder of the way back. Last year at the Windham Mountain Resort in the Catskills Mountains in New York, yoga movements were also incorporated into snowshoeing.

Skiing and Yoga

Skiers also apply elements of yoga to improve their skills on the snow tracks. One example is skiers at Mohawk Mountain in Connecticut who find the long breathing exercises as useful as a calming mechanism. They also practice yoga poses that challenge balance and strengthen the muscles beforehand, such as the Eagle and the Chair, which apparently help in obtaining a better downhill posture and in strengthening the overall ski performance.

Making The Best Out Of The Experience

Fans of snowga claim that it’s more challenging than doing standard in-studio moves. Overall, it is more interactive than a traditional yoga class, and it is just simply more fun to do it. Of course, Snowga does have its limitations, like getting stuck in the snow or getting a face full of freeze when attempting any sort of balance, but, over- all, it is just another opportunity to practice yoga, and it can be pretty lively when done as a group – think of all the laughs!

Who knew that practicing yoga outside – in what seems as less than ideal conditions is now becoming a highly sought winter activity?