For some, the thought of winter is so unbearable it could send chills down their spine in the middle of July. For Whistler ambassador Erin Anderson, there are few things better than hearing the snow crunch under her feet or a steamy yoga practice on a crisp winter night.
what's it like living and teaching yoga in a ski-town like whistler?
I grew up in Winnipeg but have lived in Whistler longer than anywhere else in my life. Living amongst the mountains, lakes and forests fuels me (it’s a nice change from the prairie flats).
As a yoga teacher I get to share the practice with locals, international travellers and even my own family. Whistler swells in the winter with masses of people who love to ski and ride. Skiing and yoga make an incredible combination.
does your yoga practice change when temperatures drop and winter arrives?
I do love longer and hotter practices in the winter. Summer yoga for me is usually outdoors and in winter I love a warm yoga room and settling into a deep and delightful practice. My favourite thing about practicing in the winter is that people seem to be less in a rush to leave the studio. There's more time to connect over a cup of tea. Some of the greatest connections I've made were post sweaty Vinyasa sessions.
do you get a lot of winter sport athletes in your classes? What kinds?
Yes, lots of skiers and snowboarders with knee injuries have found that yoga offers an opportunity for rehabilitation and strengthening. Also, cross-country skiers, much like runners, flock to yoga in the winter to stretch out tight limbs.
do you have any advice for winter athletes in terms of using yoga as training or recovery?
For winter athletes, I highly recommend Power yoga since it generally appeals to their go-get-em nature. Power yoga also builds overall strength, especially in the core. The warm room helps to open up the muscles to create a greater opportunity for relief and release of tension.
Though the winter season is often plagued with moans and groans of dread, there is something really special about the crisp, cool air and dark, quiet nights. I love the thought of tearing up the mountain on my board and then getting cozy in a long, heated Savasana. How does your routine change when winter rolls in?
- headed up to Whistler? Check out Erin's studio White Gold Yoga
- not too hot, not too cold: how to dress for winter runs
- mountain warrior: Warrior pose for snowboarding
- stretch and strengthen après ski: Camel pose for skiers