Yoga and the search for harmony
While its recent rise in popularity was initially seen as a fad, yoga has proven to be an authentic, long- term practice for countless people. This discipline has also enjoyed a widespread boom because it offers real physical and psychological benefits in the daily lives of those who have continued with it. While on holiday in the mountains, far from your regular routine, if you really want to take a break from it all then we recommend keeping up with your yoga classes! They may be part of your normal day-to- day life, but will take place in a far different setting and with a set of new objectives.
A BLEND OF SKIING AND YOGA
Regular yoga sessions before your trip, with fluid, dynamic movements, can have great effects on your muscle chains to energize and oxygenate them while also boosting endurance, recovery, and flexibility. However, “when on holiday, yoga is also highly effective for aches, pains and other issues linked to intense days on the slopes. It is a chance to slow the pace of your day and foster actual rest,” says Magali Salles, a certified teacher of Prana Vinyasa yoga and parent-child yoga in Méribel. Anita Thévenot, Hatha yoga teacher in the Vallée des Belleville, says that “yoga helps skiers prepare before they set off for the slopes. In physical terms, it warms up and stretches the muscles. The positions are adapted to skiing with a focus on the quadriceps, the pelvis, and the shoulders. In psychological terms, a selection of breathing exercises (called Pranayamas) enable skiers to start their days with a clear mind, stay focused for longer, and be more attentive to their surroundings.”
“Pranayamas enable you to start your day with a clear mind, stay focused for longer, and be more attentive to your surroundings.”
HIGH UP IN THE MOUNTAINS…
As well as the advantages targeted specifically at skiing, yoga provides a number of other benefits in the mountains. “Practicing outdoors is really what changes everything,” says Anita. “You breathe pure air, not like in sweaty gyms, and your airways are completely clear. There is also a different concept of the space in which you can move, and a feeling of harmony with nature.” Loréleï Rodrigo, from the Manalaya yoga school, goes even further in her approach to alpine yoga, considering the mountains to perhaps be a symbol of spiritual elevation. “As yoga is profoundly integrated into the environment, the place you practice can naturally make it a truly singular experience! As the biggest challenge of our time is trying to ensure our daily lives are in line with deep-rooted human and environmental values, the mountains offer an exceptionally powerful setting for changing and redefining our mindset. This is because they are so present, so solid, as if eternally immovable, and their particular temporality offers a far wider dimension in terms of space and time.”
“Perhaps the mountains are a symbol of spiritual elevation?”
ONE FOR ALL, AND ALL FOR YOGA
There are as many types of yoga as there are people who practice it, and the teachers in Les 3 Vallées have fully understood this dynamic, adapting each of their classes to their students. “I offer a type of yoga that totally respects differences,” says Loréleï. “These differences are immediately perceivable in the bodies and breathing of my students. By adapting to the vibrations of others, I strive to create unison, fluidity, and ease in the practice of yoga.” Some students are first-timers, and others are looking to improve technically or to untangle the mysteries of the self. Wherever it is practiced, yoga seeks to reveal personal potential by respecting the most precious teachings the leading yogis have passed down – the joy of the continuous breath of life present within us all…
“When you arrive at the top of a mountain, keep climbing.” Tibetan proverb
5 calming experiences in Les 3 Vallées
Take a little time for yourself, to get in touch with your emotions, your body and nature.