A snowshoe through the woods at Great Glen Trails. (Great Glen Trails)
This winter across the country, resorts and inns are offering retreats that combine yoga with cross country skiing and snowshoeing. These activities go hand-in-hand as they encourage and build an intimate relationship between mind, body, and spirit.
The fluidity and rhythm of cross country skiing and/or snowshoeing are indeed yoga-like, and yoga is known for enhancing balance and strength using “micro-muscles” and that makes it a perfect match, which can also add a spiritual aspect.
Maplelag Resort in Callaway, Minnesota has the Ski & Be Yoga Retreat, which includes getting outdoors in nature for cross country skiing and snowshoeing, healthy meals, and massage, Feb 3-6, 2017. The program at Maplelag is run and organized by Melissa Joy Schoeller whose activities are for “an active day in the fresh outdoors with time and space to rest and renew mind, body, and spirit.”
The Cross Country Ski Headquarters in Roscommon, Michigan has the Stretch & Slide Yoga Ski Retreat, Jan. 21 where they start with yoga to establish self-awareness with body and breath, so that awareness carries over into the skiing. Many people who participate in Stretch and Slide are new to skiing, so beginning with yoga gets people feeling embodied and in touch with themselves right off the bat, which helps them learn Nordic skiing technique with more ease and enjoyment. Being more in tune with one's body and breath also helps foster an awareness of the present moment, which enables one to truly experience and savor the beauty of nature when skiing or snowshoeing outdoors.
Jan. 14, 2017, at Great Glen Trail Outdoor Center in Gorham, New Hampshire, the Women’s Winter Escape program activities emphasize ski clinics for classic and skate techniques, beginner through advanced, but there is also pre- and post-activity stretching, snowshoeing, yoga, snow tubing, lunch, and an après ski wine and cheese with discounted shopping in the Great Glen Outfitter Shop. This program is limited to 20 participants, ensuring a low student to instructor ratio for personalized attention and instruction during clinics. Participants can change groups during the day - for example, to go snowshoeing led by a naturalist and later in the afternoon can rejuvenate with a yoga session. On the following day, Great Glen hosts an equipment demo, with products from ski and snowshoe suppliers available to take out and test on the trails. Participants in Saturday’s Women’s Winter Escape will receive a free trail pass for Sunday, giving access to the demo with no extra charge.
The Adventure Center at Waterville Valley, New Hampshire in the southern White Mountains has the Women's Clinic Saturday, Jan. 14, 2017, with XC ski instruction, equipment demo, waxing clinic, yoga, massage, and lunch included. The program is organized at the Adventure Center and if it is cold, the indoor yoga class will help as a warm up before the outdoor part of the program.
In the Rockies, the Ski, Sip & Spa Day is at Devils Thumb Ranch Resort in Tabernash, Colorado Saturday, Feb 12, 2017, including XC ski lessons, lunch, yoga, hot tub, sauna, and wine and cheese. Massage or facial services are available at special rates to program participants.
The Women's Ski Weekend at Izaak Walton Inn in Essex, Montana on the Amtrak line is scheduled for Jan 21-22, 2017, and it includes one night accommodations, skate skiing instruction, two yoga sessions, a 30-minute massage, and a buffet dinner. Brenda Winkler will help you learn new or refine ski skills and develop your yoga practice that will complement your skiing. The event allows for more relaxation time so you will feel refreshed, recharged and ready to explore your new skills when you return home.
In the western U.S., Sun Mountain Lodge in Winthrop, Washington in the Methow Valley has the Women's Adventure Camp Feb. 26-28, 2017, coordinated by Cascade Endurance with Nordic skiing, yoga, breakfast and lunch, ski sessions, wine/hors d'oeuvres reception, and relaxation.
Check with the ski resorts for program prices, details, and registration.