Skiing Like Yoga

Davida /March 2024

Kissing the slopes, Aspen Highlands

I had a great opportunity this winter to take my yoga off the mat and onto the ski slope. I joined my husband, two sons and some friends, who I used to ski with regularly more than 25 years ago, for my first time in Aspen. While we all skied together, I had the best experience with myself. 

I love moving my body! As I celebrate another birthday, instead of cursing the aches and stiffness that comes with age, I’ve been celebrating my vessel here on earth. It has served me well and that weekend, I felt great! 

One reason,  I chose to focus on what felt good, subscribing to the “non-tooth ache” taught by Buddhist monk, Thich Nat Hahn. It’s the idea that we don’t appreciate being pain free until we aren’t. What was great about my time skiing is that I had no major hurts or weaknesses that got in the way of swooshing aggressively down the mountain. Hallelujah!

I cherished the ability to rhythmically groove through moguls and trees.  Especially, since I was following a group of advance male skiers. Talk about a Black Unicorn? That was me! The brown girl bouncing down the slope behind these white guys (and my sons and husband). Sometimes, I even took the lead. It was just like back in the day. I was thrilled and cheered to myself, “I still got it!”

In addition to feeling athletic, I had a mindful skiing experience.  I took many moments to pause and connect to my surrounding, appreciating being on a high mountain slope among the snow covered trees, gazing across the valley. It blows my mind to stand in a spot so remote you can only reach it by skis. 

Thanks to my yoga practice, I tuned into my thoughts and feelings in the moment. I noticed that when I got sloppy, it was my brain sabotaging my body by thinking the run was too icy or tricky. When the noisy roommate in my head won, my body would clumsily scrape down the hill. Then I’d say to myself, “What’s up Davida? You can ski this!” When I trusted my body, I got down the slope more gracefully. 

On the second day with the sun shining, the snow soft, and clear sight  down the slope, I wore the confidence of many years of skiing. I ate those runs up (as my daughter would say). But it didn’t take much for my doubtful brain to chime in sometimes, and cause me to make mistakes, and end on my butt.  With gratitude in my heart for being able to fall without issue, I got back up and coaxed myself on. One good thing about the ego, it wasn’t going to let me be left behind by the group. 

According to Yoga Sutra 1.48 translation: “As you progress in your meditation, you become spontaneous and quick to distinguish right from wrong and good from bad. Your judgment becomes sharper, and your decisions are free from doubt. As a result, you gain confidence in yourself, which strengthens your power of will and determination.”   

This sutra emphasizes that consistent practice (such as mindfulness and meditation) leads to clarity of mind. As doubt diminishes, confidence naturally arises. Trust in your inner wisdom grows, allowing you to make decisions with conviction.

It was a great mindful ski experience where I appreciated and expanded with each thoughtful turn. Whether it’s skiing or running or some other activity, try bringing your yoga practice into the mix and see what you notice.


Lahr brothers with the Galvins

A really fun person!

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