The rise of snowga: How to try the coolest new yoga trend
Over the last decade, the rise of yoga-inspired ventures has monopolised a large sector of the exercise market. From doga (yes that’s right, bend in the downward facing dog, clutching your Yorkshire terrier, while the doberman sits curled around your feet), to stiletto yoga, which aims to make those five inch heels feel as comfy as trainers.
But Sweaty Betty’s rising yoga trend of choice is outdoor yoga. Arching in a King Pigeon in Clermont La Grausse? Striking Tree Pose on Greece’s Silver Island? Balancing on paddleboards in the Philippines? Count us in. How about yoga in snowy white landscapes, like the iconic location of Sweaty Betty’s winter shoot location Flims, Switzerland? Winter is no obstacle to the dedicated yogi, and combining ski with yoga is a great way to feel grounded during the colder months. Here we explain why you should consider a snowga holiday, and which snowga destinations to put on your radar.
Originally coined by ski instructor and yoga teacher Anne Anderson in a mountain resort in Connecticut, snowga has snowballed in popularity. Initially developed to combat the fears of skiing and boarding by breathing and calming the mind, it evolved into numerous variations including snowshoe-based snowga and fusion retreats combining mountain treks with frequent pauses for asanas and meditation. In all forms of snowga, the natural environment plays an important role. Concentrating on the white and the light, with poses selected to mimic the trees and the landscape.
As well as connecting you with our surroundings, snowga has many functional benefits and can drastically improve performance and confidence during skiing. For instance, Chair Pose has helped skiiers to master the racing tuck. Meanwhile, many of the poses focus on weight distribution to enhance proprioception and body awareness on the slopes. Instead of blocks and straps, snowga classes also use ski poles and snowshoes as props in the practice, supporting balance and increasing select stretches.
Where to try snowga
Resorts all over the world are supporting and promoting the new snowga trend. In the US, Mohawk Mountain ski resort in Connecticut offers yoga to improve performance on your skis or snowboard. In FLOW Outside in Bozeman, Montana, snowshoeing is popular with locals and visitors alike, who increasingly join expeditions including yoga stop offs in the most scenic stretches of the trek. The resort aims to provide “playful excursions”, which encourage participants to have fun and connect with each other. Finger Lakes Yoga Escapes in Canandaigua, New York has received such successful feedback that they’ve recently added an evening snowga class with headlamps to heighten the chilly hybrid experience. And one of Europe’s leading snowga resorts is Mayrhofen, Austria, where they go the extra mile with a yoga-inspired dance class in the snow, combining Balearic disco with panoramic views.
What to wear for snowga
We’ve hand-picked our cosiest yoga layers to keep the cold at bay during snowga practice. From butter-soft base layers to flattering sweat pants and stand-out thermal accessories, these winter yoga staples will transform your next snowga holiday, or make your first snowga experience even more remarkable.