We’ve joked about snowga before; it’s been such a snowy winter, what else are we to do? But the snowga is real. For the uninitiated, or living in warmer climes, snowga = yoga + snow. Because neither rain nor snow nor heat nor gloom of night stay these yogis from the swift completion of their appointed rounds of sun salutations.
The New York Times, ever on the pulse of yoga (even when it’s frozen), reports:
In Bozeman, Mont., this winter, a company called Flow Outside began a twice-weekly class in which participants snowshoe to their destination as a warm-up, do about a half-hour of yoga, and then snowshoe home. Stowe Mountain Lodge in Vermont offers snowga (calling it Stowega) with both skiing and snowshoeing. And at Finger Lakes Yoga Escapes in Canandaigua, N.Y., an owner, Jennifer Hess, said snowga (her version is with snowshoes) has been such a success that she plans to introduce a class at night, with headlamps.
They even got the elusive Editor-in-Chief of Yoga Journal to comment on the phenomenon of yogis doing yoga in the snow…ga.
“People who are passionate about practicing yoga want to do it everywhere — they’ll tell you yoga goes with everything,” she said. (Yoga Journal Live classes tend to be in warmer months, but if an opportunity arose to offer snowga, “we probably would,” she said.)
Snowga does have its limits – yes, besides being really cold – like getting stuck in the snow or getting a face full of freeze when attempting any sort of arm balance, but, overall, it’s just another opportunity to practice, and for people who like snow, it’s pretty fun.
“Class outside is more playful and people interact a bit more than when you’re on your own mat,” said a daring snowga first-timer. “Falling is kind of less dramatic and probably more fun.”
It’s also really great for folks who participate in snowy sports like skiing. Talk about tight hip flexors and compromised knee joints. Plus the ski poles double as handy yoga props. Olympic champion slopestyle snowboarders Jamie Anderson and Sage Kotsenburg know what’s up.
It’s cold out there, but we can see the draw. If you’ve ever laid down in the snow, you’d agree that snowga savasana would be especially lovely and peaceful. Sign us up for snowga restorative. We’ll build the snowlsters! (snow bolsters)
Stay warm everyone. And the next time you encounter a snowman doing yoga, just know it very well may be a snowgi.