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Snow and sun salutations in the Alps by Maggie O'Sullivan

Posted in HEALTH + WELLBEING By Maggie O' Sullivan

We’ve tried yoga boarding (too wobbly), yoga surfing (too wet) and yoga suspended from the ceiling (too weird): this season, we’re off to the mountains to practice our snow planks.

It might look a bit eccentric but snow yoga actually makes perfect sense. While most of us wouldn’t dream of doing vigorous exercise at home without a few stretches first, we’re happy to hit the slopes without so much as a bend or a flex. A few sun salutations could make the difference between an injury-free day and a trip down the mountain in a blood wagon (been there, done that). And of course, skiing is all about core strength and balance – as is yoga.The particular brand of snow yoga we’ll be signing up for has been devised by Soulla Demetriou of holistic yoga retreat operator Soulshine Retreats. Soulla discovered yoga on an adventure holiday in South American and has since clocked up more than 900 hours of yoga teacher training, launching Soulshine in 2013. The majority of Soulshine’s adventure retreats are in sunny Ibiza and even sunnier Morocco, but two years ago the company introduced an Alpine version which proved so popular that this season there will be 10 snow yoga retreats, beginning on January 3 2016.It’s not all sun salutations and side planks, says Soulla. ‘The retreats combine skiing, snowboarding, yoga and meditation with log fires, hot tubs, massages, saunas, delicious cuisine, hot chocolates, homemade cakes, great company and new friends, all with a backdrop of utterly breathtaking Alpine scenery.’ A typical day, she says, starts with a 60-minute Dynamic Vinyasa Flow class to warm up the muscles and awaken the mind, ready for the slopes. At the end of the day there’s a Yin Yoga session back at the chalet which will help minimise any morning-after aches, plus an evening session incorporating some deeply relaxing Yoga Nidra guided meditations to ensure a good night’s sleep.Accommodation is in a traditional Savoyard chalet, less than 10 minutes’ transfer from the resort of La Rosière, and if we’re still stiff after all that pre- and post yoga, there’s a hot tub and sauna and a 30-minute massage to look forward to. By the looks of things, we’ll be eating like kings, with breakfast, afternoon tea and a four-course dinner all included in the price - so it's just as well calories don’t count at altitude.

A seven-night Soulshine Snow Yoga Adventure costs from £990 per person, excluding flights.

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