Olympic Gold Medalist Snowboarder Jamie Anderson: How Yoga Trains Her Core and Gives Her That ‘Ninja-Like Edge’
The 24-year-old Olympic gold medal-winning snowboarder reveals how yoga helps her balance on and off the slopes.
YJ: What have you been up to since you won the gold for the U.S. in the inaugural Women’s Slopestyle Event at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia?
Anderson: I have been living and loving life! Practicing a lot of yoga and studying Ayurvedic medicine. I'm currently in New Zealand doing a World Cup and enjoying the beauty of this country.
YJ: Do yoga and meditation play a role in your training?
Anderson: My "training" is pretty mellow … for me, it's more about maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle. I’m definitely incorporating a lot of yoga, and meditation is key. But also just keeping myself positive and happy. I want to be the strongest I can be, mentally, physically, and spiritually. Snowboarding is a ton of impact on the body, so I feel when I'm snowboarding a lot I especially want the counterbalance of yoga. At times, Yin Yoga is very beneficial to help the body restore.
YJ: Which poses make you a better snowboarder?
Anderson: All the balancing poses: Handstand, Headstand, Tree Pose … they’re good for the mind and to strengthen my physical body. It's all about that focus! To train my core, I also like vinyasa to Plank and Chaturanga and just holding long poses. I do breath of fire every day and I know it helps support my strength and immunity on the go.
YJ: How does yoga makes you more dynamic as a snowboarder?
Anderson: It just gives me that ninja-like edge. And I feel strong and flexible, so I'm able to land better and crash better. I definitely try not to crash, but at times it happens, and I know having my yoga practice protects my body a lot!
YJ: How does your yoga practice help you cope with the pressures of being a professional athlete?
Anderson: Snowboarding and life aren’t always a cruise in the park; there are highs and lows and dealing with different elements and weather and nerves and different people and vibrations. Yoga helps me to reset and feel the love that is within all of us, the bliss that we have the power to connect with at any given time. Yoga every day … it's my medicine! And not only the asana, the mindset that yoga helps you achieve. If you’re doing a lot of yoga you should be happy! On and off your mat.
Ahnu YogaSport Tip: BALANCE OUT WITH YIN YOGA
To counterbalance the impact of snowboarding, Anderson helps her body restore with Yin Yoga. Click herefor more on this passive practice.
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