Skiing & Yoga: Putting Downward Dog in your Downhill
Skiing has an uncanny ability to awaken muscles you’d forgotten existed. Even people in superb physical shape can find themselves hobbling for the nearest jacuzzi and hot toddy after a day on the slopes. Advil used to be my best friend on a ski day, particularly early in the season when the joints were still creaking back to life. But lately I’ve been enjoying long ski days without any aches or pains, and since I’m not aging in reverse I attribute this new stamina to the power vinyasa yoga I’ve been practicing several times a week for the past 12 months.
Yoga strengthens all of the essential skiing muscles – hamstrings, quads, hip flexors, glutes, lower back and core. It’s not surprising that winter athletes like gold medalist ski jumper Lindsey Van and Olympic freestyle skier Emily Cook incorporate yoga into their training. Yoga not only prepares the body for skiing and other agility sports, it also helps to reduce injuries and minimize recovery time.
But the correlation between yoga and skiing is not limited to flexibility and physical conditioning. Both sports revolve around mindfulness, focus, balance, body alignment, gravity, breath control, movement, and flow. Yoga teaches athletes to listen to their bodies and respect their limits, an important philosophy that extends to the mountain. And yoga and skiing deliver powerful spiritual benefits through a combination of physical exertion, mental clarity, and a restorative connection with the outdoors.
If you’re in Park City come out of the cold and take a challenging heated Bikram or Power Vinyasa class at Tadasana. The owner, Gwen Fellin and her talented team of instructors will help you tone, center and detoxify in ways you never dreamed possible. And as you’re sweating through 10 rounds of Utkatasana Chair Pose, picture yourself gracefully floating though fresh powder on a bluebird day. Your quads may burn but your soul will smile.
Sundance Film Festival Style
Puffer coats, furry duck boots, press badges, and cell phones. The Sundance Film Festival is back in town and the people-watching is as entertaining as the indie films. At Sundance premieres you’re more likely to find denim and down than sequins and silk. Celebrities blend right in with other film goers because everyone in Park City is wearing some variation on the same uniform: cozy mountain chic.
I saw three dramedy (I’m told that this is in fact a word) screenings this week and caught a glimpse of Rashida Jones, Chris Rock, Emma Roberts, Alison Brie, Elijah Wood, and Andy Samberg all bundled in cool ski town attire.
A few trendsetters at Polyvore have really nailed this winter-ready look. Click on the sets below to shop for Sundance inspired fashion.
Destination Dining: High West in Park City
Places tend to be more interesting when they’re unexpected and out of the ordinary and a whiskey distillery-restaurant in Utah is a definite departure from the norm. Located in Old Town Park City, High West Distillery & Saloon is Utah’s first legal distillery since 1870. If you’re skiing at Park City Mountain you can ski right into High West for drinks or lunch. I usually bring out-of-town guests for dinner because it’s a unique dining experience that they won’t find elsewhere.
Housed in a renovated century-old livery stable and an adjoining Victorian mining-era home, High West’s location is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. While you’re waiting for your table – and if you haven’t made a reservation you will probably have to wait – you can admire their 250-gallon copper pot still and learn about the distillation process. Or take a moment to browse in their gift shop for masculine hand-blown sipping glasses and interesting collectables. Their artistic bottles are beautiful and I always save them after the liquid is gone.
Unique whiskies and creative cocktails have earned High West multiple awards but if you don’t drink you will still enjoy the food. Last week I devoured one of their “small plate” specials – Whiskey Cider Braised Short Rib and polished off a quarter of my husband’s Gruyere Mac n’ Cheese while he was distracted by a Dead Man’s Boots cocktail (High West Rendezvous Rye, tequila and ginger beer with fresh lime). We had a large group from Texas with us that night and our table service was a bit slow, so if you go there during peak season try to bring your patience along with your appetite. It’s worth the wait!
I don’t usually take my kids to High West but the restaurant does not discourage children. Children are not allowed in the bar area but in the dining room they’ll have their own menu featuring petite steak and Buckaroo Mocktails.