What sort of holiday do you love best? Yoga retreat? Summer Sun? City Break? For a winter trip you can’t beat skiing or snowboarding and you can even find a connection to mindfulness while you’re doing it.
Skiing. It’s my real life! For that one week of the year I feel that I’m so alive and that’s what keeps me re-booking that holiday, even though those pennies should really be going into the mortgage. And it’s the reason I endure British camping holidays to entertain the kids in the summer. Yep, so all the holiday fund can go towards one week of skiing.
Why is it so good? For people who don’t love the white stuff it can seem like a bit of a mystery. Well there are tons of reasons why I think it’s great. Just the thought of sitting on a ski lift on a blue sky day, breathing in that fresh alpine air and soaking up the sight of the pine trees covered with snow fills my heart with joy. Then there’s the snow. Building proper snowmen. Sliding about in snow boots. Chucking snowballs at kids. And of course the Chocolate Rum. Not to mention the childcare and meals all cooked. Ice skating in the evenings. Warming up in the sauna. I quite like the skiing too and I met my husband on a skiing expedition, so there’s this shared love and happy memories. And surely most people realise it’s fun to be outdoors and do something physical so you can eat lots of frites and mayo without guilt.
The Mindfulness Connection
But none of that’s the really big deal. There is something even more amazing that keeps me coming back and last year I think I worked out what it is. And guess what? It’s to do with yoga. One of the things we go for in yoga is a sense of being here and now. The idea that if you can fix yourself in that present moment you will be truly alive because that is the only place that we truly exist.
Most of the year, I practice yoga to get there. And it’s a slow old journey. For me anyway, it takes a whole lot of persistence and patience to still my mind and let go. But with skiing, BAM, I’m right in that moment. It’s a like a super-fast highway into the present. Because if I take my mind off what I’m doing, even for a millisecond, as I hurtle down a slope, it’s all going to go wrong. It forces me instantly and unequivocally into that space that we’re questing after with the yoga. And it feels so good.
Perhaps this is especially true for me because I’m not a brilliant skier. At least once in the week that I am so looking forward to I know I’ll be standing on a particularly steep slope, or possibly have just fallen down it and I’ll get the fear. I’ll refuse to soldier. And I’ll hate it. Crikey, last year, I chose a perfectly empty, smooth white slope to ski right into my husband wiping us both out and breaking my binding into the bargain. And it was all caught on one of those silly little camera things my friend was wearing on his helmet! That kept everyone amused that evening 😉 I didn’t keep a copy of the video so I can’t share that with you. Sorry about that!
And Yoga of Course!
Of course, if you’re like me, your legs are going to hurt by about day 2, so you’re going to need some yoga too. Last year I met and converted a few guests in our chalet to MFML as they joined me in my après ski stretch outs. This year, it’s even better because Lucy Mcarthy together with Olympic Skier Anais Caradeux have made us 6 yoga videos especially to prepare for and unwind from a day on the slopes.
Now, I’ve only got 2 weeks until my holiday, so I’m off to finish up my packing!
This post was written by friend of Movement For Modern Life, Edith Johnson.