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Yoga for the slopes

Besides the glaring differences in equipment and location, skiing and yoga share many similarities: The need for strength, flexibility and the meditative sensation that people often feel while participating.It was those similarities that motivated yoga teacher Dennis Eagan to develop a yoga workshop designed specifically for skiers. That idea is now a reality that Truckee yoga students will have the opportunity to take part in Sunday, Nov. 21 at the Tahoe Yoga & Wellness Center.”When I started exploring the yoga practice I found that there are a lot of direct links between some of the asana practice that we do and skiing,” he said.Eagan’s three-hour workshop “Where Snow Meets Soul: Meditation in Motion with Dennis Eagan” will demonstrate a number of yoga poses and movements that relate directly to the motions involved in skiing, Eagan said.Combining exercises designed to increase flexibility in the hips and strengthen the legs with a number of poses that build up a skier’s core muscles, Eagan said that his workshop will have benefits for skiers of all abilities.”Hopefully it helps people’s skiing. It helped mine and I was pretty much an expert skier,” he said.Eagan said that experienced skiers who are new to yoga will be able to translate their skills on the hill to the yoga studio, while experienced yoga students should be able to apply what they learn on the mat to the ski hill.”One of the fundamental concepts we work with in yoga is a sense of grounding,” he said. “And that’s applicable to skiing because to make a ski turn you have to weight [your feet] and put pressure on the ground.”Eagan started developing his skier-specific yoga workshop about five years ago when he was working as a ski-mountain-kayak guide in Alaska and had just gotten into teaching yoga. He quickly realized that there was a niche to be filled by combining the disciplines. So shortly after moving to Berkeley, Calif. he started his company Wild Yoga, which specializes in “adventure yoga retreats” to places like the island of Espiritu Santos in Baja, Mexico as well as sports-related yoga workshops.Walter Lightner, the owner of the Tahoe Yoga & Wellness Center, called Eagan’s workshop, “a really big piece [of what they are trying to do] and one that I hope to expand on.” “For one thing, it gives our locals an opportunity to study with highly respected teachers from around the country – someone who’s experienced and has a strong reputation has something to share,” Lightner said.Eagan’s background in outdoor sports also makes him an ideal yoga teacher for students in the Truckee area, Lightner said. “We’re really excited to have Dennis here. His blend of being an outdoor enthusiasts and a yoga teacher is something many people can relate to in this area,” he said.The three-hour workshop gives students time to get more out of the session than a normal class because all of the movements and yoga poses are broken down in-depth, Lightner said. He added that students of all levels will be able to learn something useful to them.Check it out”Where Snow Meets Soul: Meditation in motion with Dennis Eagan” Sunday, Nov. 21 from 12:30 3:30 p.m. Tahoe Yoga & Wellness Center, 10770 Donner Pass Road. $40 in advance or $50 on the day of the workshop. Call 550-8333 or visit http://www.tahoeyoga.com for more information.


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