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2014 Olympic Games: Where and When to Watch

Opening ceremonies for the 2014 Olympics are on Friday, February 7th, but the games officially begin tonight, on the 6th, and run all the way through the 23rd. Are you ready? (Olympic freestyle mogul skier Heather McPhie is!)

2014 Winter Olympic Games - Season 2014

In the U.S., NBC is the official broadcaster of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. (They were also the network to watch for the 2012 Summer Games and will be the host all the way through 2020, thanks to an almost $4.4 billion contract.) NBC will offer live and tape-delayed coverage of events on television via NBC, MSNBC, NBC Sports, CNBC, and its other channels. The network will also stream all events online and via the NBC Sports Live Extra app. All of this means that you are in for a lot of sports!


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Use Yoga to Reduce Aches and Pains after Snow Skiing

If someone told you how much their body ached after a day of skiing, you’d probably never want to click into a pair of bindings and hit the slopes. Do not fret. Pain and agony are not the only words you need to describe the first day of your ski vacation. With a little bit of preparation and maintenance, freedom from post-ski day soreness can be yours.

The following are a few yoga-inspired tips and techniques that will help sharpen your fitness edge and get your body tuned up for some downhill fun.

Just say no to quivering quads

At least six weeks before a ski vacation, take every opportunity you can to strengthen your quadriceps. Perform wall sits, yoga chair pose, warrior lunges, and horse stance squats as often as you can, intermittently throughout the day. There is no need to try and fit a full yoga class into your already busy schedule. A little bit of time spent here and there will suffice. Just be sure and do it, or you will suffer the consequences of tired legs too early in the ski day.
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Try Snowga for a Breath of Fresh Air

Many people will be hitting the ski slopes over President’s Day weekend, and lift lines will continue to grow through spring break and beyond. The air may be thin at the top of the lift but that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to breathe. In fact, Anne Anderson, a certified ski instructor from Mohawk Mountain in Connecticut, takes advantage of the fresh mountain air by teaching her skiers breathing and meditation practices as part of her lesson plan.

Snowga, a combination of the two words ‘snow’ and ‘yoga’ is the latest hybrid yoga class to hit the slopes. A blend of yoga and skiing, Snowga helps to improve your downhill skiing skills by incorporating yoga poses, breath work, and meditation. Created by Anderson, Snowga also helps skiers face their fears of the mountain and stay calm and relaxed on difficult terrain. “Yoga has a natural benefit of healing. It calms the mind and body and is a true compliment to snow sports education,” Anderson told Fox News in a recent interview.

Anderson is not the only skier who practices yoga on and off the slopes. U.S. Ski Team freestyle mogul skier Heather McPhie adds a little yoga to the days she skis. “It is so helpful in keeping my body more physically prepared and is a wonderful pause in my day where I get away from everything else and just center,” McPhie also explained in her interview with Fox News.


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Yoga Hip Openers for Winter Athletes

After a full day of snowboarding, skiing or snowshoeing the muscles of the hips can shorten and tighten. Flexible, open hips are a must for winter athletes. Without them performance may decrease while the risk of injury increases.

The following hip opening yoga poses are a must for keeping the lower body healthy and limber.

Warrior I and Crescent Lunge for the Hip Flexors

The psoas muscles, located along the front crease of the hips, are the powerful muscles that give winter athletes control, stability and strength. When they are tight, the low back suffers and as a result, injury can occur.

Yoga poses that stretch the psoas muscles are warrior one and crescent lunge. Similar to a runner’s lunge, these poses extend the front of the hip, giving those mighty hip flexors a dose of elasticity. For best results, be sure to tuck your tailbone under slightly.


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Pre-season Yoga for Skiers

There is nothing worse than spending the rest of your glorious ski vacation in bed because your legs are too sore to do anything else. You want to keep skiing, to do a little shopping or go out dancing after a day on the slopes, but that is just not going to happen if you are out of shape. The black diamond advanced moguls, blue intermediate groomed runs or green beginner bunny slopes will get the best of you if you do not prepare ahead of time.

Whether you are a hot shot on the hill or you just want to look hot in your brand new ski outfit, the following yoga pose and its equivalent rating of intensity will help keep you on your feet.


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