Snowga quickly comes of age

Yoga may have 5,000-year-old roots, but snowga? Maybe not even 100 weeks’ worth.

We noted a story about snowga — and an accompanying website — right at the beginning of the year. Now, the New York Times — one good arbiter or all things trendy and haute — has leaped with both feet into the mound of snow:

It seemed as if yoga should have exhausted its opportunities for expansion by now, considering it has already made such unlikely alliances as marijuana, dogs, karaoke and stand-up paddleboards. But the yoga creep carries on with what may be the practice’s strangest bedfellow yet: snow.

This latest incarnation of yoga is called, inevitably, snowga, and it’s done outside in freezing temperatures, that archenemy of stretching, often as a mash-up with snow sports like skiing and snowshoeing.


There’s also a popular hashtag, #snowga, with yogis posting pictures of themselves holding poses in the snow, occasionally with ad hoc props, like snow shovels. The hashtag took off a couple of years ago, after two of yoga’s Instagram stars — Laura Kasperzak (one million followers) and her high school friend Masumi Goldman (125,000 followers) — began using it.

Laurie Riedman, who regularly skis, snowshoes and practices yoga (but never all together), said she was surprised by how good a combination snowga was when she tried it recently in Canandaigua.

“Yoga and cold just sounds like an oxymoron,” said Ms. Riedman, a public relations consultant. “But I got hot. There were some parts where I had to open up my coat and take my gloves off. We were really working out.”

Carin Gorrell, editor in chief of Yoga Journal, said this latest version of yoga was almost predictable, especially because outdoor hybrid classes like yoga and hiking or yoga and stand-up paddleboarding are always the first to sell out at the magazine’s events.

I have to say, it all feels like it’s designed to be shared via Instagram. Here’s how the Times piece ends:

But the more challenging the pose, the more likely it is to end up, done by yogis in carefully chosen camera-ready clothes, posted with the snowga hashtag on Instagram.

Ms. Kasperzak, who documents her yoga practice daily, said, “It’s how yogis play in the snow.”

How yogis play in the snow — to get all high-horsey about it — isn’t the same as yoga. But I suppose it has its place.

Posted by Steve

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Two Ashtangis write about their practice and their teachers.

One thought on “Snowga quickly comes of age”

  1. oh it’s the the North we don’t always have choice…bringing it outside in minus 20 is sometimes better than the vitamin D deficit house month after month…sorry, but we need to practice too

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