What do you get when you take the cardio from snowshoeing and team it up with the flexibility of yoga?
It’s called ‘snoga’ and anyone can give it a try right here in Red Deer.
“So people get out on the shoes and have an opportunity just to stretch and open up the body after vigorously doing some shoeing through some trails,” said Instructor Tracey Gall, who teaches the snoga program through Red Deer Colleges Be Fit For Life program.
One activity is moving and activating muscles while the other is just relaxing and softening the muscles after the workout, she said.
The idea to combine the two activities came during a brainstorming session to come up with something to keep people active during our cold and sometimes long winter.
“I don’t think I’ve heard of it anywhere else so I’d like to say Red Deer College and myself have come up with this niche little thing,” she said.
She wants to dispel the myth you need to be super flexible in order to take part in a yoga class and do some snowshoeing.
“You learn how to put some snowshoes on, do a light trail hike and come back and do some light stretching,” she said in describing the essence of snoga. “The spry and the old can come out.”
For those who don’t have a set of snowshoes there’s no worry as they will be provided and it’s not a pair of the bulky, hard to master ones you might recall, she said.
“Now we have the more modernized snowshoe, very simple to use, fairly inexpensive to purchase,” she said. “They’re easy to use and not super heavy to walk around in.”
The basis of snoga is to get active. Before thinking there is a need to be doing some yoga poses in the snow, think again.
The opportunity is there for those who want to try a few poses while wearing the snowshoes, she said but the snowshoeing is done at the Kerry Wood Nature Centre and then participants go inside to handle the yoga portion.
“From there we go on to do some nice activities with the nature centre staff.”
There is a list of benefits from snoga including the social aspect of getting together with other people for about an hour and a half.
“The biggest component is becoming active,” she said. “You’re getting up off the couch, out of your house and you get outside in the fresh air.”