Jamie Anderson, Olympic Snowboarder, Explains Why Yoga Is Her Favorite Form of Cross-Training
The mainstream sports world met Jamie Anderson in 2014 when she won the very first Olympic gold in snowboard slopestyle, but Jamie's success goes back much further than that. Before slopestyle even made it to the Olympics, Jamie had medaled in over 70 contests and tours in both of her events, slopestyle and big air, including 11 Winter X Games podium placements. She won her first ESPY for female action sports athlete in 2012 and has reclaimed it twice more so far. She's one of the most successful snowboarders in the world and is looking to stay that way for a while. In 2016, she successfully defended her slopestyle Olympic title and added a silver medal in big air, and on Jan. 25, she nabbed yet another slopestyle gold at X Games Aspen 2020, where she also screened her 2019 film Jamie Anderson Unconditional.
We sat down with Jamie before the X Games to find out how this enormously successful athlete keeps her body in top shape for demanding competitions all Winter long. In addition to putting in work on the slopes and at the gym, Jamie revealed that the daily workout she relies on the most, for both physical and mental well-being, is yoga.
Jamie Anderson's Fitness Routine: Yoga and the Gym
Jamie tries to do some yoga every day, she told POPSUGAR. "Maybe I'm not doing like a full hour session, but just like a little meditation and some stretching and gentle movements," she said. When she does feel up to more intense moves, she likes inversions and some of the tough balancing postures, like dancer pose or handstand. She loves yoga for its accessibility — "I can do it anywhere" — and for its effect on her mental health as well as physical. "I know that when I'm practicing yoga regularly, I just feel a lot more grounded. I eat better and everything kind of falls into place."
Though yoga is her cross-training of choice, Jamie also does gym workouts, with moves like push-ups and single-leg squats done in quick circuits along with mobility moves. "When I begin my season, I'm not that crazy about working out," she said. "Making sure I'm stretching and recovering is essential."
Jamie also does Pranayama breathing exercises such as breath of fire, techniques that she says work with her nervous system and help her to control her heart rate. When it comes to dealing with the pressure and nerves of big competitions, the benefits of calming breath practices are major.
How Jamie Takes Care of Her Mental Health
Jamie said that, in terms of what they demand physically and mentally, yoga and snowboarding are "polar opposites." She thinks that's why they pair up so effectively for her. Her snowboarding competitions are all adrenaline and high-flying tricks, while yoga, she explained, is "a way to reflect and unwind and even visualize and manifest the things I want, the tricks that I want to do."
Her sport is draining in other ways as well. Being an athlete, "you end up dedicating your whole life to traveling," Jamie told POPSUGAR. "It can be hard on your relationships and friendships. Not seeing your family as much is certainly a big sacrifice." Her 2019 Fall season was so busy and left her feeling so "burnt out" that Jamie made the decision to skip a competition and "just take care of myself." In action sports especially, she said it's crucial to listen to your intuition and your body's needs. "There's a lot of risk, and you want to be as on point as possible," she explained.
And at the end of the day, Jamie tries to remind herself that she's thankful to be living out her dream. "I try to live in the moment and have fun," she said. "I just remember that I'm really grateful to have the opportunities, and I want to live it up to the fullest."