Jamie Anderson chats Yoga, Motivation & Girl Power

Jamie Anderson playing her Ukulele at the GoPro Athletes Camp in LaaxJamie Anderson is not only the first Olympic slopestyle gold medalist of all times (and one of the world’s best snowboarders), she’s also one of the most chilled out people I’ve ever met.

Softly plucking the ukulele she brought all the way over the pond to the GoPro Athletes Camp in Laax, where I interviewed here for coolerlifestyle.com, she told me why she seems to be brimming with good vibes everywhere she goes and how she nailed the first ever female cab 1080 at the Nine Queens event earlier this year.

Huuuuge congratulations on the your first ever Front 10 and Cab 10 at the Nine Queens this year!
Aww thank you! Oh my gosh you were right there and I got to unwind with you! I was so high on energy, I still can’t believe it. That’s the coolness of sports and energy, you really get to tap into a part of yourself that you may not even know you’re capable of and that was kinda that experience. Being around so many positive women, being so inspired by each other. There wasn’t a lot of pressure or stress, it was more about “each to your own”, do what you want to do for your heart, for yourself.
And I never thought I’d do that trick and then all of a sudden it crossed my mind. I was riding with the boys so much last year and they had mentioned it, “you can do a 10 – easy!”. And just like someone saying that one thing can really make a positive influence in your life and that’s why I think it’s really important to be mindful about what you say to anyone around you because words are huge.
So, you know, it’s believing in yourself and having that encouragement and I was SO stoked, I was so happy I did it.

Are you super proud of yourself too?
I’m so proud of myself, I feel like I can give myself a little pat on the back because that took a lot of strength and courage and I didn’t necessarily have to do it, it was more a personal goal and there is a lot of outside pressure because I think everyone knows that I can do more and that I am talented and I think they get sick of me winning or doing well not trying, so I think everyone’s happy to see me work.

But that (the winning without trying) is not even your fault! You’ve got your tricks locked down, you stomp them like I’m normally used to seeing from guys. How do you do that?
Hmmm I do it…. pff….the power of repetitive thinking and doing. One thing is to think about the run you want to do and it#s another thing to actually do it and combining the physical, the emotional, psychological – it all plays a huge role. And I know how powerful the mind is.

Are you just riding more than everyone else?
No! I think I ride less and I think I just think more! Hahahaha. In a good way though. Some people will want to go ride and practice for four hours and that might make them feel really strong and prepared. For me, I might want to ride one hour and I might feel good and I don’t burn myself out and that might work for me. But that’s what’s so cool, that everybody’s got their own recipe for what makes them feel confident.
This year, riding with the guys made me really a lot stronger across everything, riding the mountain, going faster, doing more tricks on rails and bigger spins. That reminded me of being a little kid, when I was a girl I ride with all boys.

Jamie Anderson Nine Queens sunset shooting

Jamie was the first women to stomp a FS 1080 in a contest – photo by Nine Queens

That’s really interesting: you train with the boys and let them push you but then you actually do it with the girls.
I know! That was crazy! I felt… yeah… just being inspired by each other.
Being a women in any sport is crazy because we’re so different, we’re feminine and fragile and we care about being hurt and all these things that guys don’t think of. So in a way it’s good but in a way it’s also dangerous. Because I want to listen to my intuition, I think that’s something that females have that’s so cool, that we really have a deep connection with ourselves and if we get to tune in, that’s more valuable than you know, anything.

And maybe it’s proof that we need both. We need the guys to hang out and ride with them, and then we need the girls too.
When we get both it works really well, it’s all about the balance, you need it all. I totally need the guys to encourage me and give me that strength, but the girls are super supportive and nurturing so they compliment each other.

Does yoga play a role in your snowboarding and your general work-life-balance too?
100%. I went to my first yoga class when I was 18 but didn’t get into it right away, I thought it was funny. I don’t even remember how I got to that class, I think I just heard of it and was wondering, what’s up with that yoga shit? Haha. Let’s go to yoga! Haha. I didn’t really love it right away, it wasn’t until probably a year later when I started going every day at the park in my neighborhood that I started to really connect to the breathing, the meditation and the whole experience. I fell in love that summer, I think I was 19 or 20. I would go every day, tt was free, just donations, in the sunlight and it really hooked me. Then I started to get into balancing poses and the more strengthening ones and it was like a new passion, a new goal that made me feel really good and it was also challenging and strengthening and mentally hard at times, so just a new fun good hobby. And now that I look back at it, I’ve been practicing a lot the last 3-4 years, and it’s so cool, I love it, the whole experience. And I have times where I’m more into and less into it but I always know when I need a reset-button, it’s to slow down and re-connect back with yourself, and that is what yoga has helped me do.

Did you start a regular home practice at any point as well?
Yeah, when I’m traveling I usually don’t get to go to a lot of classes in the winter. I try and I love to go to new studios but usually I just do a little bit at home, in the morning before riding or in the afternoon. I’m not as good, I won’t sit down for a proper hour but I will make sure to do a little bit, whatever I’m feeling I need.

Do you have a favourite pose?
I loved handstands for a while because they’re so hard but so fun to walk into. And lately I love Bird of Paradise, that one is really hard for me to do but I’m working on it and I think it’s fun. But all the balancing and strengthening poses I think are really good.

Kaya Turski, Jamie Anderson + Hannah Teter in Laax

Groupie Time!! Happy-Me flanked by Kaya Turski on the left and Jamie and Hannah Teter on the right

What about the mental aspect, does that play a big role for you in contests?
For me, the yoga practice has become more a mental preparation. The physical poses and the strengthening is huge, but more than anything it’s being able to clear my mind, connect with myself and really let the energy flow. If I’m afraid, a lot of times before contests, I’ll do a little yoga just to really move the energy and stress a little less. Maybe do a handstand to try and practice my balance and make myself focus on something different and it’s good! It’ works. It helps to physically move the blood in your body, it moves the energy, it helps wake up all these channels. It’s my medicine, my church! Haha… I love it.

Do you use your GoPro for yoga?
Yeah I definitely take a lot of photos of yoga, I love the scenic shots when you’re in nature, because I am encouraging people to do it where ever they are but I don’t really film yet. I want to start filming sequences of my practices, because when I look back at photos of my form it really helps me to realize what I could be doing different or if I need to straighten my back or tuck my pelvis or whatever may be, so I’m gonna learn here at this GoPro camp to make more short films. I’m still a baby on the computer, I don’t really like electronics, I’m lucky if I get a good ‘gram off the freaggin GoPro app!

Do you use the GoPro for snowboard training as well?
Yeah, video reviews help so much. It’s been huge having people film you and being able to look back at it, it’s definitely nice to see what you look like and what you wanna look like.

How did your partnership with GoPro start in the first place?
I met GoPro about four years ago at the Dew Tour and I just wanted to work with them, I thought their stuff was cool and I think it was kinda mutual. We had met through another party and just slowly started working together. And I kinda knew right away that I was a part of the crew and came to the first GoPro summit here in Laax two years ago and just had such a good time, you know, they’re such a cool brand and they’re really helping the athletes build their own brands through their social networking and filming and photography so that’s so much fun. I can go out there and get really good photos – by myself! Not that I don’t want to work with photographers, I love working with them, but it’s so easy with the GoPro and sometimes you don’t have someone so if I want to get a cool artsy yoga shot or a scenic shot or even an action shot, you can just freaggin do whatever you feel like! Every photo is different and unique to whoever is shooting it.

For more goodness from the goddess & her camera(s) themselves, follow Jamie on instagram!

Apres Ski Yoga at Nine Queens with Jamie Anderson & Anna Kathalina Langer

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