Yoga to Support You on the Hiking Trail

During summertime we often find ourselves gravitating to the outdoors, rather than opting to be inside a studio amid these gorgeous sunshiny days. Here on beautiful Salt Spring Island, BC I’ve been taking in the best of both worlds by integrating my yoga practice with my deep love for the outdoors!

Here I offer a few yoga poses to support you while you immerse yourself in the beauty of Mother Nature.

I recommend staying in each pose for at least three full inhalations and exhalations. If a pose feels extra restorative, feel free to stay in the pose as long as you like. If it is not supportive to ongoing injuries you may be experiencing, please tune in and proceed accordingly.

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Amid a 4-day, 48km trek in the Eastern Himalayas, India.

Standing Backbend – is ideal to do during a break. The spine will be extra sensitive after carrying a pack. Experiment with not only leaning back, but also to the left and right side.

Standing Forward Bend  – soothes any tension in the spine and neck while also giving the hamstrings and calves an amazing stretch, and improving back strength.

Eagle Arms – the area between the shoulder blades often gets tight and sore after hauling a pack all day. Eagle Arms is an effective way to bring ease to these muscles and open up the upper back.

Pigeon – climbing and hiking has you engaging your glutes excessively. Open the glutes in pigeon pose for thirty seconds to one minute on each side if you can. This will help open your hip flexors and release the piriformis muscle, and other muscles of your buttocks.

Hero’s Pose – opens the tops of the ankles and shins. In hiking the inclination is to press onward and upward. The upward drive continually flexes the ankle and stretches the Achilles and calves. To counteract the steady shortening of the top of the foot, sit in hero’s pose for two to five minutes. This pose is not recommended for those with knee injuries.

Cat and Cow – frequent long hikes while carrying a pack can lead to compressed discs. Alternating between cat and cow will open up and stretch out the back, while providing welcome relief.

Child’s Pose – frees up tension in the back and stretches the hips, thighs, and ankles. The spinal curl of this restful and calming posture also offers a stretching warm-up and/or a cool down.

 

This article was originally published for Salt Spring Malas.


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