Say "Om" For Better Stability and Flexibility on the Trail
- Aug 24, 2017
Despite what so many images on Instagram may suggest, yoga is not only appropriate for thin, beaming women. You don't have to tie yourself up in knots, or stretch in impossible ways to practice yoga. In fact, many people find that they benefit from some very simple poses and stretches; by taking a yoga class they realize that some of these full-body movements can be incorporated into a daily routine.
Those who are passionate about hiking can try some yoga to see if it can help with with stability and strength when out on the trail. The calming and effective movements may become as indispensable to some hikers as as their trusty PRW3000-2B equipped with digital compass, helping to ease sore muscles after a long hike, regulate breathing patterns when covering strenuous ground and inspire a sense of living in the moment when spending time in nature.
Yoga Journal recommended a few poses that can be completed before and after a hike. Some people find the stretching and breathing to be grounding, and can help them focus before setting off for the day. Squat-based poses can help fire up the quads and prepare them for moving over heavier terrain. Stretching out the long leg muscles can feel wonderful after a long hike: Yoga Journal suggested a low, long lunge where you bring your hands up to the bent knee, which also helps to stretch out the back. Deep breaths will enable you to connect with your body, and some people may find that this helps to ease soreness after a long trek.
The hamstrings also may see a lot of work during a longer hike. Yoga Journal advises that hikers try a wide-legged forward bend. This pose not only stretches the hamstrings, but can help with stability, as you will ground into your feet when bending forward. For a challenge, and to also stretch out the back, you can interlace your hands together behind your back to help release shoulder muscles. However, be honest with your abilities and don't stretch yourself too strenuously.
The Chopra Center also recommended several yoga moves for hikers. A standing forward bend is another good way to release hamstrings after a long hike: Simply stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, bend your knees slightly and reach for your toes. Other poses, like pigeon, can open the hips, and pyramid pose can help relieve tightness in the calves. These maneuvers are a bit more complicated, so to learn them properly you might want to consider taking a yoga class before or after your next hike.
However you choose to incorporate yoga into your hikes is up to you, but it can provide many benefits no matter what if you stick to it. As there are a number of standing poses, you may notice increased core strength and stability when covering rougher ground. Additionally, your body may relax and recover a little more quickly after your next strenuous hike - just be sure to listen to your muscles and take it easy with your first yoga attempts.