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Yoga poses for on the trail
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Matt Keenan

Locale: In the Mountains in the clouds
Yoga poses for on the trail on 03/26/2013 15:06:36 MDT Print View

I've just recently started utilizing yoga on the trail and have been loving it. My knowledge of all the different poses is still very minimal, so if there are any Yogi's out there who have some pose suggestions for on the trail stretches they'd be greatly appreciated-thanks amigos

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Yoga poses for on the trail on 03/26/2013 15:29:15 MDT Print View

If you carry a smartphone while out, there are some pretty good yoga programs that show poses and such.

Steven Paris
(saparisor) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Yoga poses for on the trail on 03/26/2013 15:46:31 MDT Print View

Just don't wear Lululemon pants.

Randy Martin
(randalmartin) - F

Locale: Colorado
Sitted pose on 03/26/2013 16:39:40 MDT Print View

I don't remember the proper name of it but for hip flexors (heavily used when hiking up hill) I like the pose where you assume the position as if sitting in a chair with one leg crossed over the other.

Eric Lundquist
(cobberman) - F - M

Locale: Northern Colorado
Re: Yoga poses for on the trail on 03/26/2013 16:41:10 MDT Print View

"Just don't wear Lululemon pants."

But they're extremely breathable!

Matt Keenan

Locale: In the Mountains in the clouds
Thanks for the tips on 03/26/2013 20:41:05 MDT Print View

Thanks for all the great tips and I don't think I'll be picking up any lululemon pants any time soon haha.

Jim MacDiarmid
(jrmacd) - MLife
Re: Thanks for the tips on 03/31/2013 21:13:34 MDT Print View

I'm new to yoga as well(2 months), on 4/27 my studio is having a seminar on yoga for runners and hikers. I'll report back on what I learn.

John Frederick Anderson
(fredfoto) - F

Locale: Spain
"Yoga poses for on the trail" on 04/01/2013 03:46:47 MDT Print View

Learn the sequence called Surya Namaskara and do this before you set off every day and you will be good to go.
I do it every morning, five times, hiking or not. It streaches every muscle in your body, and regulates breathing.
Once you've done it for a week, you will remember it forever. Memory is ultralight!

Diane Pinkers
(dipink) - MLife

Locale: Western Washington
yoga mat? on 04/24/2013 09:03:21 MDT Print View

This sounds really, really wimpy, but I hike mostly in national parks, with established campsites that are pounded to dust. I don't particularly enjoy rolling around in the dirt. So, does anyone take anything to serve as a yoga mat for the floor poses? Piece of plastic? Polycryo? Just look for a grassy spot when available?

Link .
(annapurna) - MLife
Re: yoga mat? on 04/24/2013 09:13:46 MDT Print View

Diane, you could use one of these any size or thickness you want or what ever brand you want and it is multi use.

Edited by annapurna on 04/24/2013 09:14:34 MDT.

Daniel Fish

Locale: PDX
... on 04/25/2013 08:53:17 MDT Print View


Edited by on 06/09/2013 01:02:43 MDT.

Erica Ruch
(skrapp138) - M
Re: yoga mat? on 05/03/2013 09:30:00 MDT Print View

I've used a Sea to Summit towel - dual use!

Diane Pinkers
(dipink) - MLife

Locale: Western Washington
Namaskara good, but... on 05/06/2013 14:05:12 MDT Print View

I find it doesn't stretch my hip flexors or adductors/abductors very well. I should say that I am not flexible enough to do Downward Dog with my heels and hands on the floor at the same time. I use (I think it's called) Dying or Wounded Pigeon to stretch out my piriformis, but I don't know a specific Yoga stretch for the Iliotibial band or the hip flexors.

Any suggestions?

Randy Martin
(randalmartin) - F

Locale: Colorado
Re: Namaskara good, but... on 05/06/2013 14:50:20 MDT Print View

For hip flexors the Warrior 1 pose is awesome. For an IT band stretch try this

Starting Position: Stand upright and cross your right leg behind your left.

Action: Lean slightly forwards and to your left side until you feel a stretch on the outside of your right leg. Lean on a chair/wall if needed. Hold for 30 secs

In addition, if you have chronic IT band issues I have found the best long term remedy is to strengthen you legs through a squats, lunges etc...and then build up further with shorter, medium, longer hikes. You can also use a foam roller on it occasionally.

Matthew Davis

Locale: B.C
Ashtanga Yoga on 06/07/2013 19:31:15 MDT Print View

I am a RYT 200HR YA+ registered Yoga instructor. I have been exploring wilderness in a lightweight style for the last 3 years, and in a much heavier way all my life. I am new to Backpacking light and I am happy I found this great resource and I hope i contribute to it. I also hope I don't have too many typos or link errors :)

Given that this thread combines those two interests I figure I might have some knowledge others may find useful.

First, Yoga is a lifestyle and a philosophy for understanding the world, Asana (postures) are what we commonly know in the west to be the "stretches" Properly executed the practice of Yoga is one of the best ways I have found to stay mentally and physically fit for life on and off the trail.

Some of the best "stretches" are the Sūryānamaskāra A&B that was already mentioned, They warm your muscles up and clear you mind for the day. Practiced with proper vinyasa (breathing) the Sūryānamaskāra is one of the best and safest calisthenic exercises you can perform.

**As a note here, I say calisthenic because what we practice in the west and arguably all over the world as "yoga" today is largely a amalgamation of ~100 years of Indian calisthenic tradition. Anyone who is interested in this history should read Mark Singleton's "Yoga Body: The Origins of Modern Posture Practice".
Yoga Body

Getting back on topic, those who are seriously interested in the practice of Yoga, to rehab, to exercise, to gain a clearer mind, should consult a physician before undergoing any physical practice, especially if you are recovering from an injury, and/or if you have any outstanding medical concerns. Notably, blood pressure issues are of special concern.

The type of Yoga that I practice is called Ashtanga Yoga, named for its 8-limbed approach. I would suggest going to my teachers website Ashtanga Yoga Canada, not just because they are my teachers, but also they have put together a set of very clear (and FREE) resources about Ashtanga Yoga, including "posture posters" that show you what, and how to practice. There is also youtube! what a great resource. Also they have a website that is specifically dedicated to their Shala Ashtanga Yoga Victoria

I would also suggest to find yourself a dedicated, kind, and disciplined teacher in your area to guide you through the first few sessions of practice and if money is an issues at least return once a month for a "update" so to speak, on your practice.

This is only my humble opinion on my very limited experience with the practice of Ashtanga Yoga (~8 years). It is a lifelong and difficult process of self-inquiry and self advancement, it is ultimately selfish, but deeply rewarding on many levels.

If anyone wants any more specific information or guidelines for how to go about searching out a teacher in your area I would be more then happy to consult with via e-mail. Send me a PM and we can go from there.


Daniel Collins
(Diablo-V) - M

Locale: Orlando FL
yoga on 09/02/2013 05:33:34 MDT Print View

"Learn the sequence called Surya Namaskara"
+1 on that.
If it is all you do it will make a tremendous difference and try to do both the A and B variants, 5 reps each, or 10 of the "A" if you can't do the B at all. If done properly on level ground, only your palms and tops and bottoms of your feet will see any dirt, maybe a little on your knees.
For a beginner I would suggest working the other hip/leg joints with:

Utthita Trikonasana
Utthita Parsvakonasana-A
Prasarita Padottanasana-A
and for balance:
Utthita Hasta Padangustasana

Finish with Padmasana if you can sit in lotus.
Then rest for 20 minutes in Savasana.
Skip the sitting postures not mentioned here that can cause injury if your diet is not right, stomach and intestines not empty.

Summary- above all else, the Suryanamaskara is done quickly to build heat which loosens muscles in preparation for the other asanas, gets the blood and breath flowing. The Suryanamaskara set alone should be plenty enough for on the trail and will add less than 30 min to your routine including the corpse pose rest period.

(I studied under David Williams and K Pattabhi Jois and his son Manju, 1975 to 1979. Maui , HI and Encinitas CA.
Good luck and good health, cheers, and don't forget mula bhanda.