Scholé Yoga recently took to the hills for a Yoga Hike that brought us off the mat and into the outdoors. Even if you don’t want to get down into the dirt while hiking, yoga offers plenty of beneficial poses you can take to the trails. Here are just a few that might be fun to try on your next hike:

Forward Fold

Forward folds help lengthen your lower back muscles, which can get pretty tight while keeping your body moving forward on a long hike. For this pose, just stand with your feet at about hip distance, inhale your arms up overhead, and then exhale to fold forward.

Side Bends

When your body is working to move forward uphill, it can feel pretty good to bend from side to side to lengthen your muscles in an opposite direction. Exhale as you bend to the side and stretch to listen to your body and enjoy the movement. From grabbing opposite wrists or elbows, or doing it one arm at a time, there are plenty of variations you can take to make a simple side bend your own.

Dancer

Dancer is a great way to get a deep stretch for your hardworking quadriceps on a long hike. To try dancer, start standing with your feet about hip distance apart, then bend your right knee and take a hold of your foot with your right hand. As you bend forward, extend your opposite arm in front of you. Play with the balance between pushing into your foot and bending forward. If you don’t feel like bending forward as you balance, you’ll get similar benefits just by bending your knee and reaching back to grab hold of your foot. Once you’ve found the version that works for you, be sure to work on your left side too, but don’t be surprised if you find it very different! Few people are perfectly symmetrical and it’s helpful to notice the differences between our right and left sides.

Of course, the best yoga pose is always the one that works for you. Trust yourself – listening to your body and what it needs will help guide you to the movements that make sense for your practice, on and off the mat. Scholé Yoga will be hosting another Yoga Hike soon, so stay tuned to join us in discovering what works best for you on the trails.

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