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Top 7 post hike yoga poses

by Arundhati Baitmangalkar
Top 7 post hike yoga poses by Arundhati Baitmangalkar

Up here in the Pacific Northwest, we love our summers. Especially because we wait all year long for the sun and the heat. You may call me biased but I think we have some of the nicest outdoors of the country. Within a few hours, you can see everything from mountains, lakes, beaches, deserts to basically all of it. We are truly lucky to be able to be a part of mother nature up here. And come summer, I notice a lot of my students get distracted from their yoga practice as being outdoors is so tempting. I too go for hikes every summer. This summer I have resolved to hike once or twice every weekend. And so far, it’s going great! But if you feel sore or tired the next day, check out my top 7 post hike yoga poses.

How the body is impacted during a hike?

How the body reacts to a hike is determined by 2 factors. These factors could be intrinsic or extrinsic to us.

  1. Intrinsic factors – your current fitness ability, cardio vascularity,  recovery rate, hydration, and food etc…
  2. Extrinsic factors – temperature, the intensity of the hike, distance, time of the day, state of mind, etc…

Pre Hike Rituals:

  • Get enough sleep
  • Hike earlier in the day when energy is higher
  • Fuel your body with slow burning carbs
  • Hydrate
  • Wear appropriate hiking gear
  • Pick a hike you enjoy
  • Make up your mind to finish it!

The practice of Yoga is excellent pre and post-hike. When we look at the body, the impact is greater on the lower body muscles and joints. Especially the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, calves, and feet. This also impacts the hips, lower back, knees, and ankles. But by focusing on stretching out the impacted muscle groups, we help restore circulation, energy and efficient range of motion. And overall increasing the joy of hiking and yoga!

Best time for post hike yoga poses?

The best time is usually right after the hike itself. But if you do not have access to your mat or even ground. Then it should be the first thing you do when you get home and kick off your shoes. If you practice these poses within a few hours of the hike or at least the same day, chances for being stiff or sore the next day are reduced. So let’s get started.

Top 7 post hike yoga poses

Raja Kapotasana or Royal Pigeon

Benefits:

Stretches the quadriceps, hip flexors, and gluteal muscles especially glut medius.

Counters the forward bend or upper back curve enhanced by carrying backpacks during the hike

Level:

Beginners (without the strap)

Intermediate (with the strap or full version with no belt)

Duration:

The longer the hold the better. 45 seconds on each side or more. 2 repetitions

Post hike yoga poses by Arundhati Baitmangalkar

Kapotasana (Pigeon)

Anjaneyasana or Low Lunge Pose

Benefits:

Similar benefits as above. Helps to go deeper into the hip flexors.

Level:

Beginners (without the strap)

Intermediate (with the strap or full version with no belt)

Duration:

The longer the hold the better. 45 seconds on each side or more. 2 repetitions

Post hike yoga poses - Arundhati Baitmangalkar

Anjaneyasana version 2

Supta Padaangushtasana or Supine Hand to Big Toe Pose

Benefits:

Stretches hamstrings, gluteal muscles, and calves.

Good for the feet (toes and arches)

Improves circulation in the pelvis

Level:

All Levels

Duration:

The longer you hold this yoga pose the better. 1 minute on each side. 2 repetitions

Post hike yoga poses by Arundhati Baitmangalkar

Supta Padangushtasana 2

Adhomukha Swanasana or Downward Facing Dog

Benefits:

Lengthens the lower back muscles

Helps to recover from fatigue as it’s a semi-inversion

Regulates body temperature

Restores nature pace of breathing

Stretches hamstrings, gluteal muscles, and calves.

Good for the feet (toes and arches)

Level:

All Levels

Duration:

Beginners – shorter holds more repetitions

Intermediate – longer holds with more repetitions

 

Post hike yoga poses by Arundhati Baitmangalkar

Adhomukha Swanasana

Parsvottanasana

Benefits:

Stretches the hamstrings, calves and gluteal muscles of the front leg

Cooling pose

Level:

Beginners (with blocks)

Intermediate (with or without blocks)

Duration:

The longer the holds the better. 45 seconds on each side or more. 2 repetitions

Post hike yoga poses by Arundhati Baitmangalkar

Parsvottanasana (ardha)

Baddhakonasana or Bound Angle Pose

Benefits:

Stretches the inner thighs and groins

Improves circulation in pelvis

Good for the lower back

Good to recover from fatigue

Level:

Beginners (sit on height so the pelvis does not roll backward)

Intermediate (sit on height so the pelvis does not roll backward)

Duration:

The longer the hold the better. 45 seconds or more. 2 repetitions

sit on height so the pelvis does not roll backward)

Post hike yoga poses by Arundhati Baitmangalkar

Baddhakonasana

Vipreeta Karani or Legs Up The Wall Pose

Benefits:

Excellent to recover from fatigue

Level:

All levels (use a wall) 

Duration: 

The longer the hold the better.20 minutes or more at a stretch.

Post hike yoga poses by Arundhati Baitmangalkar

Vipreeta Karani

So there you have it! My top 7 post hike yoga poses. Make sure to try them after your next hike. And join us for our hike and yoga event this August. Find all details here.

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