by Keila Chaliotis, Staff Writer
Yes, yes, hiking yoga! Sounds interesting doesn´t it? Well this new workout routine is a combination of the cardio from hiking with yoga exercises. If helps you work on strength, flexibility and posture. You can start with a beautiful hike and do some yoga stops while also admiring the scenery.
This new trend was created by the yoga instructor Erik Kipp. There are currently classes in 15 cities across the U.S., including Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Dallas, Austin, Kansas City and New York. Just to mention a few.
This workout can combine 50 minutes of hiking which is your cardio and 25 minutes of active poses. The class can last up to 90 minutes or more and you get to enjoy a different environment from the gym or a studio. This workout promises to relax you and keep you in shape.
Also an activity you can share with friends and family. This activity can also help you meet new people with similar interests. You can even go for a bite after the class. It is a great way to share time with others and yourself.
You might ask yourself why hiking yoga and not regular yoga. Well don’t take me wrong both are excellent choices, with the only difference that hiking yoga will give you a new experience. The experience of enjoying nature and your sorroundings. Forget about close doors. For one day and many others experience the outdoors. Aside from that, in hiking yoga you can experience acroyoga, martial arts and herbalism. Hiking yoga is a high energy interval workout so you won’t feel bored and will help you lose those extra pounds while relaxing your mind through meditation and breathing exercises. Yoga promises to bring you lots of health benefits; it helps you with heart disease, insomnia and depression. Yoga outdoors is also a great way to be supplied with vitamin D, which raises serotonin levels, increasing happiness and promoting internal harmony and peace.
Hiking and yoga complement each other. You get to power up the mountains and then focus on certain parts of your body that you seem to overlook while walking or jogging. With yoga you exercise your ankles, hip and practice various body movements. Remember that when you are hiking your body movements are forward and backwards in the same way. This exercise provides an excellent workout, but you also want to focus on other muscle movements, therefore yoga adds this to your routine. It also helps open up your lungs since you focus on breathing while doing the hiking and yoga.
Some of the yoga exercises you can do are:
Uttasana Pose (Standing Forward Bend. This position helps you stretch your entire backside especially legs and lower back; it tones the abdomen; increases blood circulation and revitalizes the nervous system.
Parivrtta Parsvakonasana (Revolved Side Angle Pose). This position stretches and strengthens the legs, knees, ankles, spine, chest, lungs and shoulders; stimulates the abdominal organs; increases stamina; improves digestion and balance.
Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose). It also strengthens your legs, feet, ankles, hips, groins, hamstrings, calves, spine, back, neck and abdomen; stimulates your abdominal organs while helping digestion; opens chest and shoulders; and also relieves backache, mainly during pregnancy.
Prasarita Padottanasasa (Wide Legged Standing Forward Bend Pose). Helps strengthen and stretches the legs, spine; tones abdomen; relaxes your brain and increases blood flow to upper body; also eliminates fatigue, headaches and fights mild depression.
Remember to be equipped for your classes. An old yoga mat will come up handy in an urban hike, will protect your hands and feet from hard surfaces. Also take a towel to wipe down the sweat from your mat and yourself, especially if it’s a warm or hot summer day. Your towel can also be used in some exercises if needed. Of course don’t forget water, or something to keep you hydrated. Don’t forget that you will be outside, so make sure you take sunscreen, sunglasses, lip balm and a sweater in case the weather changes.
Once you are ready don’t hesitate to start. Like I mentioned before you are not only going to be exercising but also enjoying nature while making new friends. Great benefits, so go ahead and look for the closest place to do start your adventure with HIKING YOGA.