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Yoga for Hikers

Calla In Motion

Yoga for Hikers

Lindsey Calla

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Preparing for an outdoor workout means being prepped for the unpredictable elements.  Terrain changes quickly, weather can move in an out without warning and temperatures can fluctuate drastically.   It happened just a few weeks ago that I set out on a long overnight hike up to a 12,000 ft peak with a 3,000 foot elevation gain.  Spending the night meant we needed to carry all of our overnight possessions (which in my world includes camera gear) up the steep climb to our camping site next to Ice Lake.  The trail was one of the most gorgeous that I’ve ever hiked along but it was tough!  At some points we found ourselves climbing up steep empty creek beds and stepping along a tree to cross a river.  It was hot during the day and dry but cold and hail storms at night, even in July!   I’ve been hiking a lot in the past few years so I’m beginning to understand how important it is to have the right gear.  I picked up a lot of my gear at Kohl’s for this trip because they have an awesome selection of outdoor gear, packable beauty products and activewear.  Everything I brought had to be versatile and functional.  Here’s what I decided on and why:

Gear:

  • Stable hiking shoes.  adidas Outdoor makes really comfortable hiking shoes.  I liked these because they are lightweight and have TRAXION, which is perfect for all-terrain.
  • adidas rain jacket shell. (similar styles here) Shells are some of the best items to bring on a hike with unpredictable weather.  They are lightweight and so easy to layer with.  During the day I folded it up in my backpack and brought it back out at dusk.
  • Comfortable clothing.  This FILA tank has a built in bra so it limited how much extra I had to think about and the pants are easy to move in and kept me dry (moisture wicking is key!)
  • Beauty Products.  Ok, I know it’s so not normal to think about skincare when hiking but my skin gets SO DRY up here.  I packed tiny travel sized Marula Oil and a lotion from AHAVA to help get some relief from my weathered hands after climbing through dirt and rocks

It’s one of the most incredible feelings to finally reach the top of a mountain but physically it takes a toll no matter what.  35 pounds on my back up winding, rocky inclines meant my hips and shoulders took a beating.  The only thing I wanted to do when I woke up the next chilly morning was stretch it out.   I didn’t dare carry a yoga mat up there but it didn’t matter.  Grounding my bare feet in the grass on top of a magnificent Colorado peak while staring at an ice blue lake is a dream and there are so many poses that are effective but gentle enough to do just right on the terrain. 

Yoga Stretches for Hikers & Backpackers

The key is to counteract all of the pressure that’s on the legs, back and shoulders.  I also think it’s important to reacquaint yourself with your breath.  The air is thin up here and it can cause anxiety and fatigue easily.  The stronger your lungs are the better you can acclimate to the altitude.  With all of the physical yoga talk it’s important not to forget that element.  Besides, all of these poses should be entered into with the breath.  Hold for 5 and repeat sides when applicable. 

Shoulder Openers & Relief

Walking poles and heavy backpack takes a number on the shoulders.  Just ask my chiropractor who spend hours trying to re-rotate my collarbone back to normal.  These are simple stretches that can be done on the grass.

Hamstring & IT Band Relief

Walking up and down mixed terrain can be really tough on the legs.  My knees hurt going down and climbing up really works out my glutes and hamstrings.  

Hip Openers

The constant walking/trail running motion mixed with sleeping on a cold floor can really freeze up the mobility in the hips.  It feels sooo good to stretch out and keep the muscles warm.  

There’s still a ton of time to get outside and use our gorgeous natural surroundings to stay fit and healthy.  If anyone is curious, we hiked Ice Lakes Trail out of Silverton, Colorado.  I highly, highly recommend putting it on your Colorado hike bucket list!

 

This post was sponsored by Kohl’s through their partnership with POPSUGAR. While I was compensated to write a post about Kohl’s, all opinions are my own