Hiking is good for you. It’s been scientifically proven. Yoga is good for you. That’s been scientifically proven. Doing yoga outside is even better for you because exercising outside actually makes you want to exercise, exposes you to more greenery, meaning cleaner oxygen, and even inspires you to exercise more- science. Hiking yoga comes as little surprise. Hiking. Breathing. Focusing on nature. Yoga. Breathing. Focusing on the nature of existence. There couldn’t be anything bad about it.
If you look up yoga in the dictionary, you get an answer which points solely to the practice of yoga. The practice of yoga is the various stretches, poses, flows, and disciplines which take focus onto the breathe and the body. Yoga is about more than sun salutations and warrior poses. Yoga is even about more than what kind of animal is crawling on you when you do it, and what brand of yoga pants you’re marketing for when you go into downward facing dog. Yoga is actually meant to be a practice which prepares the mind and body for deep meditation. Part of the reason you feel so sleepy during shavasana, the “corpse pose” you probably refer to as “that nap time after yoga class?”, is because you have released tons of energy which would have blocked your ability to deeply meditate. Still, there is more to yoga than the physical and even the psychological. Yoga is about universality. Yoga is about connection. The purpose of the Sanskrit “yoga” is to be an example of connection. When we hear the word “yoga” after another practice or activity like “hiking” it means creating connection to hiking. We can practice yoga in anything because we can practice being connected to anything- the yoga of eating, the yoga of sleeping, the yoga of the twelve steps. Yes, that means the popular fad of “goat yoga” means connecting with goats. We’re not kidding.
Hiking yoga is utilizing hiking and the practice of yoga to get more connected with nature- the nature of oneself and the nature of the world around them. Nature is something that connects the world to itself. We live in a natural planet mostly covered in water with bits and pieces of beautiful, devastating landscapes which humble us to our appropriate human size. Everyone is connected to nature because everyone is born out of nature, philosophers have said. You might bring your mat on the trail, find a big enough space, and stand in mountain pose, tree pose, do a sun salutation, sit with your palms at heart center, Utilize mindfulness for the elements around you. Hiking yoga, or the yoga of hiking, is about bringing the awareness of yoga into the pleasure of hiking to create a heightened awareness and connectivity.
We like to practice the yoga of recovery at Lakehouse Recovery Center. Everyone is connected in our small group residential treatment programs. Our beautiful location on the tranquil Lake Sherwood intimately connects clients to nature as they learn to connect to themselves, to others, and to the world around them. For information on our programs and our unique twelve month aftercare, call us today at 877.762.3707.