Quick Yoga Warm-up for Hiking (And Walking)
Now that it’s finally starting to feel like Spring, I hope you get to start spending more time outdoors! If you are lucky enough to live near a lovely location full of mountains and trails then this video is for you! This also works if you like long walks on the beach or around the park.
It’s important to warm up the muscles and relax the mind before embarking on an outdoor adventure so I came up with this short 10 minute sequence that especially targets hips, legs and shoulders. No mat needed.
Stay tuned til the end to see some outtakes from the multiple locations I tried (and failed) filming along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Namaste & Have A Great Day!
Click below to watch the video:
Copy/paste this sequence if you want to save it for later and read it on your phone.
Grounding in Mountain Pose > Neck rolls (3x each direction) > Shoulder shrugs (3x) > Alternate left/right knee bends in forward fold > Roll up > (x4) Half Sun Salutations > Forward fold with interlaced hands + shoulder stretch > Downward dog with alternate left/right knee bends > Right leg lunge with twist > Right leg crescent lunge > Right leg pyramid pose > Downward dog > Left leg lunge with twist > Left leg crescent lunge > Left leg pyramid pose > Left leg dancer pose > Right leg dancer pose > Gentle triangle/side body stretch each side > Gentle side stretch each side > Squat > Grounding in Mountain Pose
And here is the sequence broken down into each posture (asana).
Start by standing in Mountain Pose with your feet firmly grounded into the Earth and your shoulders & arms relaxed by your sides. Bring your awareness to your feet and slowly scan the body, moving awareness upwards to the legs & knees, then the hips, the torso, the arms & hands, the shoulders, the neck and the head.
Roll the neck slowly in one direction; inhaling as the neck rolls back and exhaling as the neck rolls forward. After three rotations, switch to the opposite direction and rotate three more times while still coordinating the breath with the movement.
Inhale the shoulders up towards the ears and exhale as you let them relax and slide down the back. Repeat this motion a few times. Squeeze the shoulders up near the ears slightly longer during the last time and then completely relax the shoulders, arms and hands.
Inhale the arms up and exhale as you fold forward down towards the Earth. Alternate bending each knee to stretch and warm up the hips, thighs & hamstrings.
Slowly roll up to standing, feeling each vertebrae stack on the way up. Bring hands to prayer position. Inhale and bring the hands to the hips. Exhale and fold forward. Interlace the hands and rest them on the lower back. If it feels ok for the shoulders, lift the interlaced hands up and off the lower back for a good stretch. Return the hands to the lower back and then release the hands, letting the arms come down to the Earth.
Transition to Downward Dog by stepping the feet back away from the hands. Alternate bending left and right knees the stretch the legs.
Inhale the right leg up and exhale the right foot forward between the hands. Keep the left hand on the Earth and raise the right hand so you are twisting the torso towards the right leg. Roll out the right wrist a bit if you like. Bring both hands to the Earth to recenter then bring the hands to the knees and raise the arms over your head as you transition into a high lunge. Hold this for a breath and then bring the arms down to the Earth and straighten both legs. You can move the back, left leg forward a bit so your legs are a little closer together for Pyramid Pose. Take a breath here and then come back into a lunge and release the right leg backwards, transitioning back to Downward Dog.
Repeat this sequence with the left leg forward.
Come back to an upright, standing posture. Transfer the weight to the right leg. Bend the left knee as you raise the left foot and use the left hand the hold the inside of the left foot. Raise the right arm as a counter balance. Stay here for a few breaths or slowly lean forward, creating resistance by kicking the left foot into the left hand. Slowly transition back into a standing position.
Repeat this sequence on the other side.
Return to a standing position. Spread the legs a bit wider than hips distance apart. Keep the right arm down alongside the right leg and inhale the right arm up. Slide the right arm slightly down the right leg to feel a stretch in the left side body. Gaze up towards the left hand in this gentle Triangle Pose. After a breath or two, raise both arms and center the body before starting the stretch on the other side. Keep the right arm up and slide the left arm down alongside the left. Feel a stretch in the right side body. Gaze up towards the right hand in this gentle Triangle Pose.
Bring both arms back up to center and step the feet back together as you inhale. Gently clasp the right wrist with the left hand and stretch over towards the left as you exhale. Inhale back to center and switch your grip and lean towards the right side as you exhale. Inhale back to center and exhale hands to prayer position.
Spread the legs a little wider than hips width apart with feet at 45º in opposite directions. Exhale as you bend the knees and lower the hips down towards the Earth. Your heels may or may not touch the Earth. Try to keep the spine upright and the elbows in front of the knees. Take a breath or two here and then come back up to a standing position.
Return to Mountain Post and mentally scan and relax the body from toes to the top of the head. Notice how you feel now after the practice.
Enjoy your hike!