There are many times when I have my yoga mat with me – and one of those times is during a hike! Here are my simple tips for tuning in to the perfect spot for your yoga hike 💛
Mix yoga and hiking together for a terrific experience – Yoga hiking. I love taking my yoga mat on long hikes around town or in nature. I love finding spots to just break out my yoga mat and try out some postures. I love to tune in and see how my yoga practice can be done in most places.
Let’s get started! My tips for a great yoga hike…
Hikes are great in all environments
Hiking does not always have to be in open large green spaces. This is one of the things that I slowly started to enjoy over the years, when nature was not always openly available. Urban yoga hikes are just as fun, allowing you to explore and see your city/town in a different way.
Watch out for nature in unusual spaces. There’s a great satisfaction in seeing a rebellion of nature as a flower cracks through the concrete tarmac. Nature always seems to find a way to be present, even if we don’t always acknowledge it. On your next hike, take a moment to watch out for those simple moments where nature weaves through every environment.
Explore new spaces
Where are you drawn to hike and do yoga today? Let this be a reflection question as part of your prep for your yoga hike ahead. Let your intuition, mood and curiosity guide you with this one. Every day you might feel differently so tune in and see what/where you feel like exploring.
Let your Self be guided along the way too. Part of exploring new spaces is also about enjoying the natural flow of being guided as you hike. As you walk, allow your Self to physically wander. The more you do this, the more you’ll see how the Universe has a fantastic way of connecting you to things/people/places/etc that is perfect for your journey right now!
Wear the right clothing for the weather
There is nothing worse than being caught up in a mismatch of weather and clothing, feeling wither too hot or cold. This can not only take away the fun of a hike, but it can be a huge distraction. Not to mention unhealthy if you find your Self with a cold the following days. Not fun, not worth it!
Yoga hiking is perfect all year around, in most climates I think. Get organised by checking the weather and wear exactly wheat you will need to enjoy it fully. Each season has its own treasures, be inspired by the changes throughout the year.
Take some food
Who doesn’t enjoy food! If you’re planning on taking a yoga hike, why not bring along a small packed lunch. This is one of the things I enjoy most about travelling around on my yoga hikes. After a session on the mat, I will take a moment to slowly eat my pack lunch and allow my Self to brig awareness to what is going on within, around and how my food seems to taste so much better lol!
Green smoothie anyone? If the idea of carrying a whole packed lunch is too much, why not just keep it very simple by preparing a wholesome green smoothie for you to enjoy as you go along. The amount of smoothie recipes out there are so tempting to try. No matter what your mood is like, you will find a smoothie recipe for you!
Eat/Drink with the seasons. This is also a wonderful way to connect with nature by enjoying food and drink and is in season as you enjoy your yoga hike. Try to incorporate as many local and seasonal ingredients as possible for your nutritious treat.
Solo or good company, the choice is yours!
This is a personal choice – What do you feel like doing? Some days you might want to have company and other days you’ll prefer to do your own thing. I always say, if you do enjoy time with people, make sure they inspire you along the way.
Make time for solo activities too. I am a big believer that sometimes it is important to nurture time alone, doing things that you love. This is important to get to really connect with your Self and what makes you feel grounded. If you have never done anything alone, a yoga hike is a beautiful way to start.
Yoga anytime and anywhere!
Challenge your Self by getting out of your comfort zone with your yoga mat. Maybe you’re used to mainly doing yoga in a class setting or at home. Maybe you’re enjoying outdoor yoga already. No matter what your personal yoga connection and routine is, there is always an opportunity to see how you can play and explore your practice in different settings.
The sounds of joy…
Make space to use technology only for your music. It’s hard to do but taking time to just release technology and social media makes a huge difference, by allowing you to be fully present now. This is the time I will put my phone on airplane mode and only use technology for music.
Let music be part of your experience. Some people like it, others don’t. If you’re like me, I like a bit of both. In fact, what I usually do is only plug-in one earpiece and leave the other ear free to make in the sounds around me. Or I will have my music on very low, so it’s like a subtle soundtrack to my yoga hike. If you do have music, let it be music that brings out the very best in you and makes you smile 😃
Yoga hiking exercises to try!
After all the preparation tips, here are some fun practical ways to get going on your yoga hike and have fun!
Set an intention before you leave the house. Like any yoga or meditation practice, it’s great to start of with an intention. Here are some reflection questions you can use to think of an intention for your yoga hike.
◊ What do you want to explore in your Self today?
◊ What part of your body is holding on to tension or stress?
◊ If you don’t have anything in mind, maybe you can just set this simple intention: “I choose to be open to what comes up today”
Tune in to your inner dialogue. We all have active minds… use this time to tune in and actively “talk to your Self” along the way. By making the conscious decision to do this, you can weave your observations from your present moment with your mind. A true mind-body-soul experience!
You can do this whether you are alone or with company.
◊ Use affirmations along the way. choose affirmations to get the inner dialogue going.
◊ Ask your Self questions and be open to what your body and mind’s reply is. For example: What is this space making me feel now? Am I feeling higher energy now after walking through this space? Ask and just see what comes up.
◊ Be your own best friend. What would you say to your best friend as you are walking along?
Find your nature energy spot. I remember reading this technique many years ago as part of a Native American technique. The idea is that nature is always interacting with us and our own energy (through our Chakra system). As we walk in an environment, there will be areas that will “call out” to you… This is then the spot to sit, be still and meditate.
This is great for a yoga hike, as you can pick your spot to roll out your mat or sit in quiet contemplation. Here are some simple tips to tune in…
◊ Consciously engage with your space as you walk, enjoying each step and how your breathing pattern is like.
◊ Try slowing down your walking pace and synchronising your breathing with it.
◊ Engage in your senses and what it is telling you as you walk.
◊ Keep your eye gaze gentle as you look around, scanning everything – not just on a physical level, but also from a 3rd eye intuitive focus.
◊ Ask your Self: Does any place or anything stand out for me? Observe what comes up.
◊ Go with your feeling to pick a spot – Do I feel drawn towards setting out my yoga mat or sitting here now?
◊ Don;t let time define you – It’s tempting to put a time limit for how long we do things in our life. If you can, just enjoy the chosen space and time fully and trust that when the time is right, you will know to leave.
◊ Give thanks to your chosen spot before you leave it – Bring gratitude to the place you chose, knowing that the energy interaction was for a reason (if you don’t always consciously know why yet).