5 Ways Yoga Can Help You Hike, Bike, Climb and Even Camp

Storyteller

Mollie Carberry

Yoga has long been disregarded or underappreciated by many; yet it can help enhance your abilities in whatever sport or activity you do. Here are just a few of the ways that yoga is crucial for hikers, bikers, climbers, swimmers, and outdoors explorers in general.

1. Strength

Although weight training is favored when trying to build strength, often body weight alone can prove equally as challenging and effective. In many forms of yoga, tricky poses are held for prolonged periods of time, and as a result core strength and balance are radically improved. Having excellent core strength is helpful for any sport or physical activity, whether it’s to help you lug a huge backpack up a mountain or to pull your body through water.

2. Flexibility

Yoga poses can be adapted to suit people of any ability or experience, but the depth of each pose can be increased over time to gradually improve flexibility and mobility. This is crucial in retaining full range of motion, and keeping your body stretched and flexible means it is prepared for anything you decide to throw at it.

3. Recovery and Repair

Oft overlooked is the importance of rest and recovery between physical activities, and yoga practice enables the body to repair and stretch during this rest period. Incorporating yoga into your weekly routine, whether you manage to do some on a daily basis or merely squeeze some in mid-week, will noticeably decrease your recovery time and leave you feeling less sore and battered.

4. Breathing and Control

Yoga is an extremely unique and rewarding practice as it allows you to become connected and in tune with your breath. This is an invaluable skill to master, as it promotes presence and mindfulness. As a result, it allows you to become completely aware of your own body and exactly how it is feeling, which can then help you to either push yourself further or pull back and ease off.

5. Mentality

As a direct result of the last point, becoming attuned to your breathing and practicing mindfulness through yoga in turn improves athletic ability and skill. This is due to the most important part of any sport or activity; your mind-set and thought processes. By living entirely within the present and listening to your breath and your body, there is no room to engage with damaging thoughts or negative self-talk. 


Cover photo: Andrew Slaton

Published: September 23, 2016

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