Hiking Yoga is just what it sounds like: a complementary blend of outdoor hiking and yoga. Groups are led on a medium-paced hike through local terrain, with regular stops to do yoga poses and breathing exercises. The hiking adds a fun cardio element to the yoga workout, while the yoga helps to stretch muscles and ligaments and rotate joints, keeping the body loose and injury-free during the hike. The fresh air proves especially cleansing for breathing exercises, and the sights, sounds and smells of nature help soothe the nervous system.
What to expect
Hiking yoga is very accessible to those who are new to yoga or to hiking. The hikes are relatively easy, and the yoga poses are usually familiar to anyone who has taken an occasional class. Hiking yoga is also a uniquely social form of yoga. Groups are free to chat away as they explore their local environment. Instructors often engage participants in partner yoga poses to encourage the communal spirit.
Eric Kipp began leading yoga hikes in San Francisco in 2009. Since then, hiking yoga has become a national trend, popularized through social media.