Yoga for Hikers: Trailhead yoga to warm up before you hike up

Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.
~John Muir

Shoulder stretch yoga at the trailheadIn New York’s Adirondack mountains, we say we have five seasons. The time between the end of winter weather and actual warm spring is known as “mud season.” During mud season, the snow is melting, it’s still cool, nothing is growing, and the ground is mush. We are discouraged from hiking off the trails and in the higher elevations to avoid trampling the tender sprouting plants and disturbing nesting wildlife.

I haven’t spent much time on the mountains over the past couple of years, but this year my body feels ready to get back to it. Since I’m limited to the flatter trails for now, I’m revisiting the yoga asanas that support my body before, after, and between hikes, and looking forward to the view from a summit in a couple of months.

Trailhead Warm-ups

The sunrise never failed us yet.
~Celia Thaxter

Practicing these energizing poses at the trailhead before hiking will loosen stiff joints, warm your muscles and improve circulation. To begin, stand in mountain pose and take a few deep breaths while you enjoy the sunrise.

Standing Forward Bends

stretching arms open to the skyFrom mountain, inhale and raise your arms overhead. Exhale and fold forward, reaching towards the ground. With your knees slightly bent, inhale and lift your torso, leading with your heart, and raise your arms back overhead. Keep arms well apart as you lift to open your chest. Repeat the down and up flow three to ten times.

Standing Head to Knee

Step your right foot forward and lift your arms overhead with an inhale. Exhale and fold your torso over your right leg, bending your right knee slightly if necessary, and drop your hands to ground (or your shin to modify). Take at least two breaths, then inhale and lift, leading with your heart. Repeat with your left foot forward.

Shoulder and Arm Stretches

Interlace your fingers, turn your palms out and lift your arms overhead. Take at least two breaths while you lift your ribs. Exhale and rotate your torso to the right. Inhale back to center. Repeat to left. Exhale and bend your torso to the right, stretching your left side. Inhale to center. Repeat to left side. Drop your arms with an exhale.

Triangle

yoga triangle pose on the beachStep into a straddle and turn your right toes to the right side. Stretch arms out to sides at shoulder height. Bend your torso to the right and reach your right hand to your leg and your left hand overhead, stretching your left side. Hold for at least two breaths, then lift, change your feet, and repeat to the left side.

Straddle Fold with Twist

Standing with your legs in a straddle, toes forward, inhale and reach your arms to the sides, about shoulder height. Exhale and fold forward, leading with your heart, and reach your hands to the ground under your shoulders. Inhale. Exhale and twist your torso to the right, lifting your right arm towards the sky. Inhale your right hand back to the ground. Repeat the twist to the left. Lift your torso with an inhale, leading with your heart.

Flowing Bridge

Lie on your back with your arms by your sides, your knees bent, and your feet approximately hip distance apart and flat on the ground. Inhale and raise your arms up and over your head. At the same time, lift your hips. Lift until your hands touch the ground over your head. As you exhale, lower your hips and bring your arms back down to your sides. Repeat the flow three to ten times.

Is it a cool Adirondack morning? Add some gentle Sun Salutations to your warm-up to build heat in your body before you head up the trail.

Podcast Ep 17: Alternate Nostril Breathing to Balance Spring’s Energy

Does the transition into spring plus the Mercury Neptune conjunction have you feeling out of balance? I was feeling like a flake as I sat down to record this episode, but some alternative nostril breathing got me together enough to share about how you can help wildlife rehabbers (like me!) gear up for baby season, a new gathering I’m hosting for members of The Shamanic Flow Circle on Facebook, and the nadi shodhana – alternate nostril breath – practice. You won’t need anything except a place to sit.

If you would like to chat about this episode or learn more about yoga, Shamanic Reiki, wildlife conservation, or other ways we can bring healing to all of the beings on our beautiful planet Earth, join us in the Shamanic Flow Circle group on Facebook or sign up for the newsletter.

Gratitude to Mark Piper for the background music.

While the yoga and other practices presented are intended to be accessible to most, please be open to practicing in an appropriate and safe way for you. It is recommended that you consult your physician before beginning any new exercise program and that at any time during a practice you feel nausea, dizziness, or pain you stop and seek medical advice. I accept no liability whatsoever for any damages arising from the use of my podcasts and, while I make all reasonable efforts to share accurate instruction, the podcast may contain unintended errors. Before all else, listen to your body and trust your inner knowing.

Podcast Ep 16: Pigeon Salutations for Runners (and Everyone Else)

Since I recently started training for a half marathon after a years-long break from running, I was planning to share a yoga practice for runners to get a good post-run stretch. The card I pulled from Toni Salerno’s Sacred Earth Oracle deck was “Specialization,” which asked me to consider transferring a skillset from one environment to another, so this episode also considers how I bring other aspects of yoga into running as I prepare for an endurance challenge. The flow at the core of the short yoga practice is a pigeon salutation, which opens your running muscles. It’s a great practice for walkers and hikers as well. You’ll only need your mat.

If you would like to chat about this episode or learn more about yoga, Shamanic Reiki, wildlife conservation, or other ways we can bring healing to all of the beings on our beautiful planet Earth, join us in the Shamanic Flow Circle group on Facebook or sign up for the newsletter.

Thanks to skeeze on Pixabay for the image and Mark Piper for the background music.

While the yoga and other practices presented are intended to be accessible to most, please be open to practicing in an appropriate and safe way for you. It is recommended that you consult your physician before beginning any new exercise program and that at any time during a practice you feel nausea, dizziness, or pain you stop and seek medical advice. I accept no liability whatsoever for any damages arising from the use of my podcasts and, while I make all reasonable efforts to share accurate instruction, the podcast may contain unintended errors. Before all else, listen to your body and trust your inner knowing.

Podcast Ep 15: A Breathing Practice to Feel Expansive

I had a request for some breathwork so this episode’s practice is an expansive breathing practice. But first, I’m sharing about finding a vision and a mission for my work as a healer. As you listen, I invite you to consider what your vision and mission are. What is your dream for the world, and how are you going to make it happen? For the breathing practice you will only need a comfortable place to sit or to lay down.

If you would like to chat about this episode or learn more about yoga, Shamanic Reiki, wildlife conservation, or other ways we can bring healing to all of the beings on our beautiful planet Earth, join us in the Shamanic Flow Circle group on Facebook or sign up for the newsletter.

This episode’s image is by Jill Wellington from Pixabay. Thank you Mark Piper for the background music.

While the yoga and other practices presented are intended to be accessible to most, please be open to practicing in an appropriate and safe way for you. It is recommended that you consult your physician before beginning any new exercise program and that at any time during a practice you feel nausea, dizziness, or pain you stop and seek medical advice. I accept no liability whatsoever for any damages arising from the use of my podcasts and, while I make all reasonable efforts to share accurate instruction, the podcast may contain unintended errors. Before all else, listen to your body and trust your inner knowing.

Podcast Ep 14: Feminine Restorative Yoga for International Women’s Day

It’s International Women’s Day and I’m celebrating a friend who is doing amazing work for victims of domestic abuse at www.ebinra.com with the VictimsVoice app, talking about a feminine approach to the business of healing, and leading a restorative yoga practice you can do with one blanket in this episode of My Shamanic Life.

If you would like to chat about this episode or learn more about yoga, Shamanic Reiki, wildlife conservation, or other ways we can bring healing to all of the beings on our beautiful planet Earth, join us in the Shamanic Flow Circle group on Facebook or sign up for our newsletter.

While the yoga and other practices presented are intended to be accessible to most, please be open to practicing in an appropriate and safe way for you. It is recommended that you consult your physician before beginning any new exercise program and that at any time during a practice you feel nausea, dizziness, or pain you stop and seek medical advice. I accept no liability whatsoever for any damages arising from the use of my podcasts and, while I make all reasonable efforts to share accurate instruction, the podcast may contain unintended errors. Before all else, listen to your body and trust your inner knowing.

Image by rawpixel on Pixabay. Thank you Mark Piper for the background music.

Podcast Ep 13: Shamanic Journey to Connect With a Power Animal

I had a last-minute schedule change and could only record a short episode this week. Since I am preparing to lead a Shamanic Reiki Level Two training and I’m sending Reiki to a pregnant giraffe (check out www.aprilthegiraffe.com or visit the Animal Adventure Park’s YouTube channel to watch the webcam with me), it is a great time to talk about how shamanic journeying made distance Reiki accessible for me. I’ll lead you on a short journey to find a power animal, so get comfy seated or laying down.

If you would like to chat about this episode or learn more about yoga, Shamanic Reiki, wildlife conservation, or other ways we can bring healing to all of the beings on our beautiful planet Earth, join us in the Shamanic Flow Circle group on Facebook (you’ll find a link in the footer) or sign up for the newsletter.

While the yoga and other practices presented are intended to be accessible to most, please be open to practicing in an appropriate and safe way for you. It is recommended that you consult your physician before beginning any new exercise program and that at any time during a practice you feel nausea, dizziness, or pain you stop and seek medical advice. I accept no liability whatsoever for any damages arising from the use of my podcasts and, while I make all reasonable efforts to share accurate instruction, the podcast may contain unintended errors. Before all else, listen to your body and trust your inner knowing.

Podcast Ep. 12: Yoga and Reiki for Emotional Release

The Reiki symbol Sei Hei Ki came out of Dorothy May’s Archetypal Reiki deck to support me at the end of a rough week. In this episode I’ll talk about that symbol, my down days, grief, and emotional release. The 30-minute yoga practice explores some typically tight or held places in the physical body and invites a letting go on the physical and emotional levels. If you like props for sitting in easy pose, such as blankets or blocks, grab them and unroll your mat. (Sorry for the weird buzz in the background. I didn’t hear it until I listened to the recording.)

If you would like to chat about this episode or learn more about yoga, Shamanic Reiki, wildlife conservation, or other ways we can bring healing to all of the beings on our beautiful planet Earth, join us in the Shamanic Flow Circle group on Facebook or visit my website at www.DebbiePhilp.com and sign up for the newsletter.

Deep gratitude to Mark Piper for the background music.

While the yoga and other practices presented are intended to be accessible to most, please be open to practicing in an appropriate and safe way for you. It is recommended that you consult your physician before beginning any new exercise program and that at any time during a practice you feel nausea, dizziness, or pain you stop and seek medical advice. I accept no liability whatsoever for any damages arising from the use of my podcasts and, while I make all reasonable efforts to share accurate instruction, the podcast may contain unintended errors. Before all else, listen to your body and trust your inner knowing.

Podcast Ep 11: Yin yoga practice to soothe the heart

This week I said a final goodbye to one of my dogs and experienced the death of a young deer the team at North Country Wild Care and I rescued too late. I recorded this episode with a heavy heart but allowed myself to be vulnerable and share. I sequenced a 30-minute soothing Yin Yoga practice to caress the heart and allow the emotional hurt to be there, held but not squashed down. A few folded blankets or cushions can add extra support during these poses.

If you would like to chat about this episode or learn more about yoga, Shamanic Reiki, wildlife conservation, or other ways we can bring healing to all of the beings on our beautiful planet Earth, join us in the Shamanic Flow Circle group on Facebook or sign up for the newsletter.

Deep gratitude to Mark Piper for the background music.

While the yoga and other practices presented are intended to be accessible to most, please be open to practicing in an appropriate and safe way for you. It is recommended that you consult your physician before beginning any new exercise program and that at any time during a practice you feel nausea, dizziness, or pain you stop and seek medical advice. I accept no liability whatsoever for any damages arising from the use of my podcasts and, while I make all reasonable efforts to share accurate instruction, the podcast may contain unintended errors. Before all else, listen to your body and trust your inner knowing.

Podcast Ep 10: Yoga to Connect with Fire and Air in Eagle Pose

When the Eagle card from Kim Krans’ The Wild Unknown Animal Spirit deck came up today I was taken by surprise. I’ve been battling depression and anxiety, partially seasonal and partially due to dread and helplessness over the imminent destruction of the National Butterfly Sanctuary for a section of unneeded wall on the southern border of the U.S. Lifting to meet Spirit like Eagle felt impossible while I was feeling heavy. But the Universe knows that if I get into my body and start to break apart an asana, I can shift out of feeling powerless, even if it’s just for a little while. I dropped into Garudasana (Eagle pose) and broke it down for you, focusing on the interplay between the fiery core work and keeping your heart open for air, in a 40-ish minute practice. You won’t need anything but your mat.

If you would like to chat about this episode or learn more about yoga, Shamanic Reiki, wildlife conservation, or other ways we can bring healing to all of the beings on our beautiful planet Earth, join us in the Shamanic Flow Circle group on Facebook or sign up for the newsletter.

While the yoga and other practices presented are intended to be accessible to most, please be open to practicing in an appropriate and safe way for you. It is recommended that you consult your physician before beginning any new exercise program and that at any time during a practice you feel nausea, dizziness, or pain you stop and seek medical advice. I accept no liability whatsoever for any damages arising from the use of my podcasts and, while I make all reasonable efforts to share accurate instruction, the podcast may contain unintended errors. Before all else, listen to your body and trust your inner knowing.

Podcast Ep 09: Yoga to Explore Spirals

To open this episode, I pulled the “Spiral” card from Alberto Villoldo’s Mystic Shaman Oracle deck. Spirals are very present in Shamanic Reiki and in yoga – as we create spirals in our physical body that reflect the energetic spirals that exist. Explore the spiral with me as a symbol of our spiritual growth cycles and in a 40-minute yoga practice. You’ll be doing some seated work to begin the practice, so please gather a folded blanket, cushion, or block to sit on if needed before you begin.

If you would like to chat about this episode or learn more about yoga, Shamanic Reiki, wildlife conservation, or other ways we can bring healing to all of the beings on our beautiful planet Earth, join us in the Shamanic Flow Circle group on Facebook or visit my website at www.DebbiePhilp.com and sign up for the newsletter.

While the yoga and other practices presented are intended to be accessible to most, please be open to practicing in an appropriate and safe way for you. It is recommended that you consult your physician before beginning any new exercise program and that at any time during a practice you feel nausea, dizziness, or pain you stop and seek medical advice. I accept no liability whatsoever for any damages arising from the use of my podcasts and, while I make all reasonable efforts to share accurate instruction, the podcast may contain unintended errors. Before all else, listen to your body and trust your inner knowing.