Is Hiking the New Yoga?

This headline jumped off the screen the other day!

Is hiking the new yoga? Hmmm.

I do both, and I love both. I have, on occasion, combined the two on yoga hikes. Love squared!

But can one replace the other? Let’s see.

Hiking and yoga are both full-body workouts.

Both activities will increase strength in your legs and give your core a killer workout.  The uneven surfaces in hiking will force your body and core to readjust for balance, and the planks in yoga? They speak for themselves. Both activities also offer cardiovascular benefits.

Hiking and yoga both improve lung function.

As with any cardio activity, the more you hike, the more you’ll improve your lung capacity. Yoga will improve your breathing capacity and will teach you breathing techniques to help calm your system and relax. On a recent hike in Colorado, these techniques helped when I felt out of breath in the higher altitudes. I was able to slow my breathing and take in more air using my yoga breath.

Hiking and yoga both build endurance.

Hiking for miles on uneven terrain, powering up inclines and putting the brakes on when going downhill, carrying a pack; all builds endurance. Yoga does too. Ask anyone who’s done a Vinyasa, also known as a flow, yoga practice. Or held a pose until their limbs were quivering.

Hiking and yoga are great for meditation and introspection.

Both activities encourage mindfulness. Yoga does so actively as part of the practice. The repetition of placing one foot in front of the other while hiking, plus the bonus of being surrounded by nature, encourages mindfulness and reflection.

Hiking and yoga are inexpensive.

Now, if you want to do yoga in Nepal while hiking the Himalayas, it’s gonna cost you. But the entry point for both activities is a good pair of shoes and a yoga mat respectively.

For me, one doesn’t replace the other. They are an exceptional complement to one another. And combining the two is divine. So go on, do some hiking, do some yoga, do them together.

Go forth, people, and bliss out!

I tried a Hikoga class a couple of years ago in North Alabama. Read about my experience here.

We’d love to see you in our 52 Weeks 52 Hikes Group on Facebook. Click the link and join for inspiration, motivation, and encouragement.

Pick up a copy of the 52 Weeks 52 Hikes Journal and write your own adventure.

Thanks for reading!

Hiker practicing yoga
Hiking + Yoga = Bliss




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