10 reasons why you should include yoga in your hiking training plan

Published by


I think that yoga is one of the best activities to incorporate into a hiking training plan. But don’t just trust me on that, read on to find out why yoga for hiking is such a great combination.

For more information on training for the Camino de Santiago, you can find our guide here.

Is yoga good for hiking?

Yoga is a great form of exercise to get into if you want to improve your hiking experience. Yoga improves your strength and stamina, as well as enhancing your flexibility and mobility. Read on to find out why yoga is such a good activity to include in your hiking training plan.

Can doing yoga help me to train for hiking?

If you want to hike further or more regularly. You might want to consider a hiking training plan, specifically to prep and condition your body for your hiking activity . Yoga is an excellent addition to a hiking training plan. Not only is it low impact, but yoga is excellent for strengthening your body and improving mobility.

If you want to give it a go, you can find my bespoke yoga for hiking online course here.

One: Yoga improves strength

Yoga is not all about sitting on a mat meditating. Sure, meditation and breathing (pranayama) are considered to be part of yoga in the wider sense. But yoga also includes physical poses (asana). These poses are not easy and require physical strength to get them right.

Practising yoga regularly will make your body stronger. Yoga cultivates strength in your core, lower and upper body. It also encourages lean muscular tone, rather than bulking your body. If building strength is a goal of your hiking training plan, you should definitely consider adding yoga.

Two: Yoga can target specific muscle groups

Yoga is a whole body workout. But, you can choose specific poses to target specific muscle groups. The main muscle groups used in hiking are glutes, hamstrings and quadriceps. With countless yoga poses and sequences available, you can tailor your practice to enhance the muscular tone and strength of these particular areas! A great way to manage your hiking training plan.

Three: Yoga cultivates mental stillness

Hiking, especially long distance or multi-day hikes can be challenging. But as the saying goes, When the going gets tough, the yogi gets breathing! If you can sit in a toe squat for one minute, you can dig yourself out of a mental hole when you’re finding a hike particularly challenging.

Meditation too cultivates a sense of mental stillness. When you meditate, you learn to see your thoughts as something separate to yourself. This is not to say that yogis can control their thoughts. But just that over time one can notice and acknowledge thoughts without allowing the thoughts to control actions or mood.

Four: Yoga improves your stamina for hiking

Yoga can improve your stamina in a number of ways. Firstly, improved psychical stamina comes from practising poses and holding them over a long class.

Secondly, physiological stamina is improved when you can learn to elongate and fully use your breath during yoga. The increased oxygen efficiency will improve stamina.

Finally, yoga cultivates mental stamina, as we learn to detach from negative thought patterns. Yoga teaches a sense of “impermanence”, reminding us that discomfort felt during practise is temporary.

Five: Yoga improves your stability and mobility

Yoga poses require balance and muscular stability. Regular practice can improve both of these qualities. This is hugely beneficial to hiking, especially when walking over uneven and challenging terrain.

The joint mobility and muscular flexibility that is gained through yoga practice, also helps to minimize injuries when hiking. As well as improving your walking cadence and posture. This is definitely a useful thing to aim for in your hiking training plan.

Six: Yoga and hiking both allow you to find joy

One of the things that I love about hiking, is slowing down and noticing my surroundings more. In turn, I am able to feel joy from everything around me. I feel that hiking allows you time and space to interact with your environment, free from distraction.

Yoga offers a similar feeling. Through sustained practice, including physical poses, meditation and breath work, I find that I am more able to find joy in small things too.

Seven: Yoga can help you avoid injuries

Injuries when hiking are common and have several causes. Possibly one of the biggest injury risks for hikers is not being fit enough for the hike attempted. This could be as a result of poor stamina, endurance or muscular strength. For example, weak glute muscles can cause knee and hip injuries. Improving strength through yoga helps to minimise the risk of this sort of injury.

Another set of injuries could be caused by falling over or tripping. Of course this could be down to clumsiness or incorrect footwear. But often it results from poor balance. Sustained yoga practice can help with the latter! Especially if you incorporate balancing postures into your sequences.

Eight: Yoga can prepare your feet for hiking

Often foot problems when hiking are caused by tight muscles in your legs! Your muscular fascia run all the way down your legs into your feet. It’s all connected. So, if you have more flexibility on your leg muscles, particular calves and hamstrings you’re less likely to experience certain types of foot pain when hiking.

Plus, there are yoga poses that can target your feet and ankles. Including these poses in your practice can greatly benefit your feet. You might not have thought about including your feet in your hiking training plan, but you definitely should.

Nine: Yoga and hiking share similar values

One of the reasons that I believe yoga is often popular with hikers and vice versa, is that both activities attract like minded people. That is to say that yoga teaches respect for our environment, our fellow students and our teacher.

Hiking has similar principles. Hikers appreciate nature and make sure that they don’t do anything to harm their environment, for example hikers would not leave rubbish on a trail!

Ten: Yoga can be done anywhere, even on the trails

Yoga mats are, on average 24 by 68 inches. You can do everything you need to do in this small space. You can also get a travel yoga mat. This means you can pretty much roll out a yoga mat anywhere you want and get going.

Plus, you don’t always need a mat. Some types of yoga could be done on a towel, or on the beach or grass. You could even do yoga in bed.

What I’m getting at is, that where ever in the world you are traveling or wherever you are hiking, you can also do yoga. A quick yoga warm up on the trails? No problem!

Find out more about our yoga based hiking training plan

We have a bespoke yoga for hiking course. Designed to meet all your hiking training needs. Find out more here.

5 best pilgrimage routes in Europe to walk right now

5 BEST PILGRIMAGE ROUTES IN EUROPE TO WALK RIGHT NOW. Are you looking for a life changing experience? Many people choose to walk a pilgrimage at some point in their lives. Whether this is for religious or spiritual reasons, to meet people, as a personal challenge or just for fun. But not all pilgrimage routes…

Best Beaches and beach towns in Albania: A guide to the Albanian Riviera

BEST BEACHES AND BEACH TOWNS IN ALBANIA: A GUIDE TO THE MUST VISIT BEACH DESTINATIONS ON THE ALBANIAN RIVIERA. A visit to Albania is not complete without dipping your toes in the cool, clear waters of the Ionian Sea. The beaches and beach towns in Albania are plentiful, making the Albanian Riviera an increasingly popular…

Is Albania worth visiting? 12 mistakes to avoid when visiting Albania

IS ALBANIA WORTH VISITING? 12 MISTAKES TO AVOID WHEN VISITING ALBANIA TO MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR TRIP. Albania is a small but varied country, from world class beaches to extraordinary hiking and mountain scenery. The capital, Tirana, is exciting and ever-changing. Vineyards surround UNESCO heritage sites, olive trees and pine trees adorn the coast…

Most of our planning is done using other blogs, but you can’t beat a guide book at the bottom of your case.

Find them here on Amazon.





Please note that some links on our website are partnered with affiliates. Using an affiliate links does not make it more expensive for you to purchase. We receive a small commission whenever you buy something which in turn allows us to keep writing independent travel guides and your support is greatly appreciated.

%d bloggers like this: