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EXPERT ADVICE: PLAIN & SIMPLETM YOUR EXPERTS

Graham Thompson GT – Trail’s technical editor for over 25 years – is our walking gear guru.

YOGA FOR HILLWALKERS How practising this eastern art could improve your enjoyment of the hills. What is yoga?

Rob Johnson MIC Rob is an international expedition leader and mountain instructor.

Lyle Brotherton Navigation expert Lyle is one of the world’s leading authorities on search and rescue.

Jeremy Ashcroft Trail’s mountaineering editor Jeremy has a lifetime of outdoors experience.

In the Western world yoga is mainly a physical practice, with the focus on breathing, stretching, meditating and relaxing. Originating from an ancient Indian practice that unites the body and mind, yoga is now mainstream with a wide range of styles to choose from.

Why should we be doing it? Stretches borrowed from classical yoga poses will help our bodies recover from the exertions of hillwalking: ● Walking is a repetitive action, placing strain on the body through the hips, knees and legs. ● We carry rucksacks, which are heavy and possibly incorrectly loaded on our shoulders. This can cause our shoulders and chest to collapse in, causing back and shoulder pain. ● The steep ups and downs on demanding terrain can add to the overall weariness of the body. This all means that building in a few stretches at the end of your walk is time well spent. In simple terms, we put our body

76 TRAIL NOVEMBER 2015

Yoga expert Yen Yau is a yoga teacher living in Kendal with a specialist interest in yoga for sport. She teaches regular classes and runs yoga and hiking weekends with her partner Kevin, who is ML- and IML-qualified. www.mountainhikes.co.uk

Back stretch back to pre-walk mode, we lengthen out muscles that have got us from A to B, and we release lactic acid that can build up to make you stiff and weary. In the long term, yoga can prevent injuries, increase the range of motion around joints, and improve general wellbeing.

Using the back of a chair to support yourself, lift the arms and lean forward at the hip. Keep the arms and legs straight – you’re aiming for a ‘table top’ shape.

How to do it You don’t need any equipment. All you need is something to help you balance, such as a bench, chair or wall. Each stretch should be held for 20 seconds and overall it should only take about five minutes. Each stretch should just be a little uncomfortable at first and then ease off, which means you are doing it correctly. Stop if you experience any sharp or severe pain. It may seem obvious, but remember to keep breathing!

Calf stretch Stand with feet together against a chair or wall. Take a step back with one leg. Keep it straight and keep the heel in contact with the ground. Bend the knee a little in the back leg for a more intense stretch.

Trail magazine November 2015  

Get a sneak peek of the November 2015 issue of Trail – Britain's best-selling hill walking magazine! The new issue is on sale Thursday 8th O...

Trail magazine November 2015  

Get a sneak peek of the November 2015 issue of Trail – Britain's best-selling hill walking magazine! The new issue is on sale Thursday 8th O...

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