Must-do yoga stretches after a rejuvenating, but hectic trek

Yoga stretches can ease your aches and pains to quite an extent, especially after a physically strenuous trek.
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Finishing a hike can give you a sense of achievement and confidence-boost! Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Vanshika Sharma Updated: 12 Sep 2022, 08:13 pm IST
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A trek can be all things fun and adventure! It can also be about soaking in eye-soothing sights and sounds of nature. Although climbing and walking through mountains may be interesting and enjoyable, it can also be physically strenuous. Does that imply that we should abandon our plans to go on a trek? Clearly not! Instead, we may attempt some yoga stretches after the hike.

You can tell whether you’ve had a successful day of trekking if your legs are fatigued. However, it’s time to think about a post-trek recovery routine if you’re dealing with stiff glutes, muscle exhaustion, or some form of tension in your feet, knees, hips for days on end.

Certified yoga instructor Shynee Narang took to her Instagram page to suggest some yoga stretches that you can try post trek to release tightness in any part of your body. Come, let’s take some tips!

1. Yoga stretches to release tension from feet

If you’re a hiker, you know that having painful, sore feet after a trek, or some strain in the feet is quite common. Although occasional foot pain or soreness is to be expected, but when it persists for days or weeks after the trek, it may be necessary to look into the issue or take some action. Looking for ways to reduce body ache, here you go!

Some stretching exercises that you can try if you have tension in your feet:

Point and flex the feet
* Your knees should be straight while you sit on the ground with your legs out in front of you.
* If your hamstrings are feeling tight, lean back even further while supporting your back with your elbows.
* By bringing your toes up toward your torso, flex your feet.

Ankle rotations
You can simply rotate your ankle, first clockwise and then anti-clockwise. Ankle rotation is a yoga stretching exercise which helps you free up your ankle joints and relieves stress and tension. Additionally, this exercise increases your flexibility and warms up your ankles, calves and feet, reducing the risk of any trek-related injuries.
* Try to push heels down
* Sit on your heels and move your body forward and then backward.
* You can stretch your heels with this exercise and let go of any tension which is there in your heels.

2. Yoga stretches to release tension from knees

Due to the high ascents and rough terrain, trekking upward can be difficult. And hiking downhill can harm the knee joint and the cartilage around it. You can often feel some stress in your knees after the trek. This is due to the fact that trekking downhill produces three to four times more compressive stresses on the knee than hiking uphill.

Some yoga stretches that you can try if you have tension in your knees:

Extending legs
* Keep your back straight while you sit on the ground.
* Extend your leg, as far as you can.
* Now, fold it and repeat the same.


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Folded knee movement
* Sit down on the floor.
* Maintain a straight back.
* Bring your left knee over to meet your right leg.
* Now, raise and lower the folded knee.
* Repeat the same by taking your right knee as well.

3. Yoga stretches to release tension from hips

Hip pain might be a serious bummer during and after a long day of trekking! It is really common as we put our hips under a lot of strain when we carry our food and camping gear in our backpacks when hiking over the mountains.

Some stretching exercises that you can try if you have tension in your hips:

Butterfly pose or titliasana
* Sit on the floor and keep your spine straight.
* Sit on the floor and keep your spine straight.
* By making a tight grip with your hands or fingers, hold your feet firmly.
* As much as you can, attempt to lift your feet up to your pelvis.
* Now, without applying pressure, raise and lower the thighs like a butterfly’s wings. Try to contact the ground with your knees.
* Repeat the steps as necessary to suit your capacity.

Garland pose or Malasana
* Stand with your feet spaced about a mat’s width apart.
* Kneel down and lower your butt toward the floor to begin in a squat position.
* It’s normal for your toes to want to point out, so go ahead and do that, but try not to overdo it. * The feet are eventually kept roughly parallel.
* Keep your spine straight, your butt going toward the floor, and your shoulders relaxed and apart from your ears. After holding this position for a while, straighten your legs.

4. Yoga stretches to release tension from quads

Your front thigh’s quad muscles are the largest set of muscles in your body collectively. After a trek, your muscle fibres will be strained as you would have put through movements for which they may not necessarily be prepared by the prolonged nature of an activity like trekking for several hours. The micro-trauma that might cause discomfort or stiffness is brought on by this.

Stretching exercise that you can try if you have tension in your quads:

Standing quad stretch
* Hold onto a countertop or chair back while standing to help keep your balance.
* Grab your ankle with one hand and move your foot towards your buttocks to bend your knee.
* To bend your knee as far as it will go; gently pull on your ankle.
* Stay in place for 30 seconds.
* Return to your original position.

5. Yoga stretches to release tension from chest and back

It is possible to strain the muscles in the chest and upper back at the same time. For example, via repetitive motions or lifting objects that are heavy. Carrying your trekking equipment around on your back all the time can cause this.

Some stretching exercises that you can try if you have tension in your chest or back:

Contraction and expansion of chest
* Sit on the ground with your spine straight and raise your hands.
* Bring your hands towards your chest and let your chest contract.
* Open your hands again and bring them to the original position and let your chest expand.
* Now, repeat the same for a couple of time.

Seated side stretches
* Sit on the ground with your legs folded.
* Reach with your left arm while bending your upper body to the left. Raise your right arm overhead.
* As you bend, keep your upper body looking forward; don’t twist it to the side.
* Ensure that the muscles along your side, from your lower back up to your shoulder, are being gently stretched.
* For 20 seconds, maintain the stretch.
* Try doing this on the other side as well.

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