This piece originally appeared on the Nita Lake Lodge blog. For more information on how to make the most of your Whistler vacation, click here, and then join us at Wanderlust Whistler! For tickets and more information, click here.
At last, you’ve made it to the top. The nagging ache of your legs is a distant memory as you take in your surroundings. Peaks boast snowcaps underneath the summer sun; mountains stretch into the distance until blurring into an alpine haze. This is Whistler, British Columbia. Here, magnificent views are directly proportional to your elevation, making hiking a must.
After conquering the trail, the next best feeling will be stretching out those worn legs. A few simple yoga stretches will do the trick. That being said, if you happen to land in Whistler during August, you’re in for a real treat—Wanderlust Whistler is August 1–4. If you’re a fellow adventure-lover, rather than a few yoga poses post-hike, you can immerse yourself in four-days worth. Not to mention, a stellar musical lineup, an amazing community (complete with built-in hiking buddies) and as much time in nature as you desire.
Whether or not you’ll be partaking in August’s festivities, try out these stretches after your next long hike. Start on the right side (explained) and move through all the poses, sequentially. After you’ve gone through the entire sequence with the right leg, revisit with the left.
Prop Note: The following stretches utilize a yoga strap to make the shapes more accessible. If you don’t have a strap handy, a towel, belt or resistance band will work just as well.
Post-Hike Mini-Sequence To Relieve Tired Legs
Single Leg Happy Baby Pose
Start on your back with knees bent and feet flat to the floor. With the strap in your right hand, bring your right knee into your chest and place the strap on the instep of the foot. Position your ankle above your knee so your shin is perpendicular to the floor and keep a deep knee bend. Add gentle resistance by pulling the strap toward the earth. Hold for one minute and breathe.
Reclined Hand to Big Toe Pose “A”
From Happy Baby Pose, begin to straighten your right leg up to the sky; add slack to the strap if needed. Continue to straighten the leg until you reach your edge (your knee may or may not have a slight bend). Flex the foot and lengthen through the back of your leg. Hold for one minute and breathe.
Reclined Hand to Big Toe Pose “B”
Continue the actions from the previous pose (strap in hand, leg toward straight, foot flexed) and open your right leg to the right side of the room. Hold for one minute and breathe.
Thread the Needle Pose
Exit the last shape by bringing your leg back up to the sky and re-bending your knee. Release the strap – you won’t need it for the remaining poses. Hook your outer right ankle on top of your left thigh. (Note: Your left leg is still bent, foot flat on the floor.) Your legs will make a “figure 4” shape. Flex your right foot, hold for one minute and breathe. If you’d like to deepen the pose, interlace your hands around the underside of your left thigh. (Your right arm will need to go between your legs to catch the interlace.)
Twisted Roots Pose
Now wrap your right thigh over your left as if you were seated with legs crossed. Bring your knees toward your chest and let your legs fall to the left. Try to keep your right shoulder blade on the ground. If it continues to lift, add a pillow or scrunched up T-shirt underneath your left knee or thigh. Hold this twist for one minute and breathe.
Unwind with Ankle Rolls
Bring your right knee back into your chest, hug your shin, and roll out your ankle. Take a few deep breaths while relaxing around the right hip socket. Release the leg and rest with both legs long. Notice the difference between sides—particularly how much longer the right leg now feels compared to the left.
Repeat the entire sequence on the left side.
Kacey Janeen Waxler is a California-based yoga instructor and writer on the hunt for adventure and good stories. Her words can be located amongst noteworthy brands including Corona Extra, Athleta and Darling Magazine, and in the flesh she can be found reading unapologetically from the glow of a headlamp, geeking out over sequencing, or neck deep in a deliciously hot bath. Follow her adventures at @kaceyjaneen or grab her vinyasa sequences that take you on a journey at theflowfix.com.