PLAY TO YOUR STRENGTHS! YOGA TO INCREASE POWER AND STAMINA FOR SUCCESSFUL OUTDOOR PURSUITS
Words & Video by Katherine Englishman // Photo by Joe Klementovich
No matter what it is, every outdoor pursuit requires a certain amount of strength to do it and enough stamina to see it through. We all have varying levels of skill, ability, and of course, different objectives in mind. However, the essence of feeling strong in your body and completing the task is the same for everyone.
Yet, strength can be dynamic, and having stamina isn’t the same thing as burning yourself out. You don’t always have to muscle through something ‘til the end and compromise your well being. Don’t get me wrong; I really enjoy a good sufferfest. Why? Because it challenges me in ways that go beyond the physical and forces me to make hard choices that oftentimes have valuable, or at least, interesting takeaways at the end.
Due to the physical nature of outdoor adventuring, be it backpacking, surfing, trail running, or skiing, it’s super important to have the strength required to keep things functioning at their best and prevent unnecessary wear and tear. But we all know that cultivating a strong mind is just as important as finding it in your body. Yoga is an incredible way to explore how you relate to strength and stamina on and off the mat. Since it’s just as much—if not more—a contemplative practice as it is physical, this is where we learn the tools we need to be more resilient, to stay strong, and stay with it for the long haul.
So! In this slightly longer video, say hello to your quads! Kidding, well...not really...
We’ll practice poses that are intended to be challenging and invite us to find our edge. When you get there, consider how it feels and how you’re engaging with these poses. Learn how to fine-tune the breath to stay focused and calm and connect to your physical self to see where you can give more or perhaps (gasp!), where you can pull back to reserve energy for that final push to the summit. These things will serve you well the next time you’re grinding it out, I promise.
I’ll see you on the mat!
Katherine Englishman is a writer and yoga teacher based in the beautiful state of Maine. You can find her outside skiing, hiking, biking, or teaching yoga and meditation for the modern yoga student at Waypoints Yoga