Marion’s Buen Camino Warm up and Cool Down Yoga Practice

Dec 3 blog snow2In this blog post I was planning to write about my shopping search for Trekking poles.  However the last 2 weekends have been a snow fest and I have not been out shopping.  This is unfortunate since the more it snows, the more I need those walking poles.  During my last walk I found a tree branch and used that as a walking pole to help me trudge through the snow on the Trans Canada Trail.  Instead I will write about my other major exercise commitment for my Camino Santiago de Compostella training in the form of Yoga warm up and cool down poses for long distance walking.

In June when I started my walking training, I also started my Yoga Instructor Training.  My main reason for taking the 200 hour instructor training was to be able to “deep dive” into the Yoga poses for both stretching and strengthening my muscles, breathing (pranayama) techniques to help build my lung capacity and meditation to help with the mental toughness and confidence to complete the 800 kilometer walk.  My goal was to be able to design a yoga practice to support my training efforts for the walk, and to keep me stretched and limber during the actual 40 days of walking on the Camino trail.

click image to enlarge

click image to enlarge

I have been documenting a yoga practice using an application called Yoga Class Plan.   The application has a library of Yoga Poses that you can choose and sequence into a practice. You can also add text to describe how to:

  1. Get into and hold the posture
  2. Transition between poses
  3. Determine what breathing technique to use for the pose
  4. Position your head and neck and what your eyes are doing
  5. Deal with any meditation, intention or other yoga practice related information.

I have included a copy of my draft plan (no text, just pictures & sequence) in this blog post to review.  if you have knowledge of Yoga, and are looking for a good Warm up and Cool down routine for long distance walking, this should help.  I have included a selection of stretching and strengthening postures which focus on:

  • Stretching (and opening) hips,  IT Band, buttocks, hamstrings, lower back & upper back
  • Stretching the spine , opening chest, lungs and shoulders
  • Strengthening core, spine, shoulders, arms and back muscles for carrying the backpack
  • Strengthening  legs, feet and pelvic/hip muscles for long distance walking

I am still writing the text descriptions as noted above, and I will include a copy on this blog once finished.

I plan on using this Yoga practice every day during my Camino Trail adventure.  I will complete these yoga postures every morning as a warm up for my walk, and again after I have finished my daily walk as a cool down and stretch for my muscles.  If you are walking the Camino in 2014 between May 16 and June 30, please join me.  I am thinking of tweeting the location of my yoga warm up and cool down sessions each day.  What do you think?  Join me in stretching, strengthening and setting the daily intention for your walk.  Yoga is more fun when you have a group enjoying the practice together.

I’d love your feedback. Don’t forget to leave a link back to your own blog too if you have one via the commentluv feature here on the site.

Buen Camino and Namaste.


3 thoughts on “Marion’s Buen Camino Warm up and Cool Down Yoga Practice

  1. Hi Marion:
    ingrid sent me your post – I love your blog. You know how to write and convey ideas and emotions – makes it fun to read.
    I am a pilgrim – Walked the 800 km in 2007, just after I turned 60.
    Last Sept and Oct I worked at Rabanal, at the refugio Gualcelmo – run by the British Confraternity – for 2 weeks, then walked into Santiago. Then I went to Zurich to spend 2 weeks with a pilgrim I met in 2007.
    Every day at the end of my walk I would lie with legs up the wall for 20 minutes to decompress, and stop myself from getting on with the laundry etc. I worked very well for me, and I am sure that your practice will be invaluable for you.
    Check out my blog – I am on the committee for the toronto chapter of the Canadian Company of Pilgrims, and help organize the meetings. i also lead a 20 km walk every Friday for people training for the Camino. Last Friday we were 16. Last year’s practicers have returned as they are now addicted to long walks!
    i will follow you blog with interest. I am returning to St Jean Pied de Porte at the end of April to once again walk to Santiago – I don’t think our trails will connect.
    Email me if you have some questions, or just to connect. If you are ever in toronto on a Friday, walk with us – I will be walking every Friday until I leave.
    Meanwhile, Buen Camino!

  2. Hi Marion–

    During some random Camino research, I came upon your blog and have followed your pre-camino training preparation with considerable interest. My husband and I are planning to walk the Camino Frances starting on May 10th or so. We live in Italy, although we are from the U.S. and we’re reasonably fit now but need to build endurance from now until May.

    We hope to meet you on the Camino!

    Catherine Faris recently posted…Pascarosa Extra Virgin Olive Oil Gift Pack – $ 47.00My Profile

    • Thanks for joining me on my Camino training adventure Catherine. I was fairly out of shape when I started my walking and yoga training in June, but have now reached a fitness level where I can build and maintain endurance training until May. Walking in the snow with a backpack and trekking poles has definitely been the start of my endurance training. I am taking load and stress off my hips and knees with the poles plus getting a full body walk out including the additional weight of the pack and the added resistance of the snow. The key is to reach a good level of fitness before adding the additional endurance factors so as not to injure yourself. My friend Marta and I will start our walk on May 19 in St Jean Pied de Port and walk for 40 days arriving in Santiago on June 27. If you are on Twitter or other social media let me know it would be great to keep in touch during the walk. I plan to tweet and blog post along the Way. I visited your website and I really admire what you and your husband have done with your olive oil business and new life in Italy. Have a Happy New Year, and Buen camino. Thanks again for your comments.

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