We find that most people who doesn't like a sleep in the wild blame various discomforts as their main reason for not camping. " I get a bad back". "My shoulders are not made for a night in the wild". "It's too cold in the morning". Does this sound familiar? It sure does to us! Overcoming our discomforts is one of the main challenges of spending nights in nature. The good thing is that the solution can be quite simple. For this post we looked for expert help and guidance from Katrino Reid. She is a Scottish Seasonal yoga teacher based in Glasgow, and together we've created this Let's Go Slow yoga manual to help you overcome your discomforts and start enjoying your wilderness nights by keeping supple and in touch with what our bodies are saying.
Let yoga help you get comfortable in nature
Shaking off our discomforts is extra important on longer trips. When staying multiple days out in a tent, hammock or simply under the open sky, knowing how to release tension and become comfortable is key. It’s all about movement, that’s what helps get our bodies out of “camping-mode”!
Different bodies have different needs and maybe these movements won't suit your body, but the point of this article is that by listening to your body, by moving your body, you might find that you are in control of your discomforts and start enjoying your wilderness nights more. Just as we did.
Let's Go Slow film from Katrino's camping yoga
Camping yoga - 4 poses to release tension
This little manual is a reminder that there’s a solution to the stiffness in your back and the pain you feel in your shoulders after spending a night in the wilderness. We hope this will help you see past the discomforts, so grab your sleeping bag and head out for a night under the starry skies!
1. Downward facing dog
Adho muka svanasana. Because this pose is good for camping, lets name this the tepee tent pose! You basically want your body in the shape of a tipee tent. Hands shoulder width apart, feet hip width apart. Gently encourage your chest closer towards your thighs and send your tailbone up to the sky! The goal is not to get your heels to the ground so if you need a big bend through your knees here that’s fine! You can pedal out your feet and move a little. This is a great stretch through your whole body, hamstrings, spine, arms, hands and feet. Anti hike strain and anti sleeping mat strain miracle pose!
2. Shoulder release with forward fold
One of my favourites! Bring your feet hip width apart and clasp your hands behind your back, begin to forward fold and as you do keep your hands clasped but begin to release your arms forward. This movement might be really small but don’t worry - you’re still benefitting even if your hands need to stay on your lower back. Remember to bend your knees as much as you need to here! Protect those hamstrings! Relax your head and you can gently sway from side to side finding movement for as long as you need.
3. Squat pose
Malasana. A love or a hate pose I know but let’s go with it! Your hips and lower back will love you for it. The goal is not to get your butt all the way down - bring your feet wider than hip width apart and angle them slightly outwards. Sink your butt as far down as you can. You can always support under your heels with a rolled up mat or under your bum with a bit of height (you can use nature for support - a small rock can be great to perch on!) Bring your hands together at heart centre if you can and think of lenghtening your spine by reaching up and out through the centre of your chest. Stay as long as you need - about 10-15 breaths is great and slowly come out of this by standing back up.
4. Tree pose
Vrksasana. One to focus your mind and connect to nature! Great balance for strengthening the ankles after or before those big hikes or explorations! Come to standing and bring your knee out to one side first then place your foot on your ankle, shin or inner thigh (avoid your knee joint please!) Keep tracking the knee of the lifted leg to the side and find somewhere to focus on (we call this drishti in yoga!) to help keep your balance! Stay and breathe for 10 breaths and if you’re feeling up for it try 10 breaths with your eyes closed!
Who's Katrino Reid?
Katrino was a surprise that popped into our life during the last year of traveling. It's not easy to find people like Katrino, she is one of a kind.
- She is a nature loving, joy spreading, Glasgow based, yoga teacher.
- She is a maker by definition, as she also has her own yoga oil brand (Yogi Oils)
- She teaches at the Kali Collective in central Glasgow and she is one of the talented yoga teachers featured in the Scapa Fest program - The UK's yoga and adventure festival.
- She also happens to be the person (and teacher) that helped us rediscover yoga, opening our minds and making us more susceptible in connecting the world of yoga with slow adventuring.
Combine yoga and slow adventure
We hope you like this handy, little manual as much as we do! Please let us know how you get on with it, and if you would like more like it! Also check out the Scapa Life blog if you're keen to read more about combining yoga and adventure.