We all know that walking in the Alps is incredible. Soaring mountain peaks, lush green forests and glacial blue rivers, views that simply take your breath away. With hundreds of marked trails here in the Austria Alps, and the oldest and largest Austrian National Park, the Hohe Tauren right on our doorstep, we are spoilt for choice when it comes to hiking from MoaAlm. It's easy to escape the crowds and forget your city lives in this remote mountain region.
However, sometimes the views alone are not enough to drag us from our cosy beds. Before a day of hiking, we may wake up feeling sluggish and uninspired. After a day of hiking, our leg muscles feel sore and our backs ache from carrying our backpacks. This is why we combine our daily guided hikes with daily yoga and meditation sessions. We want to be active, but relaxed, energised and refreshed in both mind and body.
Yoga helps reduce both the risk of being sore after your hike and the risk of injury on your hike.
Where to start?
The following yoga poses are very simple and can be done anywhere at any time. (Our favourite place to stretch out is next to a river just before we eat our delicious packed lunch!)
Pose 1 - Legs: Wide legged forward fold
Beginner: Place your feet wider than hip width apart, making sure they are parallel. Put your hands on your hips, inhale deeply and lengthen your spine, fold your body forward from the hips as you exhale. Hold for three breaths.
Intermediate: Place your feet wider than hip width apart, making sure they are parallel. Link your fingers behind your back and inhale, lengthening your spine. Fold forwards from your hips, raising your arms above your head. Hold for three breaths.
Pose 2 - Back: Puppy Dog
Come onto all fours. Your shoulders should be above your wrists and your hips should be above your knees. Walk your hands forward a few inches and curl your toes under. As you exhale, move your buttocks halfway back toward your heels. Keep your arms active; don't let your elbows touch the ground.Drop your forehead to the floor and let your neck relax. Keep a slight curve in your lower back. To feel a nice long stretch in your spine, press the hands down and stretch through the arms while pulling your hips back toward your heels. Hold for thirty seconds
Pose 3 - Breathing: Alternate nostril breathing
Sit in any comfortable seated position. Relax the body and rest your left hand on your lap or knee. Make a "peace sign" with your right hand. Fold the two extended fingers toward the palm. Place your thumb gently onto your right nostril. Place your ring and little fingers gently onto your left nostril. Close your eyes and begin by softly closing your right nostril (using your right thumb) and inhale slowly, without strain through your left nostril. Close your left nostril (using your ring and little fingers) and release closure of your right. Exhale through your right nostril. Inhale through your right nostril. Close your right nostril and release closure of your left. Exhale through your left nostril. This completes one round. Continue the pattern for as long as you wish. When you’re finished: relax both arms, sit and breathe naturally for a few moments before opening your eyes.
Yoga and hiking at MoaAlm
Five days of Alpine hiking is tough on the body, especially if your walking is usually limited to weekends and pacing through the city. The guided walks we offer take in some of the most incredible views in Austria, traversing high mountain ridges, lush alpine forestry and following winding rivers. Our yoga sessions are designed to help you stretch and strengthen your body in preparation for your hike and to restore your body after your hike. We combine hatha and yin yoga in our panoramic studio and when the weather allows, we take our practice outside and breathe in the fresh mountain air. We also have a plant based dining experience for our guests. We only serve plant based and the food is really important to us.
But it is not all about your body. Looking after your mind is incredibly important too. MoaAlm is a beautiful remote space, excellent for getting away from it all and escaping the summer crowds. Meditation is a regular part of our yoga classes, and we encourage guests to take time to relax in our natural surroundings.
Want to join us? We still have space this summer! Bookings can be made at www.wearactive.com. We are also offering 'flexi booking' options for this summer in light of the current travel uncertainty in Europe due to Covid 19. This means that if you book a holiday with us now you can change or cancel your holiday free of charge up to 14 days before your departure date.