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Yoga will help introduce a day in the hills

By Mike Merritt

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Mountaineering Scotland is offering a mountain skills and yoga weekend.
Mountaineering Scotland is offering a mountain skills and yoga weekend.

It will really keep your mind, body and soul in peak condition. For Mountaineering Scotland is, at the third attempt, launching its first course offering yoga combined with Munro-bagging.

The pilot "mountain skills and yoga weekend" includes instruction from Glasgow-based yogi Anna Hodgart.

It will be based at Braedownie Hut in Glen Clova in the Cairngorms and take place on September 4 and 5.

The Munros – mountains over 3000 feet – of Mayar and Driesh will form part of the course.

Mountaineering Scotland's mountaineering safety officer Heather Morning is planning to join the course.

"I think this is a brilliant idea. Yoga can help with the mindfulness of mountaineering as well as reducing the physical stress," she said.

"This will be the third time of trying to run this course. It was cancelled last year and then again because of the pandemic.

"But it will be even more valuable given what we have been through to combine both the joy of the mountains with the benefits of yoga.

Heather Morning.
Heather Morning.

"If the trial is successful we plan to do more of these courses. I think there is a real opportunity to explore and combine yoga and Scotland's mountains with a new experience. I have used yoga for many years and can testify to its benefits for mountaineers."

And the weekend is aimed at both men and women. Three yoga sessions are planned.

"Long days hill walking and climbing can also be arduous on the body, so for the first time we are adding yoga to the mix in our mountain skills weekend this year," says Mountaineering Scotland.

"On each day of the weekend Anna will lead a morning outdoor vinyasa flow, to awaken and prepare body and mind for the physical and mental activity ahead. And when we're back at base on the Saturday late afternoon, a yin and deep release session focused on promoting deep muscle and joint release and physical and mental restoration.

"New to yoga? Don't worry! Anna specialises in introducing newbies to the practice and the sessions will be fun, informal and accessible with lots of options given. Get ready to move, breathe and stretch in the most beautiful environment at Glen Clova. Yoga mats will be provided."

The cost is £100 for Mountaineering Scotland members and includes two nights self-catering accommodation, but not food. You also need a sleeping bag – but not a yoga mat!

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