Ah summer! It’s a time for picnics, barbeques, hikes, swimming pools and beaches. It’s also a time to hit the road and take that long awaited vacation. It’s fun to see new places, try new things, and visit with family or friends. However, sometimes the body gets a little cranky after sitting on long plane rides or in the car for a road trip.
Recently my daughter and I took back to back trips to look at colleges. Other than sitting on flights (or hanging out in airports), we mostly walked on college campuses and in cities. Back at the hotel we read or watched TV. This was pretty relaxing and fun, but upon arriving home my body told me…..loudly…how it missed my daily yoga practice. My hips in particular were tight and achy. Yep….a real pain the butt! But, as they say, hindsight (get it?) is twenty twenty. So next time I travel, whether by air or car, I plan to sneak a little yoga into my journey.
The key to keeping your body happy during travel is to reverse whatever “shape” your body has taken. Think about which joints are bent and which muscles are being used the most. Then it’s just a matter of stretching those bent and overused areas and using those underused muscles.
Let’s look at the average road trip. While driving our knees and hips are bent. The spine might round forward as gravity allows the body to slump down. If you’re the driver, your arms are forward for hours, and if the weather is bad, or visibility is difficult, your head might be forward as well. As the passenger, the shoulders might be rounded as you read or navigate on your phone or on a map (yes, some people still use those). Additionally, the passenger might doze off to sleep and end up in some asymmetrical posture with the head nestled against the window. None of this is natural to our bodies, so no wonder the body protests afterwards!
Of course it’s not feasible to do a full yoga sequence while driving, or even at rest stops, but here are some ideas on how you can work a bit of yoga into your road trip.
Try These Postures At Rest Stops:
- Urvha Hastasana (Upward Salute) with Side Bend
- Seated Figure 4 Stretch
- Seated Cat/Cow
- Eagle Arms
- Neck Stretches
- Shoulder Rotations
Once You Get to Your Destination
- Viparita Karani (Legs Up The Wall)
- Supine Figure 4 Stretch
- Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose)
- Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
I’ll be featuring some videos with brief road trip sequences in my newsletters. Be sure to sign up if you’d find these helpful. You can also contact me to send you a pdf with sequences that you can bring with you for your next trip. Happy travels!
If you’d like a personalized sequence or an individual session focused on your health goals, please drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also join me for one of my classes. See my offerings on my schedule page.
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