While traveling to new places can be exciting and adventurous, it takes a toll on your body and mind. From the stress of making your flight on time to the frustration of being cramped in a small seat, you’ll feel the aches and pains from your head down to your toes. The good news is, however, that you can still practice yoga poses on the way to your destination.
Mats and candles? Not needed. As you’re going, get the blood flowing with these yoga stretches:
Cars/Buses: You might need to sit down for these poses. Well, actually, you probably don’t have much of a choice (haha). Sitting down for long periods of time tightens your entire body and slows down your body’s circulation. While in your seat, repeat some of these poses —
- Seated cat/cow: With your hands on your knees, breathe in as you look up and then breathe out as you arch your back and look down between your legs. It’s all about using your core here. You might hear your back crack a couple of times, which feels oh so good.
- Lotus pose: Not recommended if you have knee issues, but highly recommended to stretch your hips and inner thighs. You can do half-lotus, where you’ll place your right foot onto your left thigh, take about 10 breaths, and repeat. You could also do full lotus, where you’ll sit with your right foot onto your left thigh and your left foot onto your right thigh at the same time. Let your hands rest on your knees as you straighten your back for 10 breaths.
- Eagle pose: To circulate the blood more and to stretch your shoulders and back muscles, try this pose. Bend your arms to a 90 degree angle. Place your right elbow under your left elbow, interlock them, and try to press your palms together. Make sure your shoulders are reaching away from your ears and your elbows are parallel to the floor. Place your right leg over your left leg, hook your right foot on your left leg’s calf, and squeeze. Inhale, take a few breaths, and switch.
Airports: Even though airports are crawling with crowds, you still have the freedom to practice yoga poses by your gate in an open area. Bonus: You can practice standing poses. No need to be embarrassed, as you’ll never see most of these people again.
- Halfway lift: A great pose to stretch your hamstrings and to alleviate anxiety/depression and digestion. As you’re standing with both feet on the floor, reach to touch your toes. Then inhale as you rest your hands onto your calves or thighs in a halfway position, straighten your back, and exhale as you reach to your toes again.
- Mountain pose: Stand with your arms at your sides, palms facing outward. With your feet flat on the floor, slightly apart, press your weight evenly on the balls and arches of your feet. Use your thigh muscles to engage your knees slightly upward, lengthen your tailbone with a neutral pelvis, and move your shoulders away from your ears to broaden your collarbones. Get tall from your feet to the crown of your head. Soften your face muscles and stay here for several breaths.
- Seated forward bend: Sit on the floor with your legs straight in front of you. Make sure your hips and buttocks both even on the floor. Inhale and lean forward using the hip joints, and reach to grab your feet with your head raised. Inhale to lengthen the torso more and exhale to reach forward more.
Airplanes: Similar to cars and buses, you don’t have much room to stretch, but you can still lean your seat back and practice a couple of poses.
- Neck, ankle, wrist/hand rolls: Sit straight up with your shoulders down and back, and roll your neck side to side a couple of times then roll your neck to the right side with your right arm over your head reaching for the left ear and your left hand on your shoulder for about 10 breaths. Repeat on the other side. For the ankles, roll your ankles clockwise and counterclockwise several times. Point your toes outward and then flexing inward for a couple of breaths. Repeat this with your wrists and hands.
- Twisted chair pose: This is a great pose for lubricating the spine, and twists are always great for digestion. While sitting, inhale your hands into a prayer position. Keep your knees side by side and twist from the spine as you exhale your right elbow onto your left knee. Now exhale your left elbow onto your right knee.
- Anterior/posterior shoulder stretch: With both feet on the floor, lean forward as you grab the chair behind you. Keep extending as you move forward and hold for about 10 breaths. With your feet on the floor, reach your arms outward and interlace your fingers with your palm inward. Round your back as you drop your head to look down and hold for about 10 breaths.
Lather, rinse, repeat. When you arrive at your accommodation, you can do a couple of child poses and bridge poses in your hotel room to loosen you up even more. Throw in a few planks and other balancing poses if you’re up for it. If you have the time and there’s an exercise room nearby, you’re in luck to do a lengthier yoga routine!
What are your favorite poses to do while you’re on the move?
Thank you for reading!