Summer is right around the corner here in the Pacific Northwest, and you know what that means … Vacations! Camping! Backpacking! Road trips and Flights!
Summering is super fun, except when you’ve been cramped in the tiniest of airplane seats or trapped in a car for hours. You finally arrive at your destination with an achy back, and there’s no amount of coffee that will successfully revive you. Well, friends … I’m here to help. Yoga to the rescue! Here’s a little taste of a workshop I’ve developed to help address some of those pesky travel-induced ails.
Before getting in your car or hopping on that plane, get your blood flowing and move your spine in all directions, especially twists and gentle back bending movements:
- Standing Twist Flow – Stand with your feet wider than your hips, with your knees and toes turned out a little. Soften your knees place your arms next to your sides. Begin twisting side to side, and let your arms be floppy. As you twist to the right, lift your left heel and allow your left foot and entire leg rotate inward (to the R) and do the same for the opposite side. Do this for a minute or more. To help you stay balanced and prevent dizziness, find an object to look at in each direction you’re twisting.
- Standing Back Bend – Place your hands on your low back and upper sacrum. Draw your pubic bone towards your belly using your abdominals. Inhale lift your ribcage away from your pelvis, reach your sternum forward and up, moving into a little back bend. You may keep your chin tucked or slowly release your head back.
DURING: (not for the driver!)
Movements focusing on your feet and legs to inspire circulation in your low body and stretches to open your chest:
- The Alphabet – Draw the alphabet with your foot.
- Chest opener – Sit forward on your seat. Interlace your fingers and place your hands behind your head with wide elbows and move into a little baby backbend, while looking upward slightly.
Get those hip flexors stretched out and blood flowing from your low body back up with an inversion. You will also benefit from doing the “Before” postures as well.
- Hi Lunge Pose – From standing, step one leg back into a long stance, with the ball of your back foot rooted, and your heel lifted. Bend your front knee over your front heel. Reach your arms out to the sides, shoulder height, and then bend your elbows and point your fingers up towards the sky for “Cactus Arms”. If you’re not getting enough stretch in your back leg hip flexors, scoot your foot back a little more. Take 10 deep breaths or more then switch sides.
- Legs up on a wall or chair (or a tree!) – Lie down next to a wall, a chair or a stool and put your legs up. Rest here for 5 minutes or more.