A Few of My Favorite Travel Yoga Poses
Traveling is so much fun, and sometimes, so hard on our bodies. Sitting in a car, or on an airplane, or in a bus for hours can make for sore spots and less enjoyable moments.
Here are a few of my favorite yoga poses I use to help recovery from, or sometimes, incorporate into long travel days.
All of the poses can be done on their own, or, string them together to enjoy a short yoga practice.
While in the tight travel places.
There are so many options here. If you are in your travel seat using a compact twist version is nice. Just sit tall, bring one arm across your body and the other just behind your back. Press both hands down to find more hight and a slight twist. No need to drag your body around. Do this a few times on each side and allow your body to open slowly.
Cow face arms:
This is one of my all time favorite shoulder and upper back openers. It is also compact enough to do while sitting in a tight space, ( just beware not to smack your neighbor as you move in and out of the pose). Raise one arm overhead, turn that palm back so that your thumb is facing out, bend the elbow to drop your palm toward your upper back. Bring the opposite arm down turning your palm away from your back, slide that hand up toward the center of your back as much as you can. If you can clasp palms, great, if not just grab hold of your shirt and give a tug for a few breaths. Switch arms so you do both sides.
Once you have space and can spread out a bit.
Hero pose and broken toe pose:
These poses help to open the feet and ankles. When you are sitting for long periods of time, increasing the circulation into the feet is an important practice. You can practice these positions both on the knees with the hips high, or sitting back on the heals. ( Do what feels best to you in both your knees and feet.)
Start by coming to your hands and knees. Take a few moments to lightly tap the tops of your feet to the floor, then drag your toes along the floor as if you are pushing dirt behind you with your feet. Next, bring the tops of your feet to the floor and light press down, slowly sit back to rest on your heels, or rise up to your knees. After a few breaths come back to your hand and knees, flip your toes under and then repeat sitting back your heals or rising up to your knees. Do each a few times.
Lying on your back, place your feet flat on the floor, a comfortable distance away from the hips. Place your arms next to the ribcage. You can either bend your elbows 90 degrees so that your fingers are pointing to the ceiling or hold onto the outer edges of your mat. On an inhalation, press the back of your shoulders and your feet into the floor and lift your hips up. Press the inner feet down actively and keep the knees from spreading out wide, by engaging the inner thighs. Lengthen your tailbone, slide your shoulder blades down your back and keep your neck neutral. You can clasp your hands behind your back.
To come out of the pose, release the arms and roll your spine down on an out-breath.
This pose helps to open the front of the body and give a little backbend.
Lie on your belly, with the forearms flat on the floor, elbows under the shoulders, chin on the floor and legs together. Press the forearms down into the floor and inhale and lift the head and chest off of the floor, keeping the neck in line with the spine. Breath here for a few breaths, release and repeat.
Half Frog Pose:
This is a great pose to open the front of the hips and quadriceps.
Lie on your stomach, and rest on your forearms in sphinx pose, elbows underneath the shoulders. Firm the pubic bone down and draw your belly in. Cross the left forearm in front of the body. Bend your right knee and reach back with the right hand to hold the top of your foot, pulling the foot in towards your right hip. Soften the top of the right thigh. If your foot is close to your buttocks, pivot your hand so that the heel of your hand is pressing the top of your foot, your fingers point forwards and your elbow points upwards. Keep your upper body comfortably facing forward, chest open, front arm engaged.
These are just a few of my favorite travel poses! There are so many poses the list could go on and on. The most important thing to remember is to keep moving so that all that travel does not cause pain! I hope you enjoy!!