Over 100 million Americans travel a distance greater than 50 miles during the December holiday season. This year several holidays will overlap, multiplying the hustle and bustle exponentially. With all of this traveling, we may find ourselves cooped in a plane, car, bus, or train leaving us stiff, uncomfortable, and subsequently annoyed.
Below, learn some yoga moves crafted for confined spaces that you can practice while you travel. After dreadful long lines/traffic/delays, these poses will help you find peace, reset, and restore before you arrive at your destination. Your family and friends will surely thank you for the refreshed and cheery attitude.
Seated Figure 4
Cross one ankle atop opposite knee and flex the foot. Inhale and lengthen through the spine, if you feel a stretch then stay there. If you need more of a stretch, then bow over the legs on the next exhale and rest the arms and head on the elevated calf.
This pose stretches the hips, glutes, and low back-- all of which are compromised when seated for long periods.
From a seated position, start to engage the legs and stand up halfway. With bent knees and sunken hips, engage the core and bring the palms to touch at heart center.
Chair pose will get blood flowing to the legs, helping to prevent harmful effects of prolonged stillness (such as deep vein thrombosis/blood clots).
Again from a seated position, inhale and extend the spine long reaching the crown of the head towards the ceiling. On the exhale, slowly twist to the right side grasping the left hand to the right knee and perhaps the right hand reaches back behind you. Keep lengthening on the inhale and twisting a bit deeper on the exhale. Lastly, repeat on the other side.
Supine twists are incredibly beneficial during travel since seats aren’t usually designed with ergonomics and comfort in mind. From standing in long lines to then sitting for long times, twists are restorative, energizing, and will relieve back pain.
Seated Forward Fold
Lengthen through the spine on a deep inhale, reaching the arms up overhead before bending over the legs on an exhale. Let the belly rest on the tops of the thighs, let the head hang heavy, and grasp opposite elbows. Breathe here for 10 deep breaths before slowly rising back up.
Forward folds release tension in the back, neck, and shoulders while soothing the mind.