Five Yoga Poses for Winter Travel
As the busiest season for travel gets underway, you can expect to spend many hours crammed into a compact seated position. Not the best for your posture, your back or your mood!
If you’re lucky enough to travel by car, you might have a somewhat comfortable seat, or as a passenger, the ability to at least lean back as far as you like. If you go by air—unless you fork out the big bucks for First Class—you’ll be stuck in a seat-designed-for-the-worst-posture-ever.
To help your body through the challenge of travel, here is a list of yoga poses that don’t require your bum in the air or any specialty athletic apparel. These are beginner and non-yogi friendly and two of them can even be done in your seat.
They are perfect to do before, during and after travel. You can do one, all, or any combination of these yoga stretches in any order, and bonus: they’re great for the office too!
- Stand in front of an open wall, pillar or other vertical surface
- Turn your right side toward the wall and reach back with your hand behind you, at about 2-3 o’clock
- Press your hand into the wall to lift your chest and roll your right shoulder back
- Turn away from the wall to increase the stretch
- Hold for at least thirty seconds to about a minute before releasing to d the other side
Overhead Arm Stretch
- Interlace your fingers all the way to the webs
- Spin them palm up, then push your arms straight overhead
- Squeeze your elbows straight
- Reach up so high that the sides of your waist lengthen and your entire ribcage lifts up
- Press your fingers into the backs of your hands and spread through your palms
- Take three to five slow, deep breaths
Standing Quad Stretch
- Use your right hand on a chair or counter for balance, then shift your weight to your right leg
- Flick your left foot back, as if to kick your own bum, then catch your foot with your left hand
- While holding your foot, stand up straight
- Pull your left knee back so it’s in line with your hip, not wide or forward of it, and reach toward the ground with your knee cap
- Draw your belly in and up
- Hold for thirty seconds to a minute, then switch sides
- Note: If you can’t reach your foot with your hand, hook it on the seat of a chair or your car’s door frame. If all else fails step that foot back into a lunge and focus on stretching through your hip flexors.
- Scoot towards the front edge of your seat so you can sit up straight
- Place your hands on the back of your head with fingers interlaced
- Keep your elbows narrow, so your forearms are parallel to each other
- Puff your chest up and press your head back into the headrest of your hands
- Lift your chin, look up, and continue to push your head back and chest up so you feel the muscles of the back of your neck and your upper back engage
- Breathe deeply into the top and sides of your ribs, not just into your belly
- Hold for minimum of thirty seconds or as long as it feels good
- Scoot forward to the edge of your seat
- Bring your head back over your hips and sit up tall
- Now, twist your whole torso to the right
- Grab on to the armrest, car door, seat (whatever you can) with your hands
- Twist from your belly but also pull gently with your arms
- Hold for about three breaths, then turn back to center before twisting to the left