Whether you are hopping on a flight, sitting on a bus, or taking a drive this summer, traveling can be rough on the body. We are all familiar with those traveling pains: dehydrated, stiffening feeling throughout your joints. To counter these effects, it’s important to stretch as often as you can. Here are a few of my personal favorite poses (otherwise known as stretches, for those non-yogis out there). These moves focus on stretching out your hip flexors, hamstrings and lower back — key sites of stress during travel.
On the floor, get on your hands and knees, with your knees directly under your hips and your hands just ahead of your shoulders. Spread your fingers wide and adjust so that your hands are slightly turned out. Flip your toes under so that your feet are flexed.
On an exhale, lift your knees away from the floor, keeping your arms straight and strong. Settle into the pose, moving your heels towards the floor, bending your knees and moving in any way that feels good. Lengthen your tailbone away from your pelvis, lift your sitbones towards the sky, keeping your weight equally distributed between your two hands and feet.
Full Wheel (aka Upward Bow)
Lie on your back, knees bent and feet on the floor. Adjust so that you can brush your finger-tips on your heels. Bend your elbows and set your hands down on either side of your head. Your fingers should be evenly spread and pointing towards your shoulders.
Press your feet and palms into the floor, exhaling while pushing your pubis towards the sky and lifting your butt off the floor. Keeping your thighs and feet parallel, take a few deep breaths.
On another exhale, lift onto the crown of your head, keeping your arms parallel. Pressing your feet and hands into the floor, move your tailbone, pubis and buttocks up towards the sky, lift your head off the floor and straighten your arms. Take another few breaths.
You can use a blanket for support, but basically you want to sit parallel to a wall (one of your arms should be brushing the wall). Move your head away from the wall and your butt as close to the wall as possible, sliding your legs up the wall in front of you. Place your hands out to form a T.
If you are using a blanket, slide it around and experiment with different positions as its orientation depends on how flexible you are. Just make sure you’re not straining anything and that you feel totally relaxed. Relax, release, breathe deeply and let go.