6 Poses That are Perfect for Travel
Have mat will travel: a yoga sequence that’s perfect for those on the go.
One of my favorite things about Yoga is that it is a practice that you can literally do anytime, anywhere. We often get stuck thinking we need to be in a yoga class for 90 minutes for it to ‘count,’ but this is simply not the case. Even a single yoga pose can be extremely effective on a number of levels. Those of us that are lucky to be escaping some of this cold weather and snow and traveling to warmer climates can use the following simple sequence to counter the stress of travel. As nice as it is to escape, it is not without its challenges.
This sequence was shot by my 11 year old son, Jack, on our way to Tulum, Mexico where I teach a yearly retreat. We could call this ‘Have Mat, Will Travel’ but we don’t even need a yoga mat.
Tree Pose (Vrksasana)
Tree Pose can be snuck in anytime, anywhere. The tree pose pictured here was done while waiting on line to board the plane. Traveling can be very ungrounding, especially air travel. This pose brings awareness into our feet, stabilizing us, and requiring that we press down through the earth through one foot, sending roots downwards in order to balance.
TO DO: Simply stand on one foot with that leg parallel and draw the other leg up into your chest. Turn out the leg and place the foot as high as possible on the opposite inner thigh. Focus your eyes on a single point to steady the mind. Make sure you do both sides!
Traveling Shiva (Natarajasana)
This one may get some onlookers, but it is such a great one to slip in while traveling. Sitting for long periods of time really tightens up the front of the legs (quadriceps, hip flexors, iliopsoas muscle), as well as the upper back. Dancing Shiva counters this by stretching the fronts of your thighs, and opening the heart.
TO DO: Standing in mountain pose with both feet parallel, bend the right leg and reach back with the right hand to hold the right ankle. Draw the foot towards the buttocks, and start to feel the opening through the front of your right thigh. This may be enough, or you can hinge forward slightly and begin to stretch the leg back behind you. You can do this freestanding, or use a wall or your traveling companion for balance. Release and try the second side.
Another great one to stabilize and ground us. Spreading the legs wide apart widens and opens our base of support, bringing us closer to the earth.
TO DO: Start in a wide stride with the feet 4-5 feet apart. Turn your back foot just slightly in (about 10 degrees) and your front foot 90 degrees out.Press down through the feet and pull the energy of the legs up into the pelvis and hips. Stretch your arms straight out to the sides and reach towards your front leg, placing that hand on your shin, ankle or on the floor if possible. Spin your belly and chest and look up towards your top hand.
This is an easy one with a lot of benefit.
TO DO: While standing or sitting, clasp your hands together behind your back and start to pull the upper arm bones back in space, beginning to feel that delicious and much needed opening through the heart center and the front of the chest. Broaden the collarbones, and feel free to look up. AHHHH!!!!
Maintain good circulation and detox while flying!
TO DO: Sit at the front edge of your seat with your feet about hips distance apart and firmly planted on the floor. Begin to twist to the right, placing your hands on the chair back and using the leverage of that to spin your belly, ribs and chest around. Continue to extend upwards through your spine along the central axis of the body as you twist. Inhale back to center, and exhale to the second side.
Customs and Immigration Downward Dog
While waiting in line at customs and immigration, or while hanging out waiting for your luggage, this slightly inverted posture will clear your mind, stretch and extend your spine, and open up the backs of the legs (hamstrings and calves) as well.
TO DO: Find a ledge or even a wall and place your hands on it. Walk your feet back and tilt your body down towards the floor (allowing there to be a right angle between your legs and your torso). Breathe and enjoy.
This blog was originally posted on Alignyo.com