No matter what your preferred method of transportation is, traveling puts a huge amount of stress on your body. Yoga is one of the best ways to relieve both mental and physical stress caused by traveling, which is why we have compiled a list of the on the go yoga moves to calm relax your mind and re energize your body while you are traveling. Whether you are driving or flying, these yoga moves will make you forget all about your traveling woes so that you can enjoy your trip.
Yoga Moves You Can Do Anywhere
1. Hip Opener / Quad Stretch
If traveling has your hip flexors and quads feeling tight try this standing yoga move to stretch your quads and open up your hip flexors. To complete this move you will need a chair, sink or countertop where you can place your foot. Begin by standing about two feet away from the chair (sink or countertop) and bend your left leg back and pull your foot up so that it rests on the surface behind you. Steady yourself by holding on to the surface while you push your hips forward. It is important that during this stretch your hips remain level. Hold this stretch for at least thirty seconds before gently bringing your left foot back to the ground. Repeat on your right side.
2. Half Moon Pose
Standing upright, with a wall to your left, bend forward placing the fingertips of both hands on the ground while keeping both feet firmly planted on the floor. Lift your right leg back and your right arm out to the right until they are both parallel with the floor. Twist your body up and to the left keeping your left foot and hand on the ground. Your body should now be flat with your back against the wall, your right arm reaching towards the sky and your right leg still parallel with the floor. Hold this pose for at least thirty seconds then switch sides. Be sure to always keep the wall behind you, to promote balance and stability.
3. Half Dog
Whether you’ve just spent hours on a plane, train or bus crammed into a tiny space, your back is probably feeling a bit of pain. Yoga moves like the half dog can be done in public areas and are used to open your chest and shoulders while stretching your lower back and hamstrings. All you need for this stretch is a wall and a little bit of floor space. First stand facing the wall and place your hands on it at about hip-height. Next you will walk your feet backwards while bending your hips. When your torso and legs form a ninety degree angle stop and remain in this position stretching for thirty seconds. Release your arms and slowly roll yourself back into a standing position letting your head come up last to avoid any dizziness.
4. Extended Side Angle
If your travels leave your lower back in pain and your leg muscles stiff and sore try the extended side angle pose. This will open your inner thighs and torso while stretching your lats and hip flexors. Begin by standing with your legs spread just short of as far as they will go with your feet facing forward. Turn your left foot out and bend your left knee sinking down until it has created a ninety degree angle. Rest your left forearm on your left thigh and reach your right arm into the air. Your right leg should still be stretched out straight. Keep your head in neutral spine. Hold this position for at least thirty seconds before returning to an upright standing position. Repeat this pose with your right leg.
5. Tree Pose
This pose helps to promote balance, blood circulation and strength. During long commutes whether on a bus, in a car or on a plane your legs and back may become sore due to inactivity. Yoga moves like this help to eliminate these aches and pains. To begin stand upright with both of your feet planted firmly on the ground. Gently pull your left leg up so that the bottom of your left foot is resting inside the calf or upper thigh of the right leg. Bring your hands together at the center of your chest and focus your gaze on an immobile object to increase your balance. Hold this pose for at least thirty seconds before slowly sliding your left foot back to the ground then repeat this move with your right leg.
6. Standing Split
Even if doing a traditional split sounds like a painful and impossible pipe dream, you should be able to complete this standing split to stretch our your legs, back and arms. After a few moments upside down you may even begin to feel more energized as the blood flows freely towards your brain. Start this pose by folding into a forward bend (Pose #10). Once you are bent forward lift your left leg up behind you, using a wall for balance if needed. Hold this pose for at least thirty seconds before gently bringing your left leg back down to the ground. Lift your right leg and repeat the pose.
7. Standing Big Toe Pose
When you spend hours traveling, your body can become tense and your muscles tight. Make sure to stretch yourself out with a few key yoga moves like the standing big toe pose after your time in a bus, plane, boat or car to remain limber. This pose is designed to stretch your hamstrings and lower back while strengthening your core and improving your balance. To perform this stretch stand with your left foot firmly rooted on the floor and bend your right knee while you lift your right leg up off of the floor. Grab your big toe on your right foot with your right hand and stretch your right leg out straight in front of yourself. Hold this stretch for at least thirty seconds before slowly lowering your right leg back down to the ground. Repeat with your left leg.
8. Chair Pose
It may seem counterproductive after sitting all day, but the chair pose is a great yoga move to get your blood flowing and energize your body. Some yoga moves focus on stretching which can be helpful after a long trip, but this one focuses on strengthening to avoid future soreness. The chair pose is a full body strengthening yoga pose that works your arms, legs, core and glutes. To perform this yoga move stand with your feet either hip-width apart or together and sit your tailbone back as if you were lowering into an imaginary chair. Stretch your arms out and up towards the ceiling for balance and gaze upwards. Your head should remain in neutral spine. Hold this position for thirty seconds before slowly rising back into a standing position.
9. Warrior II
For a full body stretch that will relieve any pain or tightness in your back, arms, torso or legs opt for the Warrior II. As far as yoga moves go, it’s one of the best for working your entire body without needing to contort your body into a pretzel. This pose will open your inner thighs, stretch and strengthen your shoulders, arms, quads and calves and even improve your stability. To perform this stretch stand with your feet spread just shy of as far as they will go, with your feet facing forward. Lift your arms up so that they are parallel to the ground then turn your left foot out. Sink down, bending your left knee until it creates a ninety degree angle. Turn your head to look out over your left arm and hold the pose for at least thirty seconds. Slowly return to a standing position and repeat with the right leg.
10. Forward Bend
Sitting for an extended period of time, especially in cramped or uncomfortable spaces during travel has been known to cause back, neck and leg pain. The forward bend is one of the easiest on the go yoga moves to relieve these aches and pains. As an added bonus this pose requires no equipment and minimal space. Begin this stretch by standing upright with both of your feet firmly planted on the ground either hip width apart or touching each other. Slowly bend forward at the hips, bringing your head towards the ground. Reach your arms downward until your fingertips are touching the ground. To deepen the stretch, pull your torso closer to your legs and flatten your palms against the floor. Hold this pose for at least thirty seconds. Slowly return to standing position making sure that your head is the last thing to come up to avoid dizziness.
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