A Yoga Sequence to Relieve Travel Aches and Pains
Holidays are full of magic and fun, but they can also be stressful—especially if they require travel. There can be many ups and downs to travel. As a frequent traveler, you may experience missed flights, screaming babies, snoring passengers, inexplicable flight delays, bumper to bumper traffic on your way to the airport or even accidents along the way.
Yoga is a convenient tool to help you unwind and relax in just about any travel scenario. Yoga helps you ground, breathe and move your body to release tension. A few yoga postures or quick stretches will do wonders to relieve any mental anxiety or physical stiffness you might struggle with during this hectic time.
This holiday season, embrace the opportunity to create some inner peace with this quick and simple yoga sequence.
Holiday Travel Yoga Sequence
1. Neck Rolls
The neck roll is a dynamic stretching exercise that relaxes and stretches the neck muscles and the cervical spine. This exercise can help alleviate any discomfort or stiffness associated with neck strain and can help prevent neck injuries and pain. From a standing or seated position, begin with your head straight and look forward. Gently tilt your head to the right and roll it gently toward your chest. Continue to roll your head to the left. Bring your head up to the starting position and repeat in the opposite direction.
2. Shoulder Stretch
It is common to hold onto stress in your shoulders. Luckily, there are yoga poses that help to release shoulder tension and reset the body. Start in a seated or standing position. This can also be done with the legs in a wide-legged stance, seated on the ground. Interlace your fingertips behind your back. Hinge your upper body forward while bringing your hands up over your head and away from your body. Try to bring the palms of your hands together to touch. Breathe space in between your shoulder blades and hold as long as needed to relieve shoulder tension.
3. Side Body Stretch
This stretch can be done while standing or seated. Extend one arm overhead. Inhale, lift in and up. Exhale, reach your arm up and over to the other side. Hold for five breaths and switch to stretch the other side.
This can be done while seated, standing or in a table top position on your hands and knees. If seated, place your hands on the tops of your knees; bend your knees to a mini-squat if you’re standing. Or find a traditional kneeling cat-and-cow sequence. Inhale and create a backbend in the upper back and look forward or up to get a good stretch in the neck. Exhale, round the spine and neck and tuck your chin toward the chest. Repeat for 5-10 rounds of breath.
5. Seated Twist
Twist for equal counts of breaths on each side. Inhale and reach your arms up while you extend your spine. Exhale to twist and place one hand on the opposite thigh. Squeeze to wring out the inner organs, which will help to improve your digestion. Switch sides.
6. Figure Four
This can be done while seated, standing or on the back. Cross your right ankle over the left knee. Bend the left knee and draw the legs closer to the chest. Switch sides.
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This wellness tip is brought to you by Kathryn of Hang Zen Yogis.