Any travel plans this holiday season? This time of the year traveling often means more than seeing loved ones. Traveling also means sitting and stressing without much stretching. If you have a flight in your near future, then listen up. We’ve rounded up some of our top yoga poses for traveling so you can maintain a healthy body and mind whether by land, air, or sea.
Bridge Pose, or Setu Bandha Garvandasana – Sitting on a plane, train, or in a car all day does a number on our hip flexors and shoulders. To open back up, lie down on your back in a supine position with the soles of the feet on the ground hip’s width distance apart. Press your feet into the ground as you draw your bellybutton in and peel your spine off the mat with your hips pressed towards the ceiling. For a more restorative version, slip a block beneath your sacrum.
Next Level: Camel Pose, Ustrasana
Downward-Facing Dog, or Adho Mukha Svanasana – Many of us are familiar with downward-facing dog as it’s frequented in just about any yoga class and a common pose for cooling down after a workout session. This resting pose is also a great, accessible inversion as it aids in the recirculation of blood while also giving the backs of the legs a nice stretch.
Next Level: Dolphin Pose, or Ardha Pincha Mayurasana
Wide-Legged Standing Fold with a Twist, or Parivrtta Prasarita Padottanasana – Travel often leaves us feeling cramped up and tight. Release some side-body, spinal, and hamstring tension with this pose. Fold forward in a wide stance and plant one palm on a block or directly on the ground right around the area beneath your face and take your opposite palm to your low back. Ground into the earth with the palm on the floor and take a gentle twist in the direction of the palm at your low back. Keep hands as they are or reach the grounded palm for the outside of the opposite foot or leg and extend the other arm towards the ceiling.
Next Level: Twisted High Lunge, or Parivritta Anjaneyasana
Child’s Pose, or Balasana – Aaaah child’s pose. A great pose to take during a particularly challenging yoga class, but an even better pose to take when we need a little break from the world around us. Rest on your knees with the toes untucked under your seat. The knees can stay together for a bit more opening in the low back or come wide for a bit more flexion in the upper back. Either way, fold forward and enjoy the quietude.
Next Level: Rabbit Pose, or Sasangasana
Legs Up the Wall, or Vaparita Karani – Scoot your seat up against the wall and lie down on your back. Extend your legs up and rest them against the wall to allow blood to circulate out of the feet and lower extremities and back into the rest of the body. No next level here. This pose is meant to be restorative – particularly after a long day of racing around an airport or even extended hours of shopping.