Travelling is great for the soul but can be physically and mentally taxing. You probably won’t move much during the flights, but sitting for too long can cause swollen ankles, stiff joints, tight hips, and low back pain. Blood circulation, metabolism, and digestion lag, while stress and tiredness increase.
But there’s good news: These yoga poses for travelling offer mental and physical relief and can be done at the airport, at the hotel room, or at home.
Step your feet 3-4 feet apart. Turn your toes slightly in and your heels slightly out. Put your hands on your hips. Engage the thigh muscles by drawing them up. Inhale and lift up tall through your whole torso. Exhaling, fold forward slowly from the hip joints. Keep the front of your torso long. Hang your head, gaze softly behind you, and grasp opposite elbows. Relax for 5-10 breaths. To release, put both hands on your hips. On an inhalation, slowly return to standing with a flat back.
Start in Wide-Legged Standing Forward Fold. Interlace fingers behind your back. Inhale, lengthen your spine. Exhale as you fold forward from your hips, bringing your hands overhead, drawing your shoulder blades together. Keep your back straight and release your head down towards the floor. Take 5-10 full breaths.
From Wide Legged Standing Forward Fold With Arm Stretch, bring your right hand to the floor between your feet, directly under your chest. With an exhalation, reach your left arm up toward the ceiling. Keep your hips as level as possible, twisting through the torso instead of the hips. Gaze up at your left thumb. Stay for 5-10 breaths then switch sides. Release both hands to the floor then transition to the next pose, Yoga Squat.
From Revolved Wide Legged Standing Forward Fold pose, turn your toes slightly out. On an exhale, bend your knees and lower your hips into a squat. Work toward bringing your thighs parallel to the floor. Keep your hands on the ground or stretch your arms in front of you. Sway your body side to side. Stay for 5-10 breaths.
From Yoga Squat, straighten your right leg out to the right side and flex your foot with toes pointing to the ceiling and heel on the floor. You can sink into a deeper side lunge, bringing your pelvis lower to the ground if that doesn’t hurt your knee. Put hands on the floor if necessary, for balance. Otherwise, bring your hands palm-to-palm, in front of your heart. Stay for 5-10 breaths and repeat for the left leg.
Sit with your back straight, legs out in front of you. Cross your right foot to the outside of your left thigh. Keep your left leg long or bend it and place your left heel close to your buttock. Place your right hand behind you and hug your right knee into your chest. Inhale, sit up tall, raise your left arm up and place your elbow on the outside of your right knee. Exhale, twist to the right from the base of your spine and look over the right shoulder. Hold 10-20 seconds, breathing normally, then release on an exhalation and repeat on the other side.
Lie flat on your back with your legs extended and your arms at your sides, palms down. Bend your knees with feet flat on the floor and hip-width apart. With an inhale, lift your hips up, and slide one or two blocks on their widest under your sacrum to elevate the hips. Raise one leg up at a time towards the ceiling. Once your legs are fully extended, flex your feet to help keep them engaged. To release the pose, lower your feet to the floor one at a time, lift your hips to move the block out from under you, and then gently bring your back and hips down to the mat.
— Nerry Toledo is a Dubai-based yoga instructor. She conducts regular give-what-you-can community classes to make yoga more accessible for everyone. For schedules and locations, go to www.nerryfit.com
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