During the course of my visiting Friends and Family around Ontario and making the journey down to Florida I have spent a lot of time in cars, on buses and trains and on a plane too (only one so far, but there shall be many more before I get Home). And though I am still continuing my attempt to practice Yoga daily during my travelling adventures, I have found that I am still spending a lot of time sitting while getting from one place to another. And of course it's only natural that all this sitting has left me with tight hips and leg muscles.
So I have been using my daily 'Yoga Time' often to stretch out these areas with what I like to call 'The Adventuring Yogis Post-Travel Series' (I know snazzy name huh? LOL).
I usually do this practice once I have arrived at my destination for that day/few days but you can utilize this sequence during a stop-over or at any other time if you only have a few moments to practice. See below for the sequence, try it out and please feel free to modify/add other poses in to suit your ability levels/practice needs. Please also remember that it is important to listen to your body during your Practice and only go as far as your Body wants to go..honour its Wisdom..it's smarter than You! ;)
'The Adventuring Yogis Post-Travel Series'
**I have given a break down of each pose below, for anyone reading this without an existing Home Practice/Sound Knowledge of Yoga.
1. 10 Full Belly Breaths
Sit cross-legged on your mat/floor (or any other way you can sit for 10 slow breaths comfortably), place right hand onto abdomen (need only do this if you are new to breath technique). Sitting nice and tall through upper body (ears lined up with shoulders, shoulders lined up with hips), close eyes and begin breathing in and out through the nose, pushing the breath into your lower belly (you should feel the right hand move with each inhale as the belly puffs out with breath). Repeat for 10 breaths. *This exercise is great to do while travelling too, helps to calm the mind/nerves, etc.
2. Cat/Cow Pose - 5-10 Breaths
Come to hands and knees on mat/floor. Wrists directly underneath shoulders, knees directly below hips, toes can be curled under or top of feet resting on mat/floor. Inhale drop belly towards the floor as you lift your tailbone and press heart forward. Exhale press pelvis forward, round upper back and tuck chin towards your chest. Repeat for 5-10 slow breaths (all breathing should be done in and out through the nose).
3. Child's Pose - with Wide Knees - 5 Breaths
From hands and knees, stretch arms out in front, with hands shoulder distance apart. Take knees as wide as your mat (or if you don't have a mat, create a wide 'V' shape with legs, knees bent). Sit your bum back towards your heels and rest your forehead on fists, hands stacked or the mat/floor. Close eyes, practice deep, slow breathing in and out through nose for 5 breaths.
4. Downward Facing Dog - 5-10 Breaths
From hands and knees, curl under toes and lift hips up and back, creating an inverted 'V' with your Body. Take a moment (or a few breaths) to walk one heel down and then the other. Keep hands shoulder distance apart and spread your fingers wide. Hold here for 5-10 breaths.
5. Pigeon Prep - 5 Breaths each side
6. Low Lunge - 5 Breaths
From Downward Dog, step Right foot forward and lower Left knee to mat/floor (Left toes may stay curled under or press top of foot to floor). Sink hips towards the floor and place both hands to Right thigh or to hips, hold for 2 breaths. For last 3 breaths reach arms alongside ears, for a good side body stretch.
7. Low Lunge - with Twist - 3 Breaths each side
From Low Lunge (Right leg forward), bring hands together in front of your Heart. Bring Left elbow to outside of Right knee, keeping hands in Prayer. Hold for 3 breaths and then repeat on other side.
8. Legs-Up-Wall/Inversion (Shoulderstand/Headstand)
Bring short edge of mat to an empty wall (careful there are no pictures hanging there) or come to an empty wall. Sit with one hip close to the wall and knees bent, feet planted. Bring hands behind you and place them on floor, lean back on hands and swing legs up the wall. Rest here for 10 breaths, moving feet/legs anytime you feel the need. Close your eyes and allow the blood to recirculate.
**If you have an established Practice of your own and are feeling up to it then you might opt to insert a Shoulderstand or Headstand here at your own discretion.
9. Optional: 2-3 Sun Salutations
Ordinarily Sun Salutes would come near the beginning of a Practice but because you may have been sitting for long stretches and could be quite stiff I recommend doing the above practice as a Warm-up to Sun Salutes. I also would not recommend adding Sun Salutes to this Series if you have arrived somewhere late at night or are planning to rest/nap/sleep right afterwards as they tend to Pep you up rather than wind you down. They are a Great way to end this Series however if you have just arrived sleep-deprived somewhere and are expected at a Family-event or something. They help to build heat in the body and get the circulation flowing again after being seated for long periods.
Add your feedback/comments on the series down below or share with travelling yogi friends! If you would like more info on how to work Yoga into your Travel plans check the links below. Let the World be Your Yoga Studio!
Be Happy, Be Healthy!