I can hardly believe it, but we are now in the last full month of summer! If you're anything like me, the last few weeks of summer bring an insatiable desire for travel -- I want to seize these long summer days and get out of the sweltering city. Whether you share my mindset, want to squeeze in one last vacation before you or the kids return to school, or have a planned trip on the schedule (anyone trekking into the path of totality to view the solar eclipse?), many of us will probably be traveling over the next few weeks.
No matter where you go or what you do, time spent on vacation can be recharging to your soul ... but it can exact a physical toll on your body.
Think about it: you're almost certainly seated for hours. If you’re flying, you’re probably crammed into a coach seat with little leg room. If you’re driving, you may be hunched over the steering wheel or seated with your spine twisted to look out the side window. No matter how you get there, you’re surely going to arrive with some aches and pains from the journey.
Lucky for you, as yoga practitioner, you know there are some asanas that can help you combat the pain! I've compiled a list of my favorite post-traveling poses below:
This pose is one of my personal favorites after having spent time cooped up in a plane, train, or automobile. The gentle motion of this pose stretches your lower spine, hips, back and core muscles, all while opening the chest and lungs.
Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend)
This has the benefit of stretching your legs and releasing tension that you might be holding in your back. A nice variation is to grab your elbows while in the pose.
Uttana Shishosana (Extended Puppy Pose)
Extended Puppy Pose, which looks like a mashup of Downward-Facing Dog and Child's Pose, lengthens your spine, and can therefore feel really good if you've been traveling. The posture also helps open your shoulders, where tension may have accumulated.
Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)
If your hips are feeling tight from too much sitting, this is the pose for you! In my opinion, nothing feels quite as good after being seated for too long as Bound Angle Pose. Remember to be gentle with yourself in this pose, however, as traveling may have made you less flexible than normal.
Marichyasana III (Marichi’s Pose, or Sage's Pose)
Twisting can feel amazing after you've been confined during transportation. This pose will help stretch your spine, as well as assisting in relieving mild backache and hip pain.
Those are some of my favorite poses from after I've been traveling, and I'm sure I'll be incorporating them into practice during my travels in these next few weeks! As always, please remember to listen to your body when practicing and to warm up before beginning to practice -- a couple of sun salutations or even jumping jacks should do the trick!
Do you use use any of these poses after traveling? Are there any favorites that you think I've missed? Let me know in the comments!
photo credit: anja.