Written by Traci Costanzo
Spring Break is an exciting time to say goodbye to winter and move into the season of new beginnings, renewal and growth. There is nothing quite like the magic of travel. We love taking a break from our inboxes and to-do lists, and simply relax.
With excitement, we pack our bags and head out. Often, as we trot the globe, tension slowly creeps in. Carrying heavy bags, being stuck with little legroom in planes or trains, or your long car ride can leave you cramped and cranky. Sitting for extended periods of time can take its toll on your body and make other circumstances like irregular sleeping, trying new foods or inconsistent exercise more detrimental.
Adding some yoga to your travel routine can help bring you back into alignment, as well as calm your mind and boost your energy. Consider these easily available poses, breathe smoothly in and out through your nose, and never force any shape that doesn’t feel right.
Wide-Legged Forward Fold
Begin standing. Keep your feet parallel and reach your legs 3-4 feet apart. With several arm variations available, hands can reach toward the floor, or clasp at your low back for a deeper shoulder and chest stretch. Inhale and reach up through the crown of your head, exhale and slowly hinge from your hips to fold. This pose is calming and can also help stretch your calves, hamstrings and back. Hold 3-5 breaths.
A wonderful heart-opening pose that releases neck, shoulder and low back tension, this pose opens up the lungs for deeper, fuller breathing. Begin standing with relaxed shoulders and engage all of the muscles in your legs by drawing kneecaps up, then reach your tailbone down and draw your belly in. Place your hands on your low back with fingers pointing down and elbows reaching back. Lift tall from the crown of your head as you inhale, arching your spine as you exhale. Only go as far as comfortable for your body. Your neck can remain in line with your spine. Hold 3-5 breaths.
Seated Spinal Twist
This pose is a great aid in digestion, stretches your back, and can help enhance your energy levels. Focus this basic twist throughout your spine. While seated, inhale to reach up through the crown of your head and as you exhale begin your twist from your lower spine. Take your left hand to the outside of your right knee, keeping your hips even on the seat. As you widen through your collarbones, you can slowly and gently reach your chin in the direction of your twist, careful not to over-twist. Hold 3-5 breaths and repeat on other side.
When on the road, be sure to change positions once every 30 minutes to maximize circulation, strengthen your body and keep your mind clear. This can help you feel remarkably better during your travels!