If you live in a metropolitan area or drive long distances for work, chances are your body gets extremely tight and you start to feel lethargic. Whether you are dealing with traffic jams on the highway with the children getting impatient at the back, endless long-haul flights and the journey to your vacation spot, all of this endless traveling in your car can be stressful. Fortunately, simple breathing exercises coupled with some yoga poses that can help us relax during the trip.
Why do yoga after a long drive?
Long road trips often requires us to stay in a sitting, static posture for a long time. Being in an immobile posture has several negative impacts on the body. The back tends to bend and the vertebrae to pack. The joints and muscles stiffen. The circulation of blood slows down. If you tend to apprehend long journeys, stress will increase these harmful effects.
To overcome its various negative impacts, here is a series of yoga postures to find a body in great shape after a long journey. Kirsty Davis, yoga teacher at Yoga Training Guide, gives us four exercises to practice when traveling extensively in your car.
1. Five minutes of abdominal breathing
By train, on an airplane or in the passenger seat of a car, spread your knees the width of your pelvis, keep your back straight, put your hands on your thighs – or on your belly to better feel movement. Close your eyes for more relaxation and breathe in through your nose, swelling your stomach, then breathe out through your mouth, tucking in your stomach. Mentally count “1, 2, 3”: if you breathe in for three seconds, block your breathing twice as long – six seconds – then breathe out three times as long – nine seconds. Repeat for at least five minutes.
2. Relax your ankles
After several hours of travel, the body begins to become ankylosed and you find it difficult to hold in place. To activate blood circulation and avoid the heavy legs effect, rotate your ankles ten times to the right, then ten times to the left. To relieve the arms and neck, place the palms of your hands on your thighs, clench your fists as hard as possible and then spread your fingers as far as possible. Make this movement once every hour.
3. Relieve head and shoulders
Have you fallen asleep on your neighbor’s shoulder or against the car window? Do your neck and shoulders look “rusty” and become sore ? To eliminate tension, turn the head several times on each side of the body, breathing out deeply with each movement. Then roll your shoulders back and forth. Make this movement once every hour.
4. Relax the spine
Once every hour, whether you travel by plane or train, stretch your arms upward while keeping your back straight and above all not arched. Look at the ceiling to stretch the neck, without breaking it. Breathe deeply during the movement. If you go by car, spread your knees the width of your pelvis, turn the trunk on each side of the body as if you wanted to look behind you.