Our friends from Mindfresh are back with another pain-reducing, mood-boosting yoga sequence. This time, they’re sharing six poses to do during a road trip to lower stress and release muscle tension. Keep them handy for when you’ve spent one too many hours behind the wheel.
In The Car
Here are a couple of mindful movements you can do if you’re a passenger or driver to keep blood, oxygen and energy moving through the body.
Do a round of “cat/cow”
Bring movement into the spine, torso and shoulders to release pressure and keep the spine’s natural curve. For an instant energy boost, sync the movements with your breath.
On the inhale: Pull the shoulders back, allow the chest to move forward as the chin lifts slightly. If you’re a passenger, place palms on thighs, slide hands toward hip creases to bring the chest forward more and lift the chin higher.
On the exhale: Round the spine, allow the shoulders to pull forward and draw the chin slightly into the chest. If you’re a passenger, let the palms slide towards the knees and pull the chin closer into the chest.
Stretch your neck
We don’t want to arrive at our destination with our shoulders pulled up to our ears and full of knots!
Gently lean your head to the right (be mindful not to overstretch), and hold for three breaths.
Slowly bring your head back through the center and pause for a moment, then let the head lean to the left for three breaths.
Once again, slowly bring your head upright at the end.
At a Rest Stop
At Mindfresh, we’re big advocates of taking breaks—everything is better when we’re fresh. Sometimes, you just need to pull over to give your body and mind a reset, even if the gas tank says we can keep going.
Make yourself long
It’ll feel great after you’ve been cramped in a car for a long time.
Press down into your feet and reach your arms up alongside your ears.
Press your palms together overhead and gaze up at your thumbs. Take a few breaths here, pressing down through the feet and reaching up through the hands.
Stretch your side body
Sitting for long periods of time also compresses the torso, which makes our breathing shallow.
Keep your arms alongside your ears, interlace your fingers and press your palms together.
Lean over to your left side and hold for three deep breaths. Focus on lengthening the side of the torso and rib cage.
Come back through the center and then lean over to your right for three deep breaths. Come back to center.
Lengthen your legs out
This will help increase blood circulation in the legs.
Put your hands on your waist and step the right foot forward a few feet. Begin to flex the right toes back as you send your seat and hips back.
As you fold forward, try to keep the chest open and the spine long by pulling the elbows toward each other.
Take a few breaths, sending your attention to the back sides of the legs.
Release your back
Extended sitting can compress the spine, so this pose helps alleviate that.
Fold forward over the legs, keeping the knees soft and letting the head weigh you down.
Notice the blood to rush to the upper body as the lower body lengthens. Take five deep breaths before slowly rolling yourself up to standing and hopping back in the car!