If you are anything like me travelling means rushed meals, convenience foods and general stress from running to catch trains, planes and automobiles. On the other side of my journey I feel like a recoiled spring of muscle tension. I have sore back/neck/shoulders from the carrying/lifting of my not so light luggage, my stomach is bloated, my feet are puffy, and my digestion system out of synch. Generally I feel fatigued and lethargic.
I used my expertise and skills in physiotherapy and yoga to create my top 5 yoga moves to help counter balance the negative effects of travelling, put the spring back in my step, enabling me to relax and enjoy my travels.
Remember to use rhythmical breaths during the poses. Breathe all the way in through your body, feeling the air fill your abdomen, travelling to open your ribcage up and out, all the way to the top of your collarbones, then release/exhale feeling your body soften.
1. Childs Pose (Balasana)
Calms and relaxes your mind. Opens up the hips to counter balance the shortened muscles from sitting. For this benefit take the knees wide apart.
Elongates your spine and lower back.
Helps digestion. For this benefit take the knees closer together, this way you will massage the abdominal area with your legs as you breath in and out.
2. Legs up wall pose (Viparita Karani)
Reverses the effects of sitting and standing and gives the head and upper limbs a rebalancing boost of blood circulation.
Reduces swelling and edema to your lower limb, feet and ankles. It works by using gravity to move fluid towards the lymph nodes in your groin to be drained.
Relieves tired legs.
3. Downward Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
Elongates and lengthens your spine. The traction and gravity reverse the compression from the downward force experienced in sitting and standing.
Stretches back of legs. The hamstrings are shortened and tightened during sitting.
4. Extended Side Angle Pose ( Utthita Paravakonasana
Aids digestion and constipation. This lovely twist massages and stimulates your abdominal organs.
Eases lower back and shoulder pain caused by sitting or carrying luggage.
Stretches out your groin area after long periods of sitting.
Energises your body by stretching one side from your fingers to your toes (remember to repeat on both sides for symmetry and balance).