Road Trip Relief: Yoga Poses to Stretch out the Kinks!
Road Trip Relief: Yoga Poses to stretch out the kinks!
If you’re planning on taking a summer road trip; or already taking weekend driving trips to your summer home, it’s important to stretch out your muscles after being cramped up in a car for periods on end. Try some of this simple yoga moves, you can do them once you reach your destination; or at rest stops along the way. Make a great playlist so you can groove to it in the car and them move to it when you can roll out your mat and do a full yoga practice after driving.
Cat/Cow–Start on all fours, inhale arch your back coming in to Cow pose, then exhale round your spine like a Halloween Cat. Continue arching and rounding linking the breath to the movement for 5 to 8 cycles. This is great to do to relieve tension in the neck, shoulders and low back–all of which can get tight and stiff from sitting in a car for hours. You can also put your hands on your knees, if you’re standing on the road side or at a truck stop (and can’t kneel down); and lower in to a wide squat like position then arch and round your spine. Cat/Cow also strengthens the abs which support our spine and helps us maintain a good posture behind the wheel.
Pigeon–Wonderful way to stretch out the hips and lower back after sitting for hours. From all fours, slide your right shin forward and parallel to the front of the mat as you lengthen your left leg long behind you. Walk your hands forward and breathe in to the outer hips and lower back. Hold 5 to 8 breaths then repeat on other side. Achy butt syndrome (from sitting for too long) can definitely be relieved through pigeon. If you’re stuck curbside or at a rest stop, remain standing and place your right ankle above your left knee opening the shin like pigeon, then hinge your hips back (hold on to door handles if you need to) and stretch out the hips and lower back that way. You can also throw your shin up on the hood of the car for a standing pigeon stretch.
Lunging Twist–Strengthens the legs, hips and core and stretches out the entire body. Twists are great for the back and spine and help open up the sides and waist after they’ve been compressed for hours. Lunge your left leg back, bring your hands to prayer in front of your chest and twist to the right placing the left elbow outside the right knee. Look up past your right elbow and hold for 5-8 breaths. Keep the back leg strong and use your abdominals to twist. Repeat on the other side.
Eagle Pose–This pose you can do anytime, even before you jump in the car to take off. It will bring you focus; and also open up your shoulders, hips and back, while bringing circulation and blood flow to your legs. Bend your knees slightly, cross your right leg over your left leg high at the upper thigh, then try double crossing at the ankle. Take your left elbow underneath your right elbow, then try crossing at the forearm to bring the palms together to touch. Sink a little lower in to your squat and hinge forward at your waist gazing down the tip of your nose. Hold 5-8 breaths and repeat on the other side.
Make sure to always pack healthy snacks with you on your road trips–raw almonds, apples, oranges, pears, string cheese, Svelte protein shakes, KIND bars, dry high fiber cereal, homemade trail mixes, etc. If you have a mini cooler, throw in some greek yogurts, turkey slices, celery and carrots and hummus.
Kristin McGee is a celebrity yoga and Pilates instructor in New York City. She is the star of over 100 videos, a contributing editor at Health Magazine and a spokeswoman for many brands and causes she believes in. Kristin also appears frequently on television. A proud mom to three, she sure keeps herself busy!