Yoga for Travel
Best Yoga Pose in the Airport/Bus Station
If you are lucky enough to go to an airport or bus station with a yoga room, try to get in a nice active flow. I would suggest doing some sun and moon salutation flows.
Chances are though, that will not be the case and you will be out in the waiting rooms at the terminals, so try to find a place off to the side where you can find a little peace and not be tripped over. I usually look for a terminal that is vacant and has a departure time that is at least 3 hours away, so no one is sitting there yet.
If you only have time for a few poses I would suggest low lunge, any kind of twist, and Butterfly pose.
Low Lunge: Coming from all fours (Table Top) step one foot forward so that your knee is over your ankle, toes facing forward, uncurl the back toes, and sink down keeping your hips as level as possible. Take your arms up to the sky and then bring them down into goal post arms, engage your core, and move into a slight backbend.
Twists: Whether it is a seated twist or a reclined twist, these poses help with digestion and spinal reset. Concentrate not on yanking your body around, but lengthening the spine and moving from your navel.
Butterfly: Sit with the souls of your feet touching, knees bent. From here, grab your feet alternate moving your torso back in space, keeping your seat firmly on the floor and then tucking the chin to round forward and stretch out the neck and low back.
Best Yoga Pose on the Plane/Car/Bus/Metro
One of the best things that you can do on a plane or in the car, even if you are driving is breathing. There are many different breathing techniques that will help relax you and help you to keep oxygen circulating throughout your body. One Great one is a full and complete breath:
Step 1: Breathe in through the nose
(As you breathe in visualize your back pushing into your seat, your belly puffing up like a balloon, your chest rising toward the ceiling, and your ribs stretching further away from one another)
Step 2: Hold for a few moments (unless pregnant)
Step 3: Breath out through the nose slowly or sigh it out through the mouth
(As you exhale, allow the body to relax and push all the air out)
Repeat this as many times as you like in counts of 3 counts in, 1 hold, 3 counts out (Or any number that works best for you)
As far as actual poses go, it is always a great idea to stand up or walk around and people have come up with mini seated routines that you can do. I personally am a people pleaser thought and I dislike annoying others while traveling. Instead, I do these little steps
Step 1: I make sure that unless I am sleeping, I am sitting up nice and tall, giving my internal organs plenty of space. (Visualize a string attached to the roof of the vehicle)
Step 2: I do the breathing exercise mentioned above. I come back to this and do it for 10 minutes every hour.
Step 3: Do small wrist, ankle, and neck circles. This helps your joints to find relief from stiffness as well as helps with circulation. I also do a cat/cow variation where I round my back and tuck my chin, then puff up my chest and arch my low back. I do this 5-10 times.
Step 4: I try to stand up once an hour and walk to the back of the plane or bus/stop my car, just to get some steps in and stretch out my low back. (A great way to do this is little arm swings. Balling your fingers into fists, stand up straight, slightly bend your knees, and move your upper body left to right, allowing your hand to swing and hit your sides. Then get the feet involved in the swaying if you like. After that, lift your hands above your head and shake your arms out.
Best Yoga Pose when you get back to the Hotel
When you get back to the hotel room you will most likely feel sluggish, you might have an upset stomach, feel light-headed, or just overall drained. Of course, when feeling Jet Lagged, you do not want to go immediately to sleep. Don’t just hop under the covers or turn on the tv. Instead, you are going to want to get some sun, some water, go for a walk, and try to stay up until bedtime, but this is a quick easy yoga pose you can do to get a quick reset when you first check into the hotel room.
Either laying on the floor or the bed, do legs up the wall. You can use the actual wall, the bed, or a chair. One of the many reasons that this pose is so great, is that it increases circulation. After sitting in the airport, on the plane, and in the cab, bus, car, or metro you are in need of increased circulation, particularly in your legs. It can even reduce the swelling if you are prone to getting cankles while traveling. This is also a great pose to return to throughout vacation after long walks and busy days. This pose also helps with restless legs, low back pain, stretching the hamstrings, and putting your body into a state of relaxation.
I recommend putting an eye pillow or any article of clothing over your eyes and diffuse or roll on some of your favorite essential oil to get this mini reset before enjoying your vacation. Try to hang out here for 20 minutes before taking a shower and heading on your way.