Get there ready to play!

Road Trip Yoga Tips

Arrive Ready To Play!

While driving, we're often thinking about where we're going, what we've just been doing or what we'll do when we get there. We ‘trance drive' and distract ourselves to get through the monotony of the journey. While it's great to ruminate, listening to audio books, playing word games and conversing with our fellow passengers, it's important to avoid travelers' thrombosis and pay attention to what our body needs, stretching a little every 20 or 30 minutes.

Here are a few suggestions to turn your car into a refuge and enjoy your ride. Remember: Always do what feels safe and comfortable for you. Drive responsibly, keeping your seatbelt buckled and enjoy.

Conscious Breathing - Often when driving we collapse our chest and breathe very shallowly or when we're tense, we hold our breath. You can easily energize and clear your mind by following your breath with awareness, inhaling deeply and slowly, in through your nose and out. Repeat 3 or 4 cycles to lower blood pressure, increase mental clarity and fight fatigue.

Get Present - Roll through your senses one by one: with a beginners mind, really hear the car noises, feel your back and legs against the seat, the vibration of your feet and sense the space around your car, the distance between you and other drivers.

Listen Deeply & Move from There: Take a stretch break at least every 30 minutes. Check in and feel what's going on in your body. Add little stretches and adjustments based on what you discover. Stretch slowly and deeply at rest stops. Take a stretch break and stop at least every hour; you'll arrive feeling better, with less stiffness and have less recovery time from a ‘dull driver' mindset.

Shoulder Push / Pull: While driving on a straight stretch, let your hands gently grip the steering wheel at the 3 and 9 o'clock positions. Then gently pull the bone at the top of your right shoulder down and towards the center of the steering wheel on an exhale. Inhale, pushing your shoulder blade into the seat. This releases tension from your neck, collar bone and into your back. Repeat slowly, 3 - 4 times on each side.

The Travelers Cat-Cow: Ease back aches and open your heart. When driving we tend to collapse our ribs forward or lean too far back. To ease back pain, exhale and curl your upper spine into the seat, then arch forward and up on an inhale, to open your ribs. Repeat for your upper, mid and lower back.

Stoplight Yoga - Spinal Twists at fresh red lights are a great way to relieve tension and fatigue. Keeping your foot on the brake, sit up a little straighter and gently pull your abs in, then using leverage with your right hand in between the seats, reach across with your left hand to a comfortable place on the passenger seat and pull yourself into a gentle twist. Look over the right shoulder and smile at your passengers in the back seat! Keep breathing and hold for 10 - 15 seconds, slowly release, check the stoplight and at the next signal, twist to the other side.

Tailbone Tuck: A simple release and refresher for drivers and passengers. Sit up a little straighter in your seat and gently pull the tip of your tailbone down and then curl it forward. Next curl it back and into the seat, massaging the lower spine. Repeat several times slowly.

The Rolling Namaste: Attitude is everything. You just can't avoid stress on the road and with all the uncertainty in our daily lives, our personal stress is right there in the car with us. If you can remind yourself to practice a ‘rolling namaste' respecting yourself, your passengers and your fellow travelers on the road, there's a good chance you'll be less tempted to road rage and enjoy the ride more.

Gas Station / Destination Yoga: Give yourself a couple of moments to settle once the car stops moving. Just breathe a few times before jumping out and into the next activity. Once you step out of the car, do a couple of side stretches, lifting up and bending to the side with your arms up over your head. Next, put your hands on your lower back, leaning back slightly. Then with hands clasped in front, pull your arms down as your chin pulls towards your chest, or try a forward bend for a few breaths.

Want more?

There are many more stretches, breathing techniques, road rage remedies and...the flight plan for travel ease, Flytime Yoga available as downloads, audio or books on our site.

Copyright Elaine Masters,The YoGo Project, 2010 - 2011 reprint with permission only, info@DrivetimeYoga.com 

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