As the summer vacations (or just summer months) are approaching I thought I would share some Yoga Poses you could do anywhere (even a tiny cramped airplane seat)!
In college, as I was studying another movement modality, this was a suggested idea for a final project. How to find a seated tight quartered movement practice. Not only is it curious to change our perception of where and how can practice. But we then find ourselves being spacious, mindful, and free within our bodies. I am also curious as to is there some taboo to practicing in public? Or maybe as we get older is is not dignified to move the body in a public space?
As I was traveling for auditions in my Senior year of college I would find myself moving at the airport, in the cab, or in the hotel, preparing for that class. That one shot for the job. Some people gave me weird looks of possibly of why I would not just sit still and wait for our turn to sit still on a plane? Some people got enjoyment to see a fellow dancer at the airport or if they weren't a dancer but they guessed correctly they feel a sense of accomplishment that they knew I was a dancer. LOL.
So be fearless and move your body!!! There are some scary stories out there about people who sit too long and cut off blood supply from the legs to heart and if they got up they would have a heart attack and die. But those are rare cases and it simply feels good when we can move our bodies around.
So why not?! Feel great as your travel and maybe you will inspire others to do the same!
Here are my top 5 Yoga Poses that you can do Anywhere!
1. Heart Opener:
This heart opener is great to open the collar bones, pectoral muscles, and the front of the shoulder heads. Imagine at the middle of your day, or flight, or at a red light, how much energy this would uplift within you to keep you going for a little bit longer (without coffee).
You also have arm variations: grabbing wrists, elbows or interlacing fingers for a deep heart and chest opening.
2. Shoulder Opener:
This shoulder opener is the opposite as the one above. This opens the back of the heart or shoulders, scapula, and triceps.
This is great to do as a counter pose to the heart opener above , especially if you hold tension in the neck and shoulders.
A fun/investigation you can try is to let one ear drop to shoulder or try chin to chest. I find by moving my head in shoulder openers I can decompress my cervical spine (neck area) and I get MORE out of the stretch.
3. Side Bends:
Open those ribs. Breath deep. Sometimes when we sit for a long time our breathing changes maybe it becomes more shallow and we begin to move at a slower pace, maybe beginning to fall asleep.
As mentioned above moving the chest and ribs are a nice replacement for coffee in the mid-day crash. Getting up and walking also helps, but when your in a work flow or a tight airplane there is no where to really walk.
I enjoy using the hand behind my head as a guiding point to feel my back body and front body connection. Again this goes with space issues of a plane or maybe your shoulders would prefer this modification.
You can play with head movements to get more out of this pose.
4. Sitting Twist:
I LOVE twisting!!! From someone who suffered from back pains at a young age I have found out the benefits from twisting in my life. Mr. Iyengar also recommends twisting for those who suffer from back pains.
Twisting calms the nervous system and brings blood flow back to the head and heart (at a more increased rate than just being), so once AGAIN you get more aliveness from this pose!
Here you can also play with you head to get more opening in the chest, neck and shoulders.
5. Sitting #4:
Even though my face doesn't show it this is my favorite yoga pose to do (and in public). It opens up the outer hip, low back and hamstrings.
Other variations to try with this is to forward fold for a deeper opening in the hips and low back. You could do side bends if folding at the hips is too much.
I also recommend an arm opener here if you stay upright. Maybe your hands are behind your back interlaced or up the chair in front of you (If your neighbor is ok with that).
Legs up the Wall Variation:
This might be more for when you are at your destination, but is still beneficial for the WHOLE body and nervous systems.
Sometimes getting our legs up the wall at a 90 degree angle is too much for some peoples hamstrings and that pose is not beneficial due to the accessibility.
Here is a modification you can find at the edge of your bed, watching tv with the family, or just trying to relieve the body of the daily aces and pains.
Look at how much you can move without any SPACE!!!
It is amazing what we can do in a chair and moving this precious body around. You deserve to feel free on that tuna can of an airplane, so go ahead and move around! Maybe your travel neighbors might get inspired as well. Or your work companions!
Did I miss any of your favorite poses? Are you traveling this summer? Let me know if you try any of these poses out in the comments below!