When you’re on the road it’s not always possible to get in a full Yoga practice or find a class but it’s very important to work on your flexibility consistently to avoid injuries and maintain health. I start out before getting up from the bed with a few leg stretches but find that doing a series of four to twelve Sun Salutations every morning is a great way to wake up to the new day.
Morning travel stretches
Note that this teacher is a long term Yoga practitioner and very strong. Let her flexibility be your goal but it doesn’t matter how flexible you may be today. Go at your own pace and never force. The perfect stretch is the one that works within your limitations. Consult your doctor before beginning any new exercise program.
Begin Standing in Mountain Pose: Body stacked easily over feet about hip width apart. Stretch your hands and arms up over your head and gently arch back.
Fold forward from your hips. Keep your knees bent to begin with and don’t strain. Let your head and neck relax as gravity pulls you towards the floor. Your hands and arms hang easily with fingertips reaching towards the floorboards. It doesn’t matter how far you bend, stay comfortable and breathe. Arch your head up and forward slightly, then step your feet back as you move down into…
Plank Pose: It’s a raised Push-up with hands under shoulders, elbows bent, fingers spread to hold the weight better. Your legs are straight behind you. Your feet are bent with your toes supporting the legs. Breathe.
Scoop your head towards the ceiling, curling your arched back up into a baby Cobra pose. Protect your lower back by using your thigh and bottom muscles to do the work. The tops of your feet are flat on the floor. Look up and breathe. Be gentle first thing in the morning. You can straighten your arms more as you warm up and continue the series, getting stronger every day.
Move out of the Cobra pose and into Downward Dog by pushing back and up with your hips as your feet curl under. Pull in your belly stretching your head and shoulders forward with your arms straightening. Breathe several times and then step your feet towards your hands again into a standing fold and curl up slightly then down, contracting your belly for back support and come up to stand once again into Mountain Pose.
Do a few of these morning travel stretches each morning and get on with your day more easily and smoothly.