Today was a long ride from Minneapolis to Chicago, mostly due to the traffic jams and constant toll roads. We ran out of change for the last toll station, and started scrambling all the coins we had. We frantically threw in everything we had, including Canadian pennies and nickles because it was a non monitored station accepting only coins. In the end the green light finally went on, and we avoided all the angry drivers waiting behind us. Next time we promise to be more prepared.
Long drives also mean sore backs and swollen legs. I have devised this set of yoga poses for you to do in the car. Please remember that it’s only for the passenger side, with your seat belt still fastened please : )
Preparation: you may want to move your seat as back as you can, and have the seat more upright so that you are not slouching.
Seat in a easy sitting pose on your seat with one leg crossed in front on the other. Sit upright and place your hands on your upper thighs. Close your eyes and start to breathe deeply. Imagine yourself in a peaceful and quiet place for five deep breaths.
2. Warms Ups.
Shake your legs out and seat back in a cross legged easy pose. Now start to warm up your neck by slowly lowering your neck to the right side. Breathe deeply here for 3 breaths, and then lower your neck to the left. Slowly start to roll your head in a half circle from left to right, and then switch the direction. Keep breathing throughout the pose, and feel free to stop at any point if you feel soreness and breathe deeper into that.
3. Seated cat pose.
Now it’s time to warm up the spine and get some fluidity in your body. Switch the crossing of your legs to balance out your body. Grab the bottom of your seat, arms straight, and start to round your back as you exhale. Really push on the seat and breathe deeply into the back side of your body. Now inhale as you pull on your seat, and arch your back, look up and lengthen your spine. Keep breathing and repeat with five deep breaths.
4. Spinal twists.
This is a great one to do to help with your lower back. You can do this pose with a crossed leg, or if you are adventurous to do, you can sit in the regular yoga way for this pose like in the picture. Then as you twist to the right, hold on to the handle bar and the seat, stay here for 3 deep breaths, as you look back towards the other cars and smile at them. Untwist yourself, switch sides (legs and arms) and breathe deeply for 3 more breaths on the other side, looking lovingly at the cars on the left.
5. Head to knee pose.
This is a great pose to do to help you release your whole back, and to help restore blood into your legs, although a bit tricky to do in the car. You want to bend your left knee towards your right inner thigh, and place your right leg up on the dash board. You may find that you can’t straighten your legs because there’s not enough space, then just keep your right knee bent, you will still get the benefits. Now hug your right leg as your hinge from your hips and come slowly down towards your right leg. Keep breathing here for 3 deep breaths, then switch sides.
Most people’s favourite pose! Lower your seat down, and keep your legs up the dashboard. Keep your legs a bit more than hip width distance apart, and let your feet flay to the sides. Lie down and think of nothing for 5-10min. No need to control your breaths here. Get your friend/family to gently wake you up by moving your fingers and toes, now you should feel all refreshed and ready to take over the drive from your friend/family!