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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Tip of the Week: Airplane and Car Yoga

Going on a long road trip or airplane ride this summer? Here are some adapted postures from to help release tension from your spine, stretch your legs, increase your circulation, let go of tightness in the upper and lower back, and keep you limber...all while wearing a seat belt! They can also be used in any confined space: cars, airplane seats, buses, office cubicles…

Mountain Pose 

Close your eyes, and focus on your breath. Sit up straight. With palms facing up, rest your hands at your sides or on your legs. Push the shoulders down and feel yourself lengthening from the crown of your head.
If you wish, exhale, and tilt your head to the left to feel a stretch in your neck and trapezoid. Inhale, bring your head back to center and exhale to tilt your head to the right.

Seated Sun Salutations
(Surya Namaskara)

Inhale to bring your arms up as high as you can get them. Exhale and bring hands to prayer position. Let your arms come to your side.
Inhale, and with a straight back lean forward at the waist into a Forward Fold. Exhale to let the head and arms relax. Inhale while returning to a sitting up position and sliding your arms along your sides and into the air. Exhale to prayer position.
That is one Seated Sun Salutation. Perform as many as you feel comfortable doing.

Half Moon Pose
(Ardha Chandrasana)
Sitting straight up, inhale to bring your hands above your head and grab your right wrist. If you don’t have enough space, hold on to your right elbow and fold your arms. Exhale while leaning to the left from your rib cage.
Make sure your hips stay level and only lean as far as is comfortable for you. You should feel the stretch along your obliques. Hold here for a few breaths and then on your inhale return to center. Exhale, and lean to the other side.
Seated Cobra Pose 
Lean forward slightly from the back of your seat and stick your chest out. Place your hands on your knees. Inhale and lift the heart while raising your chin and looking at the ceiling. Keep your shoulders away from your ears.
You should feel a stretch in your chest and spine. Hold here for a few breaths. Release with an inhalation.

  Pigeon Pose

(Eka Pada Rajakapotasana)
Lift your right leg and place your right ankle onto your left knee. Your shin should be parallel with the dashboard. Flex the foot of your right leg to protect your knee.
Exhale as you hinge forward with a straight back. You should feel a stretch in your hips, outer thighs, and in your lower back. Breathe and try to relax in this position. Be sure to reverse sides.

Seated Half Lord of the Fishes Pose

(Ardha Matsyendrasana)
Inhale and sit up straight, shoulders away from ears. Cross your right leg over left, if you can.
Place your right arm behind you (on the headrest or outside the seat) and exhale while turning just your chest and abdomen to the right, moving your left shoulder forward and your right shoulder back. Place your left elbow on the outside of your right knee, at a 90-degree angle and palm facing out. If your legs aren’t crossed, then place your hand, palm facing out, on the outside of your knee.
Look gently over your right shoulder and breathe. Twists are great for the abdominals and obliques, as well as the spine. Hold this position for a few breaths; expand your chest fully. Exhale to twist to the other side.

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