6 Yoga Poses for Travelers: How to Stretch and Strengthen on the Go

Alexa Erickson
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Traveling is a beloved pastime. Whether it be for vacation or work, you get the opportunity to intermix with different people in new settings. But travel undoubtedly takes you out of your comfort zone. You’re in a strange bed, without your kitchen to cook, and your favorite yoga studio is many miles away.
 
The first leg of your traveling journey often leaves you trapped in cars for long hours, or stuck in planes or trains with little leg room. Sitting for extended periods of time with the inability to stretch can take its toll on your body and make all the other circumstances – like new environments and an irregular eating and exercise schedule – feel even more detrimental.
 
Whether you’re just hopping off a plane and need to stretch, or you’re trying to keep yourself on track with your exercise while traveling, these 6 yoga poses are perfect to counteract the negative effects of traveling:
 

1. Tree Pose (Vrksasana)

Long commutes make way for stiffness, especially the back and side of your legs. Tree pose stretches and strengthens these areas. You’ll also work on your balance, open your hips, improve ankle stability and foot arch strength, and even strengthen your core. Lifting your arms above your head and shifting your gaze to meet your hands will add an extra balance challenge.
 

 
 

2. Headstand (Shirshasana)

A headstand is perfect for hitting the reset button after a draining travel day. This inversion reverses the flow of gravity, providing you with an instant facelift, as your skin hangs in the opposite direction. Fresh nutrients and oxygen are flushed to the face, giving you an effervescent glow, while also bathing the brain in fresh new oxygenated blood. Inversions require a lot of core stability, so you’ll strengthen while you refresh.
 

 
 

3. Forward Bend (Uttanasana)

Uncomfortable seating positions can cause serious back pain. Forward bending lengthens and alleviates stress from the spine by stretching out the lower back and hamstrings. You’ll enjoy an added bonus of stimulating blood flow to the brain. With each deep breath in, elongate the spine, and with each deep breath out, let it all go as you fold your forehead towards your legs. For an added shoulder stretch (always great after long travels), interlace your fingers and allow your arms to hang up and overhead.
 

 

 

4. Half Moon Pose (Ardha Chandrasana)

To wake up your sleepy legs and activate your brain, try Half Moon pose. You’ll stimulate your leg muscles, tone your core, and improve your balance. This pose is very active, creating some heat within, as you engage your muscles to maintain balance. Focus on engaging the glute of your lifted leg in order to find optimum strength.
 

 
 

5. Extended Side Angle (Parsvakonasana)

This pose opens up the inner thighs and torso, stretches out the hips flexors and lats, strengthens the quads, and improves core stability. It’s great for relieving low back pain from sitting, as well as alleviating stiffness in the legs. Hovering your bottom arm just above the ground will add an extra strength and balance challenge to keep you in the zone.
 

 
 

6. Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II)

Whether you’ve been stuck in between people for hours on a plane, or you’re crammed into a conference room for work, this is the ultimate pose for taking back your freedom. Warrior II opens the inner thighs, strengthens the quads and calves, improves ankle and core stability and even stimulates slow-twitch fibers in the shoulders and torso. Gaze over your front fingertips, and with each breath out, sink deeper into the hips. Your focus will take your mind off of negative feelings as you stretch and strengthen.
 

 
 
The best thing you can do to counteract all the uncomfortable downtime that comes with traveling is to stretch and strengthen, get your blood flowing, and reset your body by doing yoga. This will not only set a positive tone for your vacation or work trip; it will also keep you from feeling stiff and sore for the remainder of your trip. Furthermore, testing your balance and working on your strength will keep your mind clear and your body strong.
 
It’s easy to lose sight of your fitness regimen and other health commitments when you’re traveling, which is why it’s so important to sneak yoga in every chance you get! These six yoga poses are ideal for travel – and are also excellent after a long day at work, in the car, or any time your body needs a little extra TLC.
 

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Alexa Erickson

Inspired by balance, Alexa finds that her true inner peace comes from executing a well-rounded lifestyle. An avid yogi, hiker, beach bum, music and art enthusiast, salad aficionado, adventure seeker, animal lover, and professional writer, she is an active individual who loves to express herself through the power of words.

alexaerickson.contently.com

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