The days are long, the sun is shining and it’s time for summer vacation! No matter where you are headed and what activities you’ll be up to once you get there, make it a point to get in some time on your mat every day. Long days spent on a plane or in a car or walking around a new city can cause muscle tightness and exhaustion, which can lead to major problems down the road.
All you need to relieve the tension from your travels is 5-10 minutes and a yoga mat or towel. These stretches can be done in your hotel room before and after you head out for the day on your excursions. Hold each pose for 1-2 minutes.
This pose is the ultimate de-stressor. Just a few minutes here can relieve tension and anxiety build up from a long day of travel or excitement.
How to: Sit on the floor with your knees wide and your toes touching. Lower your belly between your thighs and rest your forehead to the floor. Extend your arms forward with palms down and feel your body lengthening from your hips through your fingertips.
Pigeon pose will release tension in your hips that has built up from sitting or walking for long periods of time. It can also help release stress from emotional situations.
How to: Starting in Downward Facing Dog, bring your right knee forward and place it in line with your right hand. Your shin should be parallel with the front of your mat. Extend your left leg back and rest your knee and top of your foot on the ground. Square your hips and fold forward resting your forehead on your hands. Hold for 2- 5 mins on each side. Breathe into the areas that feel tight, each exhale will melt away more tension.
Fish Pose is a gentle backbend that will uplift your energy and mood. This is a great pose to alleviate mid-vacation exhaustion.
How to: Lie on your back. Pull your elbows and forearms along the ground. Lift your chest until arched. The middle of your head will balance on the floor.
This pose may feel uncomfortable at first, but as you ease into it you will begin to feel a release in your lower back.
This area tends to get tight from walking or sitting in awkward positions.
How to: Lie down on your back. Bend your knees to your chest separate them into a wide position and grab the outside of your feet. Gently pull towards the floor as you feel your hips and back release.
This pose will stretch a tight back and will also calm your mind and nerves and stimulate digestion. It can be incredibly relaxing, but if you feel any neck pain, don’t do this pose.
How to: Lie down flat on the ground with arms along your sides. Keep your palms pressed against the ground. Slowly lift your legs and torso upwards using the support of your shoulders, back and arms. Your toes should ultimately lie just above your head.
This is one of my favorite restorative poses. Just a few minutes here can leave you feeling relaxed and rejuvenated.
How to: Sit with your legs in Butterfly Pose. Gently lay back until your back is flat on the ground. Breathe gently into this luscious restorative pose.
This pose will help increase circulation to your tired legs. It is also a dreamy restorative pose that can calm nerves and anxiety.
How to: Lie down on the floor and shuffle your tush close to the wall. Lean back as you slide your legs up the wall. Rest your shoulders and head on the floor. Lay your arms comfortably by your side, palms face up. Close your eyes and breathe deeply for 3-5 minutes.
A daily meditation is a great way to ground yourself throughout your vacation.
How to: Sit comfortably, close your eyes and take a few moments to check in and notice how you feel. Scan your body from head to toe and notice areas where you may be holding on to tension. Begin to notice and observe your breath. Focus your inhale on areas where you feel that you have built up tension from the day. On the exhale, imagine releasing everything built up in these areas.
Practice these poses every day, even twice daily—in the morning and before bed—while you are travelling to feel the best tension-relieving results.
You can find more energizing yoga flows, along with recipes, mindfulness practices and self-care tips in ENERGIZE by Celebrity Yoga Teacher Claire Grieve, a 98-page ebook dedicated to bringing a natural vitality back into your life. Follow @claire_grieve.