Friday, 7 August 2015

Yoga for your hotel room

While you are away on holiday, you may not want to practice your yoga as much as you do at home but I find that making time for 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes in the evening can help you relax into your holiday, sleep better and avoid those back aches that come from walking or even lounging on your sun lounger which creates tight hamstrings. You may also find you have tight neck and shoulders from carrying bags, rucksacks etc. 
Space may be an issue but usually you can find a mat sized space somewhere in your room. When my daughter was away at university and I stayed with her for the weekend, I still managed to do some yoga in her tiny bedsit with a bit of adjustment. 

Travel yoga mats are available. I don't usually bother but if you are going somewhere with a hard or slippy floor you may want to consider taking one.

Below are my suggestions but practice whatever you feel your body needs.

10 minute morning yoga practice to energize

Start in savasana and take 5 deep breaths, breathing into the belly, ribcage and upper chest and out from the belly, ribcage and upper chest (you don't even need to get out of bed yet!).

Roll your head slowly from side to side.

Core wake up - bend your knees and place your hands on your thighs.  Breathe out, engage your core and slide your hands up your legs. Repeat twice more,

Apanasana - straighten your legs then draw your right knee in holding just below your knee or the back of your thigh if you have knee issues. Hold for a few breaths then repeat with the left leg.

Cat/Cow - come onto all 4s.  Inhale lift your chest and tailbone, exhale tuck your chin and arch your back.  Continue working with your breath for several breaths the stretch out in Swan.

Lion Breath - sit back on your heels or with your legs stretched out and take a few Lion Breaths.  These get rid of stale air in your lungs that may have accumulated overnight and replace it with fresh air.  Breathe in and as you breathe out roar 'aah' as you stick out your tongue and look up at your third eye (between eyebrows).  Repeat.  Now if you have not already, you need to get out of bed.

Downward Facing Dog to standing - come back to all 4s. Breathe out and lift your hips high. 'Walk your dog' by alternately bending your knees to release your hamstrings then walk your feet towards your hands.  Breathe in and slowly roll up to standing.

Use the remainder of your practice to energize for the day ahead with Sun Salutations. For step by step instructions see the 'Yoga Pose Gallery' To finish stand in Mountain pose to allow your breath and heart rate to return to normal.

Evening yoga practice to wind down

Start in a comfortable seated position and close your eyes.  Bring your attention to your breath and allow your breath to settle. Continue to watch your breath for a few minutes letting go of your thoughts then gently open your eyes. Spend a few minutes massaging your feet to release any tension. Please read more about yoga for your feet on this link. There is also an accompanying video

Rolling Cat - come to all 4s.  Inhale and as you exhale arch your back, and take your bottom back to your heels. Inhale bend your elbows out to the sides and come forward back to all 4s. Continue with a rolling motion

Pigeon - from all 4s bring your right knee to your right wrist and your right foot towards the left.  Slide your left leg back then lift your chest.  Hold for a few breaths then fold over your front knee. Hold for several breaths. Make your way back to all 4s then repeat second side.  

Tree Pose - make your way to standing.  Take your weight into your left foot then finding a drishti gaze point bring your right foot to your left ankle, shin or thigh. Breathe in and raise your arms. Hold for several breaths then release. Repeat second side.

Reclined twist - come to lying down with your knees bent.  Take your arms a little way from your body (if you have not the space to stretch your arms out at shoulder height), palms up. Breathe in and as you breathe out drop your knees to the right, just as far as feels comfortable. Breathe in centre, and repeat to to the left. If it feels comfortable for your neck, turn your head in the opposite direction to your knees.

Legs up the Wall (or Savasana if you have neck issues, heart problems, high blood pressure or are menstruating) - sit with your knees bent, your right hip to the wall the swivel so that your legs are up the wall.  Close your eyes and watch your breath. To come out, open your eyes and roll onto your right side for a minute before coming up.  

Happy holidays

Janet x 

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