Friday, 14 August 2015

Yoga on a plane/coach

Traveling on longer plane journeys or coach travel can be tiring and sitting all that time can create tension in your body as well as increasing the risk of DVT. Doing a few stretches can help, as long as you are considerate to other passengers. Stretching relieves any stiffness especially in your lower back, increases circulation and eases the anxiety of flying. 

A breathing practice will help calm your mind. Try ratio breathing to focus your mind and eliminate any anxious thoughts. Breathe in to a count of 4, pause for a count of 2, breathe out for a count of 4, pause for 2 and continue. If you are not comfortable with the pause just notice the point at which the inhale turns to the exhale,the exhale to the inhale. You may find it useful to visualise a rectangle. Breathe in, mentally move along the top of the rectangle, pause for a count of 2 as you mentally move down the right side of the rectangle, breathe out as you mentally move along the bottom of the rectangle, pause as you mentally complete the rectangle.  If the 4:2 count is too easy, try 6:3. 

Neck releases - breathe in, breathe out drop your chin to your chest, lengthening the back of your neck. 

Breathe in, lift your chin to the ceiling, breathe out bring your chin back level to the floor.  

For the next movement breathe in, breathe out drop your chin to your chest. 

On your next breath out circle your chin to your right shoulder, breathe in centre, breathe out circle your chin to your left shoulder and continue. After a few repetitions and if it feels comfortable for you, circle your head all the way round, one way, then the other.  

Seated stretches - interlace your fingers and stretch your arms forward.  Inhale stretch your arms up, exhale lean to your right.  Inhale centre, exhale lean to the left, inhale centre. 
Exhale, twist to the right, inhale centre, exhale twist to the left.  Inhale centre, exhale lower your arms.  Repeat the sequence.

Shoulder Rolls - circle your shoulders up by your ears then back and down.

Seated Cat/Cow - place your hands on your knees. Inhale lift your head and chest, exhale tuck your chin and round your back.  Continue working with your breath.

Seated back stretch - sit with a straight spine. Interlace your fingers and hold your right leg, just below your knee cap or if you have knee issues hold the back of your right thigh. Exhale and draw your right leg tight in towards your chest.

Seated Forward Bend - Sit with a straight spine and place your hands on your knees. Breathe out, engage your core and slide your hands down your legs. Release the back of your neck. Hold for a couple of breaths then breathe in and slowly come up sliding your hands back up your legs.

Seated hip opener- place your right foot on your left thigh and flex your right foot. Place your left hand on your right ankle, right hand on your right knee and gently ease (not force) your right knee down and up several times. Release and repeat with the left leg.

Toe flex, foot flexes and ankle circles, heel and toe raises - hold your right leg behind your thigh. Spread and open your toes, then clench your toes towards the sole of your foot several times. For the foot flexes, point and flex your foot several times then circle your ankles in both directions several times. The next movement will work the muscles of your calf. Place your feet on the floor and lift your toes, place your toes back down then lift your heels and continue for several movements.  

Tired eyes? - try palming. Rub your hands vigorously together and place your cupped hands over your eyes for a minute.  Repeat twice more.

Happy traveling!


Janet x

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