Travelling Traumas and How Yoga Can Improve Your Journey!
Its holiday season and I am currently writing this from the beautiful Portugal with a lovely view of blue skies and beach. Wow does it feel nice to be here! Getting here however was a different story.
You know it will be worth every single second of waiting in queues, being cramped in your seat and then waiting forever for baggage followed by a heated discussion with the rental car company because they have run out of baby seats....but at the time it is trying to say the least. I have never felt more incentivised to put into practice my yogic breathing so as not to cause injury to this rather unhelpful gentleman at the car rental place. Not to mention Gracie is now one month away from turning two years old then they get their own seat so having to sit on either mine or Andrew's lap was driving her potty. I ended up folded in two cramped in the footwell of Ryan Airs extremely spacious (NOT) seats while Gracie played peekaboo with the people behind and then tried to polish the head of bald headed man in front of us with a baby wipe, all rather embarrassing!! After a few flying drinks, much to Andrew's dismay and what seemed like hours of peppa pig, she fell asleep and then I could sit down with this sleeping angel lying across us. Why do they look so angelic when they sleep?
BEST YOGA POSES FOR TRAVELING
1) CAT/COW SEATED VARIATION
Can be done from your seat. Simply inhale and allow the breath to open up the chest, let the shoulders roll back and liberate your heart filling up the entire body, reaching the belly and even the hips and taking the gaze upwards towards the ceiling at the front of the plane. As you exhale, let the belly come towards the spine creating space between every vertebrae and letting the chin come to the chest as you let all the air disappear out of the body.
2) SEATED SPINAL TWIST
Again can be done from your seat. Simply inhale and elongate the spine keeping the shoulders away from the ears and growing out of your hips. As you exhale take your left arm over your right thigh and right hand to the right hand side of the body and take the gaze over your right shoulder. Repeat on the other side.
3) THIGH LIFTS AND ANKLE ROLLS
Thigh lifts and ankle rolls really activate the legs and the core and get the blood flowing to avoid deep thrombosis. Take the hands either side of the body and place them on the seat, then engage the core and lift up your right leg as you inhale. Then roll the right ankle in one direction and then the other as your exhale. Inhale keeping the leg raised and really energise the whole body with the breath then exhale and place the leg on the floor. Repeat on the other side and lift a few more times maybe adding in a point flex movement with the foot if you like!
4) QUICK TOILET TRIP AND WHILE YOU ARE WAITING PRACTICE A BIG MOUNTAIN POSE AND UTTANASANA
If you are travelling budget airlines, as we did there is no doubt there will be a queue for the toilet, so while you wait take a nice big inhale and breath all the way up into the body raise the arms overhead and come onto the tip toes then exhale and let the body flop over the legs bend the knees and let it all go.
NB do not pay any attention to other passengers giving you funny looks, you are doing something fabulous for your body, if anything you might inspire them to get up and stretch out too!!!
Anyway, we are here now and to be on holiday for two weeks is just insane. It is absolute heaven. I feel extremely lucky and grateful to my very kind and supportive partner Jodie who is kindly covering my classes while I am away. It's very odd the thought of not planning my classes for two weeks so I am really going to focus on what I need to work on in my own practice during these few weeks. Number 1 is breath work. Meditation and patience are my weaknesses, I am often so keen to get stuck into my practice and usually there is never enough time in the day for me to do more than an hours personal practice, so I only do 5 mins breath works either side. That isn't really enough for me to continue to developing my skills so hopefully I can get into the habit this holiday, find my inner TAPAS (discipline) and bring that home with me.
I will be sure to let you know how it all goes. Keep your eyes peeled for lots of holiday instagram posts :) @raquellegracie