Flying takes a toll on the body. Flying effects sleep, nutrition, and recovery and can leave you feeling stiff and achy post flight. Yoga is a great way to stretch out after a long day of travel and release tension. We checked in with Kate Lombardo, yoga director and instructor at YogaRenew Teacher Training to see what poses she recommends. According to Lombardo, these are five great yoga poses to try after a long day of travel.
“This is the perfect pose for reducing swelling in the legs and ankles that can happen following a long day of travel. Plus, it helps to quiet the mind and can help with sleep, which comes in handy if changing time zones are messing with your sleep schedule.
To do this, lie down on your back and take your legs to the wall. The wall should fully support the weight of your legs. Bring your hands to your belly and focus on your breath. Stay for 3-5 minutes, or longer if you have the time. “
Downward Facing Dog
“Down dog is a great pose to open up the entire body. It creates length in the spine and openness in the hamstrings – two areas that get very tight while sitting for hours on a plane or in a car.
To do this pose, start on all fours. Walk your hands one handprint forward. Tuck your toes under and lift your hips up and back. Focus on creating length from the palms of your hands all the way up to the hips so you have a straight spine. If possible, straighten the legs. Or, you can feel free to pedal out your feet, bending one knee and then the other, to open up the hamstrings. Stay for 5-10 breaths or as long as it feels good.”
Child’s Pose with Prayer Hands
“This variation of child’s pose is great for releasing tension in the neck and shoulders that can happen from sleeping in strange positions while on-the-go.
To do this, start on all fours. Take your big toes to touch and your knees out wide. Shift your hips towards your heels. Bring your palms to touch in prayer. Bend your elbows and take your hands behind your head. Breathe into the sides of your chest and release your heart down towards the floor. Stay in this pose for 1-2 minutes.”
“Forward folds are the perfect way to release tension across the whole back body. This pose is not only great for opening the hamstrings, but also for reversing gravity to help release the neck and space across the back.
To do this pose, stand up tall and fold forward from your hips. Bring your hands down towards the floor (you can always grab a yoga block or a nearby chair if the ground is a little far away). Shift so your hips are directly over your ankles. Feel free to keep a bend in the knees if needed. Stay for 5-10 breaths or longer if it feels comfortable.”
Lizard Lunge Twist
“This pose helps to open the psoas and hip flexors, which can shorten and become tight from being stuck in a sitting position for a long period of time. Plus, the twist aids in digestion which is always needed when eating on the go during travel days.
To do this pose, come to a low lunge position with your front knee stacked over your ankle and your back knee down on the floor. Bring your hands inside of your front ankle. Press the inner thigh of your front leg away from you and roll to the other edge of your front foot. Twist towards your front leg and look up towards the ceiling. Feel a stretch in your hips and spine. Then, switch sides. Stay for 5-10 breaths.”