Getting to your destination can be one of the most uncomfortable things in your life and while you may be excited about your trip - when you arrive your body will seem permanently formed to the chair you sat in to get there!
Here's a short, focused practice to do when you arrive at your destination - no props needed - to help release neck, upper back and hip tension to start your vacation or trip of right! Take 30 minutes and reset so you can REALLY enjoy your trip!
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Neck Stretches - 8-10 breaths each
Find a comfortable seat (even a chair if you like) and gentle drop your right ear over to your right shoulder. Allow your left arm to drop toward the floor and take your right hand to your left temple (gently allow gravity to deepen here and don't use force). Take 8 breaths and take hand away allowing the chin to rest on the chest for 8 breaths. Take the other side. Return to center and take your hands, interlaced, to the back of your skull and allow your elbows to come forward. This will deepen the stretch of the spine and neck (don't use force but allow gravity to work). Return to center.
Twisted Child's Pose (Balasana)
Hold: 3-5 minutes
Bring your big toes together and knees apart slightly (bringing them closer together opens the front thighs more). Keeping your hips low to the heels (prop with blankets or blocks if needed), allow your torso to drop forward, resting your head on your fists or hands or the floor. Allow your head to be supported fully with the weight on the space between your eyebrows. Lift up partially and take your right arm, palm up, over to the left under your torso and turn your head to the left (resting on the right temple). Place your left arm palm to palm on the right hand to add gentle pressure. To come out, press into palm, untwist and step back into Downward Facing Dog for 1 minute.
Swan, Sleeping Swan & Lateral Swan
Hold: 2-5 minutes/side - (each pose)
From Down Dog, take your right knee forward towards the right wrist. Tuck your right foot underneath your pelvis or take your right shin more in line with the front edge of your mat (depends on your hip bones). Keep your right foot activated. Walk your left foot back more with top of the foot on the floor behind you. Walk your hands out in front of you and keep a lift in your spine for 2 minute. Lengthen your spine and fold forward. Remain here for 2 minutes. Gently press up and walk the hands over to the left side and lower back down. Remain here for 2 minutes. Return to center, press back up and into Downward facing dog for 1-2 minutes. Take the second side.
Hold: 2-6 mins
Take arms wide - level with shoulders or bent elbows (more chest opening) and cross the right leg over the left - winding once or double wrap. Press through the foot and gently shift hips over to the right. Drop knees over to the left and turn head to the right. Allow gravity to take the knees over and if you feel you can, walk the left toes back behind you more for more twist. To come out, engage your core and bring legs back to center. Drop feet wide on the mat and let knees come together. Breathe here for 8 breaths and do the second side starting with Reclined Shoelace.
Feet Up the Wall (Vipariti Karani)
Hold: 7-15 minutes
Head over to a wall or the end of the bed. Lie down and begin to swing your legs up the wall/sofa/bed. Your hips can be at the wall or up to 6" away. Rest your heels on the wall and take your arms out to the side or rest them on your belly. Focus on your breath - extending it longer and longer. Feel your entire body softening and the support of the wall and the floor. When you are ready to come out, rest bottoms of the feet on the wall with knees bent into chest and slowly roll to the right. Rest on your right side for a few breaths and come up very slowly.
I have been "playing" and experimenting with yoga, aromatherapy and healthy living since my late teens - researching, testing, reading, investigating, and learning anything that would make my life - and the lives around me - better naturally.
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