Whether you are traveling for a couple of days, a few weeks, or even months, all of that sitting, standing, carrying and hefting luggage does a number on your body and especially your back and neck. You may even have been suffering from back and neck pain before your trip from stress, tension, overworking, etc.
Yoga can help.
There are several easy yoga poses you can do almost anywhere to help ease many of the common symptoms of traveler’s back pain. You can do these poses at the airport, in your hotel room, on the beach or at a beautiful outdoor setting when you get to your destination. No mat required – you can use a towel, sarong, jacket, carpeted floor, grass, etc. You will feel refreshed, renewed, and ready to enjoy your trip.
Of course, if you have the opportunity to take a yoga class on vacation, do so; but remember to take it easy until you’ve worked out your traveling kinks.
10 Yoga Stretches for Travel to Help Relieve Back Pain
Forward Bend (Uttanasana)
Forward Bends stimulate blood flow to your brain, stretch your hamstrings and lower back, and lengthen your spine. This is perfect for relieving back pain from long periods of sitting and from hefting luggage.
This yoga pose opens your chest, shoulders, back, and hamstrings. It is great for easing lower back pain after hours spent sitting on planes, trains, buses or cars.
To help get blood flow moving again in your legs after sitting, stretch your quads and hip flexors with this yoga pose.
The ear-to-shoulder pose is easy and can be done almost anywhere. The pose stretches the neck and down into the shoulder and trapezius muscles. You can do this pose sitting or standing, just remember to keep your spine straight. Be sure not to pull your head over; just allow its weight to softly move it down.
The gentle up-and-down flowing posture of Cow-Cat pose brings flexibility to your entire spine, especially stretching and lengthening your back and neck. Synchronize with your breath for 7 to 10 cycles, and you’ll start to feel relaxed already.
Child’s Pose (Balasana)
Child’s Pose helps to reduce stress, anxiety, and mental tension. It is a deeply restorative pose that relaxes tightness in the neck and back. You should remain in child’s pose, breathing easily for anywhere between 30 seconds to several minutes.
Twists stimulate your digestive system, help improve digestion, and are cleansing for the body. Maintaining a healthy digestive system when you travel is essential for your well-being. Twists also can relieve lower back pain, a common complaint after long travel days. You can do either a seated twist, making sure to twist (not crank) your spine slowly and comfortably. Or you can do a supine twist lying on the ground, if you have a clean, safe place to do so. Be sure to twist on both sides of your body.
After sitting for long periods, usually your hips and gluteus muscles will feel tight and stiff. This pose helps you to open those muscles and release the tension, including in your lower back. You can also do a seated version just about anywhere – even on a plane, train, bus or car. Your hips, bottom and lower back will thank you.
Legs Up the Wall Pose (Viparita Karani)
Legs Up the Wall pose is a gentle inversion that lets the body fully relax while calming the nervous system and improving circulation, thereby rejuvenating the entire body. This pose also helps relieve mental stress, and can help alleviate headaches, boost energy, and relieve lower-back pain. You can use a folded blanket, towel, jacket, etc. to place beneath your hips for comfort and support. Remain in the pose from 5 to 10 minutes.
Also called relaxation pose, Corpse Pose is the most restorative yoga pose because it helps you experience deep peace for your mind and body, letting everything relax. Remain in the pose from 5 to 15 minutes.
Fronting the beautiful beach of Santa Teresa, Costa Rica, on the southern Nicoya Peninsula, Pranamar Oceanfront Villas & Yoga Retreat specializes in Costa Rica yoga vacations. Pranamar Villas was named a Top 5 Yoga Retreat in Costa Rica by Travel & Leisure Magazine, and holds TripAdvisor’s 2015 Certificate of Excellence.
Public yoga classes at Pranamar Villas are held Monday to Saturday in the hotel’s beautiful oceanfront Yoga Shala for students of all levels. See the schedule of upcoming Costa Rica yoga retreats at Pranamar Oceanfront Villas, including the inspirational retreat “Embracing Totality” led by Pranamar Villas’ yoga director and co-owner, Nancy Goodfellow.
Santa Teresa Costa Rica yoga retreats at Pranamar Villas fill up fast so make reservations today!
Article by Shannon Farley