If you’ve ever taken a long-haul road trip or even a flight over three hours, there are some uncomfortable physical sensations that are far too familiar — tense hips, low back pain and neck troubles. Sitting, especially for long periods of time, puts pressure on the discs, causing low back pain and other areas of the body and if not addressed they can quickly slow you down on your travels.
In fact, marathon sitting sessions have frequently been referred to as the “new smoking” — a term coined by Dr. James Levine. From 9-5 jobs where people sit the majority of the day to commuting in traffic or long-haul travel, there’s an abundance of evidence that suggests sitting for long periods of time isn’t the best thing for your body.
But most of us find that in order to get from point A to B, sitting is required — whether you’re on a train, plane or driving in a car. Fortunately, there’s a way to treat your body and be more mindful to help reduce the feelings of stagnation that come with being on the road — car yoga.
To help you arrive at your destination more relaxed, CarRentals put together this simple guide of 11 yoga poses that you can do while seated during your drive or when you stop to fuel up at the gas station. While these were created with road trips in mind, they’re also easy to implement on plane and train rides.
Some of our favorites include:
- Modified downward-facing dog — this easy exercise can be done when you stop to fuel up on a road trip, but raising your hands upwards on a car window or door and hinge forward slightly relieving pressure from your shoulders, neck and upper back.
- Seated chair pose — this one is simple enough to do while in route/in your seat and helps stretch a stiff spine/back by creating synovial fluid.
- Seated head to knee forward bend — the pose helps to restore blood flow to your pelvic cavity, low back and hips and is performed by extending your legs up on the dashboard, leaning forward and grabbing your foot to create the stretch.
Check all the yoga poses out in detail in the full car yoga guide and in the infographic below.