Whether you're traveling the world in your RV or taking a road trip with your family, long hours spent behind the wheel will drain some of your energy, at the same time leaving your lower back, hips and legs inflexible and sore. Furthermore, when you’re dealing with the traffic the whole day, all the tension and stress accumulate in your shoulders, making your neck feel stiff and painful too.
Luckily, you can tend to your body’s need for relief, and replenish your energy during your travels with the help of some basic yoga poses. These poses can be practiced in small spaces, so your RV will make a perfect practice spot if you just unroll your yoga mat and start doing the stretches.
Here are a couple of yoga poses to get you going.
After hours of driving, this pose is going to stretch your back, torso and your neck, while gently massaging and warming up your spine. If practiced regularly, it will increase the flexibility of your shoulders, neck and spine.
How to do it:
Once you are in the tabletop position, with your shoulders over your wrists and your hips over your knees, try to distribute your weight evenly between your arms and your legs. Arch your back slowly up while exhaling, allowing your chin to rest on your chest to do the cat stretch, and then slowly inhale and push your belly towards the floor as your gaze up, to do the cow tilt.
This basic inversion pose will stretch your spine from your head to your toes and strengthen it, at the same time bringing more oxygen into your body and more blood flow to your brain, thus making you feel energized. It can also help with the numbness in your feet, as it stretches your hamstrings and calves, ease joint pains and stiff ligaments.
How to do it:
Again you start in the tabletop position, bringing your hands slightly forward. Without moving your hands and legs, bring your hips back and up, until you have your head down, almost touching the ground. Your arms and legs should be stretched straight and hips raised as high as possible. This pose can be challenging for beginners, but don't let it worry you, as there are many modifications you can try.
This backbend is great for opening your hips, chest and shoulders and increasing the flexibility of your spine. It also increases your circulation and stimulates your nervous system, as well as boosts your energy levels. If you’re a novice, start carefully and slowly in order to be able to enjoy its benefits and at the same time avoid the injury. If you find it hard, start with modifications.
How to do it:
Kneel down, with your knees under your hips, and press the top of your feet to the floor. You can put your hands on the back of your pelvis, lengthening your tailbone toward the floor, and start to gently lean back, opening your chest. You should end up with your hands on your heels, and feet on the floor, or with the toes tucked under.
This restorative yoga pose will slow down your body and mind make them rest, increase your circulation and alleviate the swelling in your feet and legs, as well as relieve the tension in your lower back, stretching your hamstrings and back muscles.
How to do it:
To start with this position, you need to lie down on the floor of your RV and bring your hips close to the wall. Walk your feet up the wall until you are almost in the L-position, put your arms next to your body and relax. If you don’t feel very comfortable in this position, think about adding some support under your sacrum, or slide your hips a few inches away from the wall.
Try out these yoga poses to reduce the negative effects of sitting during your ride, and make sure that you’ll feel relaxed and energized throughout your trip.
About the Author
Nemanja Marinkoff is editor-in-chief and TheGearHunt and WalkJogRun. He's a marketing expert, and he's interested in all things related to basketball. He also loves marzipan, although his wife hates it. You can find him on Twitter.