The working-from-home norm amid Covid-19 was a bane for road-trippers and travellers who could enjoy the scenic view of monasteries in the North or offbeat beaches in the South, given the flexible office venue and now with the travel restrictions and lockdowns lifted, travel enthusiasts can’t wait to take their DSLR and vagabond spirit to breathtaking destinations. Though travelling is one of the most exciting experiences that require one to leave their comfort zone and set out on an exploratory mission to discover new places, cultures, food and people, make sure that you do it while ticking off workout daily.
Packing your Yoga mat with you should be like any other adventure that travel promises for anybody who undertakes it. Given that the beauty of Yoga is that it can be done anywhere and does not need any heavy equipment or machinery, Grand Master Akshar suggested 5 Yoga asanas that will help road-trippers and travellers to relax at any point no matter where they are.
He shared, “Exercise in the form of even simple postures can be of great help to you when you are on the move. This is because when your regular routine is disrupted, you are likely to experience fatigue, body pain, or any other common ailments like cough, cold etc. You can fix these issues by including easy simple and travel friendly poses in your plan. You can perform the following poses as a sequence or they can be done individually depending on where you are and what stretch could be of most help to you.”
1. Tadasana or Mountain Pose
Method: Stand solid on the ground with a small gap between your feet and while deeply breathing (inhale), raise your both arms upward by interlocking your fingers. Now, stand on your toes by raising your heels simultaneously and notice the pressure of stretching from toes to fingers.
Hold onto this position as long as you can with slow and deep breathing. Then, release and come to the original position with deep breathing (exhale) and repeat the same pose as per your convenience after relaxing for a while.
Benefits: Tadasana is a deep breathing exercise that provides strength and expansion to the lungs, may increase height, develops and activates the nerves of the entire body and gives strength to the vertebral column and heart. It is also good for regulating the menstrual cycle in women, cures problems related to indigestion in all practitioners, strengthens the arms and legs, helps to remove lethargy from the body and reduces the problem of flat feet.
2. Padahasthasana (a variant of Uttanasana or Standing Forward Bend)
Method: Stand in Tadasana position. Exhale gently as you start to bend your upper body forward. Drop your head and keep shoulders and neck relaxed while bringing your fingertips or palms on the floor. See if you can place fingertips or palms on either side of feet. Try to keep knees straight. Take 5-8 breaths here.
Benefits: The Yoga pose Padahastasana is known to massage the digestive organs, help with nasal and throat diseases, alleviate flatulence along with constipation and indigestion, improve concentration and metabolism, stimulate and tone spinal nerves and increase vitality.
3. Baddha Konasana or Cobbler Pose or the bound angle pose
Method: Sit with your legs relaxed out in front. Breathe out, bend your knees, pull your heels toward your pelvis, stretch your knees out to the sides and press the soles of your feet together.
Precautions: Do not practice this asana if you suffer from sciatica, lower back injuries or injuries in your hip region or groin. If you suffer from high blood pressure or any cardiac problems, be careful while bending.
Benefits: This helps relieve mild depression, anxiety and fatigue and helps facilitate smooth delivery when practiced until late pregnancy as it stretches the thighs and knees, relieving pain. It also improves flexibility in the hip and groin region.
4. Chakrasana or Wheel Pose
Method: Lie on your back. Bend your legs at your knees and bring your feet closer to your pelvis. Feet and knees must remain parallel. Fold your arms and place your palms under your ears. Inhale and push up to lift your body up. Relax your neck. Let your head fall gently behind.
Benefits: Chakrasana gives great flexibility to the spine. Perform this only when your stomach and bowels are empty. It not only strengthens the buttocks, abdomen, vertebral column, human back, wrist, leg and arm but also sharpens the eyesight and reduces the stress and tension in the body. This exercise is especially beneficial for asthma patients since it expands the chest and the lungs get more oxygen.
5. Savasana/Shavasana or corpse pose
Method: Lie on your back with your legs straight and arms relaxed at your sides. Gently close your eyes while keeping your feet a comfortable distance apart in a natural position and keep your arms straight along the body but away from the torso while resting your palms facing up.
Breathe naturally, allow your body to feel heavy on the ground and focus all your attention on your toes. Then shift your attention and begin to release each part of your body, organ and cell, consciously working from the toes up to the top of your head. Bring your mind gently back to your body if it wanders.
Be sure that you do not fall asleep and relax your face, feeling your eyes drop into your sockets and the softening of your jaw. Draw your attention to the sounds around you and try to find the most distant one until you find the sound closest to you.
When you feel relaxed, exit the pose by gently bringing your awareness back to your body and wriggle your fingers and toes while still keeping your eyes closed. Draw your knees in and slowly roll over to one side in sukhasana pose. Rest there for a moment in a comfortable seated position and open your eyes gently while slowly turning your attention outwards.
Benefits: Shavasana along with deep breathing relaxes the nervous system more than any other Yoga asana and this instantly brings down the body temperature. It relieves stress, repairs cells, relaxes the body and helps self-healing without pills for pregnant women.