13 Dec YOGA In THE CAR?
I have been practising yoga (ok somewhat modified) in the car lately and it’s been brilliant. Can I say this is going to be your life-saver over Christmas.
OK, Picture this, you’re on your way to the family over Christmas and you’re running late or the stress of everything has bought you to your knees. You’ve been running around wrapping gifts, cooking, decorating the house and now feel rung out and exhausted. You’ve had no time for you or your body and now it feels stiff, sore and tired. After practising the below Car Flow – I promise, your shoulders will hold less tension and the muscles surrounding your neck and jaws would have released. Having focused on your breathing you should feel a sense of calm but an added energy after using your core to fire up the abdominals.
Well here it is, your gift to yourself whilst driving to family celebrations.
**PLEASE DRIVE SAFELY AND ALWAYS BE FULLY AWARE OF the ROAD**
Neck, Shoulders and Upper Back
- Sit with your hands on the steering wheel – take a big INHALE and plug your shoulders back into the seat, squeezing your shoulder blades back towards each other. Feel the space you’ve created between the shoulders – the slight hollowing in the upper back.
- Now on an EXHALE begin to curl the shoulder blades away from each other slightly curling the upper back, feeling your upper chest begin to slightly concave.
- Continue this movement with your breath for 3 minutes.
- Bring your shoulders back to a neutral position and take two slow breaths.
- INHALE and bring the left ear towards your left shoulder at the same time as pulling your right shoulder down. Focus on increasing the length between the tip of the right shoulder and the top of the neck of the right side.
- EXHALE bring it back to centre.
- INHALE do the same on the right side. Slowly drop the right ear down to the shoulder. ALWAYS LOOK AHEAD AND WATCH THE ROAD!
- EXHALE to centre.
- Continue this movement for 3 mins – always moving with the breath.
- Finally this last movement I call the Turtle Head! This movement is often given by physio’s to help with cricked necks or trapped nerves. It’s so good for flossing all the joints in the upper vertebrae. Sit with your head centred over your shoulders, bring your chin parallel to the floor or the driving seat, slowly pull your chin back in towards chest making sure it is still parallel to the seat. – this part is important. Then slowly bring your chin out towards the steering wheel. This movement should remind you of a turtle sticking its head out of its shell – hence the name! Continue this for 10 rounds ensuring the movement is really slow.
Core and Hips
Whilst driving and of course, without taking away concentration from your driving we will now start to open and make some space in the hips. This movement is typically a modified CAT /COW which we normally do on the mat.
- Focus your attention on sitting equally through both sits bones. Feel grounded here and balanced through your hips. Take a good long slow INHALE here.
- EXHALE and slowly begin to curl your tailbone under and at the same time pull your tummy button back to your spine. Push and flatten your lower back against your car seat so your pelvis is completely tucked under. Become aware of your pelvic floor muscle (your Mula bandha – Root lock energy centre) and pull it up. Fully engage your abs and pull the tummy back to the spine.
- INHALE tip your hips encouraging the front hip bones towards the steering wheel arching the lower back. Pull the shoulders into the seat behind you to create more of an arch.
- Continue this round of rocking through both movements for 10 rounds.
For those of you who suffer from a really sore lower back, this exercise is fabulous for releasing tension.
Obviously this isn’t just for your Christmas travel plans, I encourage you to practice this little flow whenever you are on a long journey or stuck in traffic. Don’t forget to put Chill radio on to get into it!
I would love to hear your feedback. Good luck lovely friends. x