11/25/2009 8:49:58 AM
Long flight or road trip? Take a break, stretch and find your inner chakra.
Long plane and car trips can put travelers, especially seniors, at risk for deep vein thrombosis, which is a blood clot found in veins deep in your legs. So take a break, stretch and find your inner chakra. Elaine Masters, yoga teacher and author of “Drivetime Yoga” has tips for even the most novice of yoga practitioners that will help loosen you up on the road. Do only what feels safe and comfortable for you, and drive responsibly and with attention, while keeping your seatbelt buckled, Masters advises.
1. Shoulder Push-Pull While driving on a straight stretch, let your hands gently hold the steering wheel at the three and nine o’clock positions, then exhale, gently pulling the bone at the top of your right shoulder forward and down, towards the center of the steering wheel. Inhale, slowly pushing your shoulder blade back into the seat. This releases tension from your neck, collarbone and across your shoulder blades. Repeat slowly, three to four times on each side.
2. Stoplight Yoga Spinal Twists at the beginning of a red light can help relieve tension and fatigue. Keep your foot on the brake, sit up a little straighter and gently contract your abdominal muscles. Use a little leverage with your right hand between the seats and reach across with your left hand to a comfortable place on the passenger seat for a gentle twist. Briefly glance over your right shoulder; keep breathing and hold for 10 to 15 seconds, then slowly release and check the stoplight. At the next signal, twist to the other side.
3. Tailbone Tuck Sit up a little straighter in your seat and gently pull the tip of your tailbone down and then curl it forward. Next curl it back and into the seat, massaging the lower spine. Repeat several times slowly.
4. Rest Stop Yoga Once you step out of the car, practice a couple of side stretches, lifting up and bending to the side with your arms up over your head. Next, put your hands on your lower back and lean back slightly. Then with your hands clasped in front of you, gently pull your arms down as your chin pulls towards your chest, or try a folding into forward bend for a few breaths.
5. The Rolling Namaste Attitude is everything. Remind yourself to practice a “rolling Namaste” respecting yourself, your passengers and your fellow travelers, there’s a good chance you’ll be less tempted to road rage and enjoy the ride more.
Elaine Masters is a registered Yoga teacher and author of Drivetime Yoga book and audio CDs. Elaine teaches and speaks about stress management for travelers and publishes the free e-letter, Drivetime YogaNotes. drivetimeyoga.com
Group Travel Planet