We all need to take a break.
Sometimes we can take a few days to stay at a hotel where we have no worries or cares, except how much sun screen we need. Other times all we can do or all we really need is to unplug for a night or a weekend and curl up with a marathon of our favorite show or a good book.
Wherever we are, a vacation isn’t really a vacation without some yoga.
We need to move, to sweat, to detox and to release tension so we can really and truly relax and enjoy our time away from work and worry.
This routine is designed primarily so it can be done anywhere. It can be done by the pool or in front of the TV. All we need is a moment or two to tune in and stretch.
I chose each of these poses because they are low impact and allow us to stay easy and be gentle on ourselves so we can stay relaxed even during the workout.
We’ll begin by sitting with the legs crossed and a long tall spine. Give the body a moment to adjust and to align as we breathe deeply and tune in to the moment.
Ask yourself, “Where is the stress in my body? What caused it? What can I do to keep it from happening again or as badly when I go back home/to work?”
We’ll inhale the arms all the way up. Gently take hold of the right wrist and tug the wrist up to open the rib cage. Then, gently pulling the wrist with us, we’ll tilt to the left to open up that side. Be sure to do the other side.
When we’re back in easy pose, bring the right elbow down to the floor beside us and reach the left arm up and out to the right corner of the room. Be sure to do the other side.
Back in easy pose, we’ll bring the left hand to the right knee and take a gentle twist to the right. This opens up the spine and warms up the back. Be sure to do the other side.
Seated Forward Fold:
We’ll stretch the legs out in front of us and inhale the arms all the way up. On the exhale, we’ll bend forward, taking hold of the calves, ankles or toes.
From seated forward fold, we can also take a twist to the right and left, further moving the spine and stretching our our sides.
Table Top Pose:
Plant the palms under the shoulders and bend the knees so the feet are flat on the floor. Lift up the hips, creating a line with the body and breathe here, opening the heart.
From table top pose, walk the hands forward until the knees are on the floor. Then, climb the hands onto the ankles, arching the back. Look back behind you, further opening the heart.
Table top pose and camel pose are great heart chakra openers and give us the opportunity to feel compassion, even for situations that previously gave us stress. Stay in those poses for a few moments and breathe deeply, giving yourself time to feel your stress and then work through it. You may find a solution to take home with you to help the situation!
This is a great resting pose. Sit on your ankles and crawl the hands forward until your forehead is on the floor.
Wide Legged Seated Pose:
Sit up and stretch the legs out wide to the sides. This can be very easy and gentle. There is no need to push into a crazy split. When we’re ready, we’ll inhale the hands up and then, as we exhale, we’ll fold forward and touch the toes of the right foot. We can also reach for the ankle or the knee. Remember to stay easy and never push or strain anything!
Inhale back up and then exhale over to the left side.
Continue this motion while staying with your breath.
This moves and works the spine, creating warmth in the body, and helping you be in this moment. Now is the time to move beyond the stress: because the stress is not happening now. Right now, we are practicing yoga. Just breathe and simply be here and now.
Head to Knee:
Bring the right foot into the inner thigh and keep the left leg stretched out beside you. Reach the right hand across the body towards the left toes. Again, it is also a great stretch simply to reach for the knee or ankle. No pushing! Be sure to do the other side.
Bring the right foot into the inner thigh and then stretch the left leg straight up so the heel is reaching towards the sky. Hold onto the heel with the right hand. This is a fun pose to help stretch out the legs. Be sure to do the other side.
Have fun with your practice! It’s your vacation, after all!
And remember, you don’t need to buy a plane ticket to take a vacation. You can do this routine at home to help you unwind and have fun, too!
Author: Stacy Porter
Editor: Travis May
Photo: Author’s own
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