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A Simple Yoga Sequence for the Traveling Boss Mom

You know that phrase, “it’s the journey, not the destination…..”?

 

Well, this mantra always strikes me when I get ready to hit the open road.

 

I love to travel but the journey is not always the most fun. With family 700 miles away, super long car rides to get there, and young children – my body, mind, and spirit just want to revolt!

 

Let me tell you about the 16-hour Thanksgiving drive that should have only taken 8 hours, with a 3-month old who hated his pumpkin seat and only wanted to nurse…..

 

I was a first time mom and in a complete panic as my son screamed (these were not small cries) at the top of his lungs during our drive from Ohio to Virginia.

 

We kept pulling over to make sure he was okay – no fever, clean diaper, no boo-boos from the seat. He just wanted to be in my arms and pacified by my wonderful milk supply.  

 

The constant pulling over and crying got really old, really fast. So, what to do?

 

As a side note, binkies and bottles had been banned by his pediatrician because of nipple confusion. And know that I did break those rules completely and offered my son a binkie only to have him promptly spit it out and start the wailing cycle!

 

The bottle didn’t work either. I was out of luck. The only way he was going to end the non-stop screaming that had my eye twitching was if he was nursing.

 

Now mind you, I was just a tad bit out of my head crazy, from the never-ending stream of crying. And you don’t always use the smart side of your brain when you’re in this state!

 

So, here’s what I came up with –  I decided to take advantage of the fact that we were in a van, my husband is an amazing driver, and I’m a yoga teacher.

 

I carefully unbuckled and contorted myself over my little one. I felt just like a momma cow with her udder hanging while he was safely buckled into his car seat and I nursed him.

 

This was the best case scenario as I would have gone insane if we had to pull over one more time.

 

Let’s just say after that Thanksgiving fiasco, I was a basketcase – mentally and physically. I felt like a complete failure as a new mom and my body was wrecked after trying to give my son what he needed most and keep him safe.

 

Why share this with you?

 

Because I know the stresses of travel and what it does to a mom who only wants the best for her kiddos.

 

That is why I put together this yoga sequence that can be done easily while at the rest area or airport gate, wearing your shoes, your regular clothes (or do you in travel in yoga pants like me?!), and no sticky mat necessary.

 

Just simple yoga poses to lose the knots in your shoulders from pulling luggage and holding kids.

 

To release the ache in your back from sitting all sorts of crazy contorted in cramped spaces for long periods.

 

To boost your energy, when one more cup of coffee will set your tummy on fire, and still leave you sleepy.

 

These yoga poses are designed to get you back on your game and able to enjoy your destination!

 

Try them out below. Or, click HERE if you would rather watch a video then follow the pictures.

 

And if you’re not driving and want to focus on relaxing the mental stress of travel, check out this 5-minute Mindful Yoga Breathing audio file.

 

Hip Flossing

Do this when:

Your hips and back are aching from sitting for too long.

 

How to do it:

Hold onto something like your car, bend your standing left leg two inches, and then think about drawing a crazy eight with your right foot. The action comes from your hip though.

Bring your right foot behind you slightly with your hip turned out. Then as you swing your foot forward, rotate your hip and thigh in, cross the leg in front of you as you broaden through the back of your right hip.

Then turn the hip and thigh out trace your crazy 8 back to your starting point with the right foot behind the left leg.

Do this 5 times and then switch sides.

 

 

Warrior II

Do this when:

Your legs are falling asleep, you just need to move your body, and release the kinks.

 

How to do it:

Stretch your arms out into a ‘T’ and widen your feet so that your feet and wrists line up. Turn your left foot in a little and right foot open.

Line up your right heel with the inner arch of your left foot. Make sure your right toes and right knee are pointing in the same direction towards the front of your sticky mat.

On the exhale, bend your right leg to 90 degrees, and look over your right finger tips. Take 5-10 deep breaths and then switch sides.

 

Reclining Warrior

Do this when:

You need an energy boost and you feel like you’re turning into one big ball of stress.

 

How to do it:

From Warrior II, turn your right palm up to the sky, and lean back. Keep your left leg strong. Root through the pinky toe side of you left foot.

Then slide your left hand down your left leg, mindful to never press on your knee. Keep your hand on your outer thigh or shin. Bend your front leg to 90 degrees.

Take 5-10 breaths and then switch sides.

 

Side Angle

Do this when:

Your lower back and shoulders are achy.

 

How to do it:

From Warrior II, lower your right elbow onto your right thigh. Stretch your left arm alongside your ear with the palm facing the ground.

Root from your belly down through the pinky toe side of the left foot and lengthen from your belly out through your left fingertips. Look up to the sky.

Take 5-10 breaths and then switch sides.

 

Hug Yourself (Modified Eagle Arms)

Do this when:

Your upper back is tense from pulling luggage or holding onto the steering wheel for too long.

 

How to do it:

Stand with your feet hip distance wide and parallel. Reach your arms out into a ‘T’ with the palms facing down.

Cross your right arm over your left and wrap your hands towards the wings of your shoulder blades. Lower your chin about a ¼ of an inch.

Take 5-10 breaths, then switch sides.

 

Eagle Pose (Modified)

Do this when:

You need to sharpen your focus and release tight hips.

 

How to do it:

Bending left leg two inches, cross your right leg over, and bring the ball of your foot onto the floor. Extend your arms out into a ‘T’ with the palms facing down.

Cross your right arm over your left and then bend the arms at the elbows and make your forearms vertical.

Bring your palms together to meet with the thumbs facing you. If your shoulders aren’t up for this, simply do the hugging arm variation above.

Take 5-10 breaths and then switch the arm that’s on top to bottom.

 

Wide Legged Forward Fold with Hands Clasped

Do this when:

You need an all over neck and back shoulder release.

 

How to do it:

Stand with your legs wide apart and feet parallel. Interlace your fingers behind your back (if fingers don’t find one another, simply place your hands on your hips).

Lengthen from the hips to the underarms, draw the shoulder blades towards one another, and down the back. Lift up through your chest, and then fold forward.

Bend your legs if you feel too much tension in your back. Keep your legs strong and your lower belly toned.

Encourage your head and neck to relax towards the floor while you keep your shoulder blades drawing towards the sky.

 

Mountain Pose with Arm Movement

Do this when:

Anger and frustration are brewing and you just need to find your center.

 

How to do it:

Stand with your feet hip distance wide and parallel, and your arms alongside your body.

On an inhalation reach your arms overhead and bring your palms together.

On an exhalation draw them down the center line of your body to your heart center.

Do this 3-5 times.


Irena Miller, is the playfulness behind www.irenamiller.com. She is an intuitive yoga coach who teaches LIVE, virtual bite-sized yoga classes to curious and adventurous people on the go in the Yoga Club!

Whether you’re new to yoga or limited on time, Irena has the right moves in 30 minutes or less, for you! With over 20 years of experience studying and teaching yoga, she still loves to see the light turn on in her students’ eyes after a yoga practice.

Irena has been featured in Runner’s World, Spark People, and was a speaker at the Boss Mom Retreat. She is certified at the Experienced-500 hour level with the Yoga Alliance. With time so precious and rare, she creates a practice that will get you into the rhythm of the season and bring harmony to your world.

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