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Practice These 4 Yoga Poses On Your Next Road Trip

I can’t sit still for more than an hour on a road trip. Getting up and moving your body after sitting for a long period of time eels great, and it releases built-up tension and anxiety. That’s why you can find me stretching, jumping, and taking some deep ujjayi breaths at every rest stop during a long road trip.

Sitting for too long can be detrimental to your overall health. Not only does it cause tight hips and poor circulation through the legs, but it also can lead to back pain and that sense of brain fuzziness. Yoga gets you moving your body in ways you otherwise probably wouldn’t in the course of your day, or in this case, on a road trip.

These simple yoga poses can do wonders as you send fresh blood and oxygen throughout your body. So, if you have a long road trip coming up, these are my go-to yoga poses for the gas breaks. They’re perfect for just about anywhere, and they can give you a much-needed boost in energy.

Flying instead of driving? You Can Practice These 9 Yoga Poses On the Airplane!

Practice These 4 Yoga Poses On Your Next Road Trip

No mat required. Because let’s be serious, no one wants to unroll their yoga mat by a gas station pump!

1. Standing Side Stretch

This pose feels so good after you’ve been sitting in the car for hours! It’s a wonderful stretch for the sides of your body and your spine. It helps to release tension in the muscles holding your ribs together, which allows you to breathe with ease. Fresh air . . . yes, please!
How To Do It

  • Begin in Mountain Pose with your feet about hip-width apart
  • Inhale, and reach your arms overhead
  • Grasp your right wrist with your left hand, and bend towards the left on your exhale
  • Try to keep your hips facing forward and the lower ribs in
  • Hold for about 5 breaths on each side (remember to switch your grip!)


2. Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend)

Now it’s time to wake up the hamstrings with a simple forward fold. Uttanasana lengthens and stretches the backs of your legs, helps to calm the mind, and provides a fresh perspective as you invert the head below your heart.
How To Do It

  • Stand with your feet together and your knees slightly bent
  • Exhale as you hinge at your hips to fold your torso over your legs
  • You can place your hands on the ground next to your feet, or hold opposite elbows
  • Keep length in your spine, and avoid rounding your back
  • Take at least 5 breaths here and then on an inhale, slowly come up to standing



3. Crescent Lunge With a Side Body Stretch

This is a great pose to fire up the legs and lengthen through the torso. As you activate the legs, feel the strength and power coming from your toes all the way through your fingertips.
How To Do It

  • Take a big step forward with your right foot
  • Bend your right knee and make sure it’s directly in line with your right ankle
  • Your left leg is engaged strongly behind you with your heel off the ground
  • Inhale your arms overhead, and engage your core to make sure you don’t arch through the upper back
  • To take this even deeper, grasp your left wrist and exhale as you gently lean towards the right
  • Hold for 5 breaths on each side


4. Malasana

Malasana is one of my favorite poses. You can find me at home sipping coffee or journaling in this pose! It feels incredible on the hips. Anytime they feel tight, I like to take a few breaths in this squat.
How To Do It

  • Start by standing with your feet a little bit wider than your hips, and your toes slightly turned out
  • Exhale as squat your hips low to bring the torso in between your legs (engage your core to avoid rounding your back)
  • Bring your hands to your heart
  • If you want to make this more challenging, you can gently press your elbows against the inside of your legs
  • Take at least 5 deep breaths here and then inhale as you stand up


Bonus: Hip Circles (With a Smile)

Lastly, when in doubt, stand with your feet slightly wider than your hips, smile, and move the hips in a big circular motion!

Enjoy Your Adventure!

May your road trips lead to love and adventure, and your gas station breaks be full of deep breaths and yoga poses!
Photos provided by the author and Nick Roush

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Amanda Christian

Amanda is a registered yoga teacher with a passion for wandering in the forest, teaching outdoor yoga, and drawing mandalas. She lives for campfire conversations and dark starry skies. Over on her website, she has free yoga classes, hiking guides and tips for getting creative! Follow her adventures on Instagram and YouTube @amandaoutside.

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