Rest Stop Yoga Lesson II

The journey's not over. You pull over at yet another rest stop.  Walk around, use the loo, and then take a short yoga break. Here are some simple poses to ease travel weary bones:Seated Twist
Seated Pigeon
Bench Lunge
Bench Spinning Lunge

Seated Twist:  Turn around and sit on the bench. Sit forward so that your spine is upright over your pelvis.  Take your left hand to your outer right knee and your right hand to the bench seat behind you.  Twist your spine from your tail bone to the base of your skull. Breath deeply and lengthen up into the twist.   You'll want to stay very vertical as you twist and breath.  Repeat 2 to 3 times each side.

Seated Pigeon:  After the twists, return to center.  Bring one ankle to the opposite shin.  Sit up nice and tall and allow the knee of the lifted leg to drop down toward the earth.  Keeping your spine long, hinge at your hips to bring your chest closer to your lifted shin.  Rest here for up to 2 minutes and then change sides.  This is a great relief for low back pain and sciatica.

Bench Lunge:  Stand up again and turn to face the bench.  Bring the sole of one foot onto the bench and keep one foot on the floor.  Lunge forward, always keeping your knee over your ankle.  If you need a deeper stretch hop the back foot farther from the bench.  Press the back ankle toward the floor and bend the back knee as you like to deepen the stretch in the front of the back hip.  Hold for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.

Bench Spinning Lunge: Reach one arm across your body and take your elbow or forearm to the outside of the lifted knee.  Turn your chest over the lifted knee and reach your free hand behind you. Breath deep into your hips to stretch the hip rotators.

Find a pole or the corner between two walls. Reach one hand straight up and back to hold onto the wall or pole.   Pivot your body away from the lifted arm to stretch through your upper chest.   You can walk your hand up and down the pole to change the position of the stretch within the fan of the pectoral muscle.  Take a deep full breath while your here.

Finally, talk a walk, keep breathing, drink lots of water.  Enjoy the journey as much as the destination!