It’s no secret that sitting for extended periods can wreak havoc on your body. Even without all the scientific evidence to back this up, all you have to do is spend a day road tripping to learn how sore your body becomes once you stop moving. If you change destinations often, lengthy stagnation is an unfortunate and unavoidable component of the RVing lifestyle. But there are ways to combat the negative effects of sitting in a vehicle for long periods for time, and one of these ways is by doing yoga! Yoga is great for RVers because it can be done almost anywhere, and you don’t need to bring any bulky equipment along to do it! So if you arrive at your destination with a sore back and cramped hips, try out some of these yoga poses for a long day of travel. Namaste!
Begin in Mountain Pose by putting your feet together and placing your arms at your sides. From this position, turn your arms outward and in a sweeping motion, inhale and raise your arms toward the sky. Place your palms together and tip your head back so that your hands are in view. Elongate your tailbone, continue breathing evenly, and exhale upon release before moving on to the next pose.
Benefits: Stretches the spine, shoulders, and stomach while relieving fatigue
From upward salute, separate your legs by moving one foot backward and raising both your arms perpendicular to the floor. Align your heels, turn your back foot outward, square your pelvis, and arch your torso back slightly. With an exhale, bend your front leg so that your front knee is over your front ankle. Keep your head forward, continue breathing deeply, and reach up through your arms with the strength of your entire body. Hold this pose before releasing and repeating on the opposite side.
Benefits: Stretches your shoulders, groin, and ankles while promoting better circulation
Return back to mountain pose and shift your weight onto your right foot by lifting your left foot and bending your leg backwards so that your left foot extends toward your butt. With your right leg firmed and strengthened, reach back with your left hand and grab the outside of your left foot. Grasping your foot, extend it up toward the sky and away from your butt. Extend your right arm out parallel to the ground as a counterbalance. Hold the pose for a few breaths before releasing and repeating on the opposite side.
Benefits: Stretches your abdomen, thighs, and spine while improving flexibility and balance
Return back to mountain pose and with an exhale, stand so that your feet are stretched apart. Raise your arms so that they extend parallel to the floor with your palms facing down. From this position, make sure your heels are aligned before turning one foot outward and lowering your arm so that you are grasping the ankle of your outward-pointing foot. Raise your other arm upward toward the sky. You should be bending your body at the hip, keeping your torso strengthened. Hold this pose for a few deep breaths before releasing and repeating on the opposite side.
Benefits: Stretches your legs, knees, and groin while strengthening your obliques and back
Standing Forward Fold
Return to mountain pose again and with an exhale, bend your body forward at the hip joints. As you lower your head, bring your palms to the floor beside your feet. If it is not possible for you to touch the floor, simply bring your forearms inward and grasp your elbows. Remember to keep breathing steadily, and with each exhale try to release deeper into the frontal bend. Let your head hang and keep your torso strengthened. Hold the pose for a few breaths before moving on to the next position.
Benefits: Relieves tension in the spine, neck, and back, while stretching your hips
From the standing forward bend, keep your hands on the floor slightly in front of your shoulders. Lower your knees to the ground so that they are directly beneath your hips. With an exhale, lift your knees off the ground and lengthen your tailbone toward the sky. With each exhale, stretch your hands and heels deeper into the floor without locking your knees. Keep your head between your arms without letting it hang loosely, and hold this pose for a couple of minutes before exhaling into the next pose.
Benefits: Stretches your shoulders, calves, and arches, while energizing your overall body
Following your release out of downward dog, kneel on the ground so that your feet are touching and you are sitting on your heels. Keep your knees aligned with the spacing of your hips and lower your torso into your thighs. Lengthen your tailbone and head before bringing your arms back, laying them alongside your shins with your palms facing up. Release any tension in your shoulders so that their weight stretches your shoulder blades outward. As a variation, you can also extend your arms upward with your palms facing down to lengthen your torso. Hold either position for a couple of minutes before moving onto the next pose.
Benefits: Gently stretches your hips while relieving back and neck pain
After coming up from child’s pose, return back into downward-facing dog. From this position you are going to raise one leg so that it extends up into the air behind you. Then slowly bring that leg forward, bending at the knee, so that the top of your foot meets your wrist on the opposing side of your body. With your opposite leg extended straight out behind you, let the front of your thigh rest on the floor. Try to maintain an even weight on both sides of your hips while pressing your fingertips into the ground alongside your torso. From this position, lower your torso to lengthen your spine by walking your hands forward and extending your arms. Hold this pose for a few breaths before returning to downward dog and repeating on the opposite side.
Benefits: Opens up your hip joints while easing lower back pain and improving spine alignment
Remain on the ground with your torso toward the floor to begin cobra pose. Place your palms on the ground beneath your shoulders and tuck your elbows in at your rib cage. With the tops of your feet and your thighs firmed against the ground, inhale and straighten your arms so that your chest is lifted off the floor. Without pushing your ribs forward, strengthen your shoulder blades and disburse the bend in your back evenly throughout your spine. Hold this pose for a couple of breaths before exhaling and releasing back down to the floor.
Benefits: Relieves stiffness in your back and shoulders while strengthening your abdominals
Happy Baby Pose
While on the ground, flip over so that your back is against the floor. From this position, exhale out and bend your knees, bringing them in towards your stomach. With an inhale, grasp the outsides of your feet and bring your knees toward your armpits. Try to keep your knees slightly wider than your torso as you gently push your feet into your hands. Your shins should be perpendicular to the floor and your hands should be resisting the pressure of your feet. Hold this pose for a few minutes before releasing your feet and returning them to the floor.
Benefits: Relieves and soothes back tension while stretching your spine and opening your hips
Yoga is a great way to stay healthy as you travel, and it’s also the perfect solution for any aching or stiffness that develops after a long day on the road. For the more intense yogis and yoginis out there, take your asana sessions up a notch by doing yoga on a paddle board! Though it will be a much greater challenge, it will increase your core stability, improve balance, and refine your overall technique.
Did we miss anything? Leave us a comment and let us know what other yoga poses would be perfect for recovering after a long day of travel!