The first half of 2018 has been full of travel as I continue to spread the good word about the pelvic floor across the US… and the world! (cue creepy laughter). Long flights, cramped train rides, and the occasional gnarly Los Angeles commute has had me looking to yoga for the pain, stiffness, and lack of energy that travel sometime leaves me with. Like many of my patients prolonged hours of sitting can flare my pelvic, back, or hip pain and yoga always does the trick to calm things back down.
I’m was initially inspired to write this blog while adventuring in Bali researching yoga retreat centers for my next Retreat to Your Root (I know…. it’s a rough job, but someone has to do it). 24 hours on a plane had me and my travel bud/ yoga teacher/health coach extraordinaire, Michele Wilkerson, RYT of Yoga7even (pictured here) feeling tight, stiff, and generally unhappy in our pelvises!
Michele and I decided to each share our favorite yoga pose for travel and pelvic health as of a series of blogs since we both love adventuring the globe and hope that maybe you’ll join us in the near future…. like on Retreat to Your Root: Midwest this fall (or perhaps a more exotic location in 2019)!
Disclaimer: Not all yoga poses are appropriate for all bodies. These poses are meant as suggestions vs. prescriptions so if you have any health concerns or special questions please make sure to consult with your physical therapist or physician before practicing.
STANDING FORWARD FOLD
This is a good one that can be done just about anywhere including the back of the plane with the flight attendants!
- Mobilizing the back fascial line from the crown of your head to the bottom of your feet.
- Opening and softening the pelvic floor.
- Getting your heart above your head (instant energy boost).
- Stand with your feet hips distance apart.
- Inhale and then exhale as you fold forward, hinging from the hips.
- Prioritize lengthening your spine by bending your knees as you forward fold. Keeping your knees slightly bent will allow for your sitting bones to stay wide and your pelvic floor to soften and open.
- As you start to feel more flexible you can gently start to straighten your legs.
- To exit the pose keep a gentle bend in your knees, engage your core slightly and return to standing with a straight spine.
Hands clasped behind your back can offer a nice chest and front of the shoulder opening stretch… great for being cramped on narrow plane seats or hours clutching onto a steering wheel.
LEGS UP THE WALL
Best done after a long day once you get to your hotel room, but Michele and I have been known to find an airport window on long layovers and give the guys loading the luggage onto the planes a nice view. :)
- Restorative and calming to the nervous system.
- Decreases swelling in the legs after a long flight.
- Allows the pelvic floor to soften.
- Start with your hips as close to a wall as you can get and then gracefully (she says with a smirk) swing your legs up the wall.
- Skooch your tush in as close to the wall as your hamstrings allow (you may have a pretty big bend in the knees and that’s just fine).
- Rest your arms by your sides or up and over head.
- Close your eyes and slow your breath, paying special attention to softening your body into the ground on your exhales.
- Let gravity do it’s work on you.
If you have access to props (or pillows/blankets) use them to make this posture even more restorative. Block under the sacrum is shown here.
Remember to breathe into every pose and appreciate the journey (not just the destination) whether it’s on your mat or across the world! Check out my retreats page for opportunities to go on those journeys with me (and sometimes Michele!) as your guide!
Casie and Michele