on 03, Apr 2019

The Best Ever Yoga Exercises For Your Daily Road-Trips & Long Commutes

Driving in metropolitan cities and doing long journeys in your car can be tedious. After all, you have restricted space for physical movement, shortened breathing ability due to slumped posture, as well as psychological stresses as a result of driving in traffic conditions. Spending 1-2 hours in your car in traffic conditions can lead to all sorts of pain in your body.

The body parts that suffer the most are lower back, neck, shoulder and hips and even head. Though you might think that the seats of your car are comfortable, but in reality, they may not be.

To be in the correct posture while driving, make sure that you tuck the pelvis in the seat as far as possible and align the shoulders in line with the hips and tuck the chin in. Also, there should be a slight bend in your arms while your hands rest on your steering wheel.

 

 

Studies have found that being seated in a particular position for long can result in harmful effects on your body leading to health-related issues such as obesity, increased blood pressure, diabetes, chronic leg pain, swelling in legs, cardiovascular diseases etc.

This should really concern any person who is behind the wheel for a long duration, especially truck drivers. To safeguard yourself from these issues, follow this article and invest 10-15 minutes on some easy yoga exercises which will do the job for you, relieving you of the stress, aches and frustration.

These are simple to do exercises, most of which can be performed at traffic lights. For some, you will have to pull over your vehicle, which you often do for grabbing some snacks. Also, ensure you are sufficiently hydrated throughout your journey as it takes care of most of the problems.

  • Even Breath: While driving, it is essential that you remain calm and composed. A slight deviation can lead to bad consequences. A simple solution to this is just to have a simple one-to-one breathing exercise. In this exercise, you have to inhale and exhale for the same number of times and with the same intensity. Just see how your mind focuses better.

  • Roll It Out: A simple to perform the exercise, it helps to reduce stress levels in your body. You just need to spare a minute for this exercise. Roll your ankles, sit tall and roll your shoulders, first backwards and then forwards. Repeat 10 times.

  • Hand Yoga: Hold the steering wheel, stretch your arms out straight over the steering wheel, with palms down. Now, you have to flex your fingers and bend your wrists back. Repeat this for 10 times.

  • Shoulder Lifts: Sit with a straight back, inhale and then bring the shoulders up to your ears and then drop them down. In the process of dropping down your shoulders make sure you exhale. Repeat 10-15 times.

  • Neck Rolls: It is a very simple exercise that helps to reduce the strain in your neck greatly. Sit with ease, take a nice deep breath, fall your head towards the right, bring it back to the centre and then let it fall towards its left and bring it back to the centre position. Now keep the head down and make a circle. Repeat 5-10 times.

  • Belly Breathing: It is easy to do exercise. Place one hand on your stomach and inhale a deep breath through your nose. As you do this, you can feel your hand getting pushed out slightly by your expanding stomach. Now, exhale through your mouth. Repeat the same process for 10-15 times and slowly remove your hand from the stomach. It helps in relieving stress.

  • Water bottle: You must be carrying a water bottle. If the water bottle is full, take it in one hand and perform bicep crawls. Now repeat the same with the other hand. Do it for 10-15 times.

  • Lion’s Breath: This exercise is known to reduce tension on your face. Take a deep breath through your nostrils and feel it in your belly. Then exhale with the tongue out and cross your eyes. Repeat 10-15 times.

  • Side Stretch: It helps to keep your spine straight. Sit tall, keep both the hands on steering wheel. Now, take a deep breath, extend your spine and exhale slowly while leaning on one side. Now inhale again and centre your body and again exhale and lean on the opposite side. Repeat 5-7 times.

  • Upper & Lower back stretch: Move up on to the seat and bring your hands at the back of the seat. Lift up the chest, push the hips forward, bring the head back. This will help to relieve the pain in your back, arms and shoulder. Now release with an exhale. Do it for 5-10 times.

  • Hold the Steering Wheel: Take an underhand grip on the steering wheel, do some pull-ups.  Similarly holding the steering in 10 & 2 position and perform push-ups. Repeat 10 times for each process.

  • Checking your blind spot: A very famous yoga exercise. In this stress relieving activity, look straight ahead. Now, tilt your left year to the corresponding shoulder. Then do the same with your right ear. After doing this, check your blind spot by twisting your neck to look back behind your left and right shoulders. Repeat 5-10 times.

  • Mountain Pose: Sit with a straight back, close your eyes and focus on your breath. Now rest your hands on your side such that the palms of your hands are facing up. Now push the shoulders down and feel yourself lengthening from the crown of your head. Now open up your eyes and feel the difference. Repeat 5-10 times.

  • Seated Sun Salutations: A great exercise for your head and arms, to begin with, inhale. Now sit tall and lean forward at the waist into a forward fold position, followed by exhaling to enable the head and arms relax. Now, inhale during the process of returning back to the original position and sliding your arms along your sides and into the air. The exercise is not yet complete. Now, exhale to a prayer position. Repeat 5 times.

  • Anterior Shoulder Stretch: Sit with a straight back and keep both your feet flat on the floor. Now, lean forward and hold the seat behind you. Continue to lean forward and extend your arms. This exercise has many advantages- you feel a stretch in your arms, shoulder and chest. Repeat 5 times.

  • Posterior Shoulder Stretch: This exercise should be done after the anterior shoulder stretch. Sit up straight with both your feet flat on the floor. Straighten up your arms in bringing them in front of you. Now interlock your fingers in such a way that your palm faces inward. Keeping your butt fixed, lean forward and drop your head to stretch your neck to the fullest. Repeat 5 times.

  • Seated Cat/Cow: This is a really useful exercise for your shoulders and spine. To perform this exercise, place your hands on your seat, palms down. Now, roll your shoulders backwards and press your chest out while making a concave arch with your spine. This is the cow pose. In the next part, round your shoulders and back down. This is the cat pose. Repeat 5-10 times.

  • Simple Twist: Move the seat back to achieve a comfortable seating position. Bring the right leg up on the seat. Align the heal with the hip and ensure that your spine is straight. Push your hand on the seat and twist your body and look back. Perform the same by bringing the left leg up on the seat. Take 5 deep breaths.

  • Hamstring stretch: Turn sideways in the car. Keep the right leg either in a bent-up position or face towards the front. Now take the left leg out and grab the big toe and straighten out the leg. Start to raise your leg. Alternatively, you can also stretch out the leg by holding the shin. Repeat the same for the other side.

  • Eagle arms: Take your right arm on the left, the elbow rests in the crook of the other elbow. Take 5 deep breaths, helps to reduce tension in the shoulders. Slowly release when done. Do for 5 times.

  • Chest Opener: For performing this exercise, interlock your fingers and keep behind your head. Stretch your arms and move your head back. Then bring your elbows closer and the head down. Slowly break the interlock of your fingers and straighten up your arms.

  • Keep one heal foot on the edge of the seat, allow your body to relax, change side. Repeat 10 times.

  • Scoop to the back edge of the seat and lean forward. Place your hands on the dashboard. Repeat 5 times.

  • Keep one leg on the seat, turn around and just enjoy the world outside. You can also use the headrest and dashboard instead of keeping your leg on the seat. Repeat 5-10 times.

Remembering these simple yoga movements will help you avoid backache, relax your shoulders, remove the stiffness from your joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments, and loosen up your stomach to help you concentrate on your ride. Driving will now be more peaceful and pleasurable with these exercises and the frustration and stress levels will reduce sharply.

These were the best car yoga exercises that you should implement in your lifestyle today. Do let us know in the comment section below which is your favourite yoga exercise among all these. Also, let us know how’s your life changed after doing these exercises on a regular basis during your commutes.

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