With air travel rates literally reaching the skies, many people are choosing to drive instead of fly to their holiday destinations. But along with the excitement of your trip, you can expect to feel some anxiety and stress. Not to mention, succumbing to the inevitable frustration of traffic and road rage after spending hours in the car. In order to balance the added stressors that accompany affordable travel, get into the habit of stretching while on the road.
Here are five yoga poses, stretches and breathing techniques to undo the tension of long hours in the car and help you arrive to your destination refreshed and happy.
The most common reason for sports-related injuries — whether you’re a recreational athlete or a pro, from ages 10-80 — is overuse and abuse. In my experience, most injuries arise when athletes disconnect from their bodies. Their eyes are on perfection, or the competition.
It follows that the best prevention is to become acutely aware of your body — its shape, its symmetry, how it feels, the range in the joints. Many sports can create asymmetries in the body because they are one-side dominant (think of swinging a baseball bat or golf club or tennis racket). It’s your job to recognize these imbalances before they become injuries. To help you, I’ve identified the top 10 most common sports-related injuries and given you a few yoga poses for athletes to to help correct the imbalances and asymmetries that cause them.
Peep into any of the thousands of yoga classes across the globe and you will find that students are donning more than just yoga outfits. In addition to the latest leggings and tank tops by Zobha, Gaiam and Alo, you’ll also find students of every age, both male and female, sporting a different kind of accessory. These, however, are not made from lycra, mala beads or precious metals, but rather from an overzealous nervous system.
Glance around the room after the teacher calls out “Twisted Half Moon” (Pavritta Ardha Chandrasana) and you’ll see students with arms akimbo, clenched toes, fingers curled and faces contorted beyond recognition. These students are “accessorizing” their poses with parts of their body that don’t actually need to be involved.
In my youth, I had terrible and traumatic experiences with my shoulders separating and dislocating at various times during sports. I had my first reconstructive surgery at 18 years old on my right shoulder. This was the result of a year’s worth of extreme snowboarding accidents. Three years later, I was back on the operating table — this time for my left shoulder. After the second surgery, my upper body was extremely tight and rigid. Over the years, I had developed major issues with larger muscle groups in my upper body trying to overcompensate for the smaller, weaker muscles surrounding both of my shoulder joints. Even after months of physical therapy, I was worried I may have complications with my shoulders for the rest of my life.
What do you love about your body and why? Do you automatically think to yourself, “Uh, nothing?” I don’t know about you, but whenever I try to come up with a list of good things about myself it takes a lot of thought and time. Now, if you were to ask me what I would like to improve about my body, I could give you a list of ten things in no time flat.
Why is this? Why is it so easy for us to be self-deprecating (no matter if we are in the best or worst shape of our lives)? Yet when we are asked to name a positive or two, we really have to stop and think. And I mean really stop and think for a while, maybe even a day or two.
I’m back from my vacation, and what an adventure it was.
And in addition to being great, I found it completely amazing how physically exhausting a vacation can be (tour bus pick-up at 6:30 a.m., plane rides, bus rides, and scary car episodes with a French taxi driver who insisted on taking all the Corsican island curves — which, did I mention, are only one lane — at 100 kilometers an hour by looking BACK at me so that I could confirm that yes, the island was beautiful, and yes, I was completely relaxed … just not right at that moment).
Ah, I see I got your attention.
And you are wondering what I could be talking about. The treadmill in your guest bedroom? (The one with the clothes on it.) The roller blades in your closet? The semi-inflated ball in the backyard, or the weights you have lying around just in case you are inspired to bicep curl? Nope, none of those. Give up? This one-size-fits-all, miraculous tool of amazing design is the FLOOR!
What are your resolutions this year? If you’re like many people, you’ve got a goal in mind: lose weight, make a change in your job or relationships, treat yourself better, or otherwise embark on an Operation: Transformation!