Road trips can be a blast but they can also be back breaking! The reason your back hurts isn’t because it’s back breaking work – it’s because the muscles and joints around the back are shortening, tugging and pulling at the spine. That’s why the back suffers.
But after 8000 miles traveling from coast to coast in 1 month – I’m here to tell you, if you do these three moves like I did, at nearly every stop, it will fast become your go to road rescue remedy.
- Arms clasp behind the back. Gently “pocket” your shoulders down in the the sockets (don’t let them climb up to your ears). Gently lift them away from the back, extending and lifting 20 – 30 times. It will take a few and then the shoulders will start to release and you can get more range of motion.
- Split lunge with arms clasped in front. Raise arms up as you lunge forward. Start out slow. Keep the weight in the heel but balance the energy in the foot so your toes stay down and spread. Take it as deep as you can easily hold for a moment then switch. Alternate. 10-20 repetitions.
- Swinging tree with side to side lunge. Rotate the toes out – this is an internal hip rotation – you should feel your booty muscles piriformis turn on to hold your pelvic bones in neutral (see pelvic neutral foundation video series if needed). Gently swing your arms around your body in “swinging tree”. The arms can gently tap up against the body – great for flow of CHI. Breathe deeply. Do this for 20 seconds or longer ideally 2 minutes.
The Wide-Leg Forward Bend (Prasarita = spread, Padottanasana: pado = feet, tan = expand)
Prasarita Padottanasana is my favorite forward bend posture. Easily adding variations and progressions, this posture helps release sacral iliac (SI Joint), spine extension, hip flexion, knee extension.
Excellent stretch for the hamstring and calves, increases blood flow to the brain (I’ve noticed improvement in my skin and hair when I do this regularly/daily)
As with any movement, bring awareness to and through your breath, alignment as you lengthen and stretch, expansion of root to crown chakras, grounding earth energy bringing calm and stable flow to the body, mind and spirit. The SI Joint (sacroiliac joint) will spread without being over stretched as can be in sitting forward bend and the top of the pelvis is brought forward while the hips flex. Keep the ribs dropped and allow for the breath to flow without squeezing the tummy and compressing or displacing the organs.
When ready you can add a gentle spinal twists, move into wide leg down dog and even move into a deep lunge for a progressive variation.
Always consult your health care practitioner before starting this or any exercise program.
One of the ways I stay pain free with a busy schedule as a homeschooling mom, business owner constantly using my body.