7 favourite yoga stretches this travel season

  • Ali

Staying fit and healthy when I’m traveling is a must so I make sure I travel with essential nutrition and stretch as I go so I don’t arrive stiff and jaded.

Here are my favourite stretches which you can do at the airport, on the plane, in the arrivals hall and by the pool.

These are great for anybody and at any time but especially when you’re on a long haul flight. Make sure you keep moving on any long haul flight and stretch at least once every hour. My recent blog has some top travelling tips to keep you fit and healthy while on the go

If you can’t get out of your seat these are great stretches for your neck and shoulders.

Neck rolls. 

These three neck and shoulder stretches are great ona long haul flight to stop you getting stiff and great exercies to do as you wake to keep you moving.

Take a deep breath, exhale and drop your right ear to your right shoulder, then roll your head to the centre so you are looking down toward your chest. Inhale and roll your head back towards your right shoulder and come back to centre. Repeat on the left.

Neck stretches. 

Inhale, look ahead.  Exhale, look right.  Inhale, look ahead.  Exhale, look left. Repeat. Never force the neck to turn more than feels comfortable but see if you can see more things around you after you have repeated this a few times.

Shoulder lift. 

Inhale, raise shoulders toward your ears. Exhale, completely let go.

Seated Cat-Cow. 

This is one of my favourites either at my desk, in the airport lounge or on the plane.

Place your feel flat on the floor and your hands on your thighs, palms facing down. As you inhale, draw your chest forward and your shoulders back. Look up. Exhale and  round your spine and draw your shoulders forward like an angry cat. Look down toward your navel. Repeat 5 times and enjoy the release.

Standing hip flexor stretch

This is a great stretch if you’ve been sitting for long periods of time.

If you’re on moving transport (train or plane etc) do this near a wall and hold on with one hand!

Move your weight onto your left leg and bend your right knee behind you as if you were going to kick your bottom with your foot. Reach around with your right hand and grab your foot. Think about lengthening your tailbone to the floor as you gently push your knee forwards.

You should feel a delicious stretch in your hip flexor. This area tends to get tight when you sit for long periods of time so it’s great at your desk or on a long haul flight.

Shoulder stretch with forward fold

Stand with your feet hip-distance apart, make sure you keep a gentle bend in your knees. Interlace your fingers behind your back. No inhale and lift your arms up behind you as high as they will do. You are aiming to get them parallel to the floor (for most of us that seems impossible but give it a try). Exhale and inhale here a few times. For some this stretch alone will be enough.

To take it further, on an exhale slowly start to fold forward, letting your arms lift up and over behind you.

This is a more intense stretch and will get your shoulder, hamstrings, and lower back all at once! Come up on an exhale and breathe deeply as you release your hands.

Side stretches

You can do these while seated on a train or plane or while standing! Again if you’re on moving transport go easy to ensure you can maintain your balance.

Interlace your fingers and lift your arms up to your shoulders palms facing outwards and arms parallel to the floor. Now with your fingers still interlaced raise your arms over your head. Keep your arms straight and as close to your ears as possible. Palms facing the ceiling.

Take a deep breath in and lengthen your spine, thinking of tucking your tail bone under so you don’t have a banana back. As you exhale, lean over to the right, stretching the left side of your torso. Inhale and come back to centre. Exhale again and stretch over to the left, stretching the right side of your torso.

As you lean think about the stretching the side of the body that is leaning rather than the side that is contracting i.e. bend right and think about stretching up through the left side of your body. Your right side will automatically bend.

So if you're planning going away have a read of my latest blogs on staying fit and healthy on a long haul flight and my top summer beauty tips so not only do you arrive with a spring in your step but with a glow to your skin as well. Have a fabulous summer.