The cobra pose below is superb for releasing back stiffness from a long car ride.
The ankle to forehead stretch below opens your hips and releases tightness from driving many hours.
The knee and thigh stretch shown in the 2 photos below also releases stiffness after sitting in a car for hours.
I have written numerous times that one of the key advantages of a yoga home practice is that your practice is "portable" - you can take it anywhere.
What I have not emphasized is that yoga can really come to the rescue after a long, stressful car ride that can take a toll on your body - leaving you depleted and stiff.
Last week I drove my son to visit a university he is considering transferring to for his sophomore year of college. I did not look forward to the 5.5 to 6 hour drive to Ohio, but I had committed to the trip. Although snow was forecasted, I figured it could not possibly snow that much this late in March. (Ahh...how naive I was!)
Well, it didn't snow too "much..." But, the drive between Frederick Maryland and the border of West Virginia was harrowing as we headed straight into fast and furious snow flurries in the pitch black of the early morning before sunrise. Even after the sunrise, visibility was poor because of total white skies and fog. As we continued our trek, the snow turned to rain and slick roads. As a result - the drive turned into a 7-hour stress fest as we tried to make a noon luncheon.
We never made the luncheon. We did though make it to our other appointments. That evening I slept like the proverbial rock. The next morning after waking up, I went into my usual yoga practice. Even though I was stiffer than usual because of the previous day's seemingly interminable car ride, every yoga pose I did made me feel wonderful - just as if I was giving myself a soothing, deep massage.
Because my yoga practice is portable, it came to my rescue that morning at the hotel. The poses I show in the photos above (the cobra, the ankle to forehead stretch, and the knee and thigh stretch) are particularly well suited to releasing stiffness and energizing the body. I was so thankful that I don't have to rely on a class (yoga classes were not available at the hotel) to benefit from slow, gentle, yet powerful yoga.
Yours for enjoying a home yoga practice you can take anywhere
P.S. For instructions on how to do
2) the ankle to forehead stretch see: http://athomeyoga.typepad.com/at_home_yoga_with_laura/2010/04/beginners-yoga-how-to-do-the-ankle-to-forehead-
3) the knee and thigh stretch see: http://athomeyoga.typepad.com/at_home_yoga_with_laura/2011/02/yoga-at-home-for-beginners-new-book-excerpt-
Laura Venecia Rodriguez, The Beginners' Yoga at Home Coach