Car yoga could save your back on long drives

You’ve heard of downward facing dog but what about the cup holder pose? Or the check your mirrors?

Don’t worry, we haven’t gone completely mad – we’re talking about car yoga.

If you’re often left feeling all tight and uncomfortable after a long drive, car yoga might be the answer.

Sitting for long periods of time can pose health risks, as Dr Deborah Lee explains: ‘Metabolic syndrome (MS), one such risk, raises blood pressure, cholesterol and blood glucose levels. It significantly increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

‘Travelling long distances in any vehicle also increases the risk of a deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a blood clot in the deep veins of the leg, along with muscle pain, back pain and fatigue.’

That’s why Poppy Alexandra, an accredited yoga instructor working with Vanarama, has come up with poses from the ‘seatbelt’ to ‘lifting the clutch’.

Be warned – you can’t do these poses if you’re actually driving so they’re for passenger princesses, or when you’ve taken a well earned break.

Here’s the list to help you feel some road trip zen.

Check your mirrors

This simple stretch targets a stiff neck.

All you need to do is put your hand on the opposite side of your head and gently pull it to the other side to your shoulder – you should feel a slight stretch in your neck. 

Folding seats

To target your legs and back, try this.

You may have to move your seat back, then lean forward and reach for the pedals of the car, pressing your upper body against your thighs if you are able to do so. 

Signal and turn

This will work well for arms.

Straighten your left arm and rotate it to the window using your right arm to support.

Afterwards, swap and straighten your right arm.

Lift the clutch

With a straight back, rest one ankle on the opposite thigh, then gently lean forwards to feel a stretch.

This one targets the back and hamstrings.

Open the sunroof

Place your hands together as if praying, then twist to one side to place one elbow on the opposite knee, while rotating your head and shoulders in line.

Switch and do this on the other side, for the benefit of your chest, back and neck.

Roll cage

Clasp your elbows over your head and gently pull your body side to side.

This works the muscles in between your rib cage and can loosen up your torso.

Cup holder

Raise your knees up into your body, so they’re under your chin and wrap your arms around your legs.

This can help stretch out your lower back.

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