Fitness Magazine

Featured Sequence: Yoga for Camping (and Other Forms of Travel)

By Ninazolotow @Yoga4HealthyAge
by Baxter
I recently went on a five-day car camping trip and while I had a lot of fun and got a lot of exercise, I quickly realized that my body really needed some asana! Although we have a pretty sweet setup for car camping, with a large tent that you can stand upright in, a queen-sized air mattress, and even a new cot that lifts the mattress off the ground, my body still had some obvious reactions of my body to camp life and sleeping outdoors. Camp set-up involved more forward bending and squatting than most of us are used to, leaving my lower back and hips sore and fatigued. Then, for the first few nights sleep, I was tossing and turning and waking up at weird times, and then in the morning I was acutely aware of neck stiffness and outer right hip soreness. And there was a lot more walking throughout the day than I do when I’m at home, as we did not use the car once we arrived, so my calves and legs were tight and tired by the end of each day. I found myself hungering for leg stretches, hip releases, backbends, and twists. 

Because I noticed that a lot of the folks camping around us ranged in age from their forties to their seventies, I realized this is an activity that many enjoy into their older years. So, inspired by my own experience, I created this short sequence for your next car camping adventure. Before your trip, when you are packing up, you might want to throw an old sticky mat and yoga strap into your trunk (I used a yoga strap with a belt to tie down some gear, so it did double duty). And if you need more props, get creative with what you have at hand. Those empty small propane tanks for the Coleman stove could stand in for blocks in a pinch. The more I think about it, this could be a good sequence after all sorts of summer travel, with long plane or train rides, staying in hotels, motels, or in a friends spare room, and sleeping on unfamiliar beds and pillows. Camping/Traveling Yoga Sequence
My instructions for this sequence are brief, as I am providing links to detailed information on almost all of the poses so you can read more instructions if desired.

1) Supported Back Bend, versions 1 and 2, 1-2 min. each.
This pose is a great way to start opening up your chest and spine after a lot of forward bending when setting up camp. See Featured Pose: Supported Backbend.
Featured Sequence: Yoga for Camping (and Other Forms of Travel)

Featured Sequence: Yoga for Camping (and Other Forms of Travel)
2) Reclined Hip Stretch Sequence 3-4 times each side. 
This dynamic sequence is a good way to release the stiffness in the hips and lower back. See Featured Sequence: Dynamic Reclined Hip Stretches.

3) Reclined Leg Stretch, versions 1 and 3, 30-90 seconds each.
This pose addresses hamstring, lower back, and outer hip tightness. See Featured Pose: Reclined Leg Stretch.
Featured Sequence: Yoga for Camping (and Other Forms of Travel)Featured Sequence: Yoga for Camping (and Other Forms of Travel)


 


4) Dynamic Bridge Pose (TKV Desikachar version), alternating arms, 3-4 rounds.

This is a wonderful combination of back bending, shoulder movement, and rolling the neck.

5) Happy Baby Pose, 30-90 seconds. 
From constructive rest position, tip your knees into towards your chest, hold on to the backs of your knees, your ankles, or the outside edges of your feet, with your pointing  up. Soften the muscles around your hips and try to relax your lower back and pelvis towards the floor.
Featured Sequence: Yoga for Camping (and Other Forms of Travel)


6) Easy Sitting Pose, forward bend version, 30-90 seconds on each side (alternating front shin).
I find this pose a direct way to release tension in outer hips. See Featured Pose: Easy Sitting Pose.
Featured Sequence: Yoga for Camping (and Other Forms of Travel)


7) Sage’s Twist 3, version 4, with foot crossed over, 30-90 seconds each side.
This twist addresses different parts of the hip muscles than the last pose. See Featured Pose: Marichi's Pose 1.
Featured Sequence: Yoga for Camping (and Other Forms of Travel)



8) Upward Plank Pose, version 2 (prep version), 30-90 seconds, two times. 
This is an accessible seated backbend that I find complementary to the other back-bending poses in this sequence. See Featured Pose: Upward Plank Pose.


Featured Sequence: Yoga for Camping (and Other Forms of Travel)

9) Downward-Facing Dog Pose, 30-90 seconds.
This pose is especially useful for releasing tension in the calves as well as the hamstrings, while also lengthening of your spine. See Featured Pose: Downward-Facing Dog Pose.
Featured Sequence: Yoga for Camping (and Other Forms of Travel)






 

10) Arms Overhead Pose, classic version, 30 to 90 seconds. 
This pose will add to the backbend work you have already done and mobilize your shoulders. See Featured Pose: Arms Overhead Pose.
Featured Sequence: Yoga for Camping (and Other Forms of Travel)


11) Crescent Moon Pose, 30 on each side. 
This pose will also add mobilize your shoulders while stretching the sides of your body. See Featured Pose: Arms Overhead Pose.
Featured Sequence: Yoga for Camping (and Other Forms of Travel)





12) Dynamic Standing Forward Bend, six times. 
This dynamic version of Standing Forward Bend is a good way to release stiffness in your spine, as you are both flexing and extending your spine.


13) Extended Side Angle Pose, 30-90 seconds each side. 
In addition to opening up the sides of your body, this is a good preparation for squatting. See Featured Pose: Extended Side Angle Pose.
Featured Sequence: Yoga for Camping (and Other Forms of Travel)





 
14) Locust Pose, 30 seconds, two times. 
In addition to encouraging more back bending, this pose also strengthens the back muscles. See Featured Pose: Locust Pose.
Featured Sequence: Yoga for Camping (and Other Forms of Travel)

   
15) Legs Up the Wall (or the Tree!), 5-10 minutes. 
A great finish to your practice, especially if warm summer weather has led to any swelling of your ankles and/or legs! See Featured Pose: Legs Up the Wall Pose.
Featured Sequence: Yoga for Camping (and Other Forms of Travel)

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