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Free Spirit

Road tripping? Leave stiff muscles behind.

By Amelia Glynn

suitcase HP

A road trip can recharge your spirit. But all those hours of prolonged sitting often come with a price: pain in your neck and shoulders (especially if you're the driver) and tightness in your hips and back. Los Angeles-based yoga instructor and frequent road tripper Kia Miller suggests practicing before, during, and after your drive. "It's important to get your energy moving before you take a long drive so you don't feel stagnant on the road," says Miller. And when you get out of the car, she recommends poses that open up the low-back and hip area. If you keep your body from stiffening, your journey can become a meditation in motion. "A road trip is another place to practice awareness," says Miller. "It's just you, the car, and the road ahead. You are forced to be present with what is in the moment."

Brake for Yoga

Kia Miller suggests the following poses to stay limber while traveling:

Before You Go: Cat-Cow spinal flexes
Warm up the spine and enliven the entire body.

At the Rest Stop: Wide-Legged Standing Forward Bend
Calm the mind and release the low back and shoulders.

After You Arrive: Bridge Pose
Lift and lower you hips several times to release the lower back and reenergize the legs.

Finish: Eye-of-the-Needle Pose
Open the hips and realign the sacroiliac joint after a long day of sitting.

June 2012

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