It’s time to get your zen on because September is National Yoga Month! Yoga is one of the many ways you can get your exercise in, but there’s so much more to it than movement, or asana. Of course, yoga helps engage your body’s strength and flexibility, as well as breath control, but the rewards of yoga extend far beyond the mat. According to the American Osteopathic Association, a regular yoga practice is associated with:
- increased flexibility
- increased muscle strength and tone
- improved respiration, energy and vitality
- maintaining a balanced metabolism
- weight reduction
- cardio and circulatory health
- improved athletic performance
- protection from injury
In addition, yoga can offer tools for reducing stress, promoting better sleep, and easing anxiety. Some types of yoga can even help deepen your spirituality if you’re interested in doing so. Plus, yoga is for everybody. You do not have to be flexible or look a certain way to practice yoga; anyone can reap the benefits of a regular practice. Here’s a quick break-down of some quick poses you can do in the truck to help relieve tension and calm the mind:
Wrist Stretch: You may just see it as holding the steering wheel, but that constant grip can take a toll on your hands and wrists. To help loosen up the fingers and joints, extend arms out long with elbows facing up and out. Use one hand to pull the wrist gently back for a few breaths, and then gently forward. Massage each finger. Circle your wrists one way and then the other.
Seated Twist: Sitting all day can take a toll on our backs. To help with pain, sit cross-legged on the floor or sit on the edge of your chair with your feet flat. Inhale and lengthen up through the spine and head. Exhale and slowly twist to the right, bringing your right hand behind and your left resting on your right knee. Repeat on the other side. Do not force or crank yourself into the twist.
Hip and Sciatica Help: Seated on the edge of your chair, cross your right ankle over your left knee. Slowly hinge forward from the hips until you feel a stretch along the outer hip and low back. Keep the foot flexed. Breathe into the stretch for a moment. Repeat on the other side.
These poses are designed to help relieve some of the most common aches and pains drivers experience, but there is so much more yoga to explore. Practice on your own, follow along to videos online (Yoga with Adriene is awesome), or find a studio. It may take some time to find a teacher and style of yoga you like, so try a few classes or videos and find what you like best. Two of your coaches (Alex and Marisa) are certified instructors as well, so send us your questions. Have a great and healthy day!