Yoga Health Retreats | Asanas For Travellers

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Assana for travellersAs travellers, we humans aren’t the best; our hamstrings tighten through disuse, our backs lock up from the constant sitting, our shoulders hunch from hauling luggage – our bodies are screaming out for asanas – a respite from the continual abuse.

With the wonderful, open spaces we are so used to for our yoga routines, it is a challenge trying to find either the room or the asanas to practice whilst travelling. Once again, Yoga Health Retreats provides you with the solution to your yogic woes with a collection of postures that you can perform with minimal space and to reverse the punishing torment of travelling.

Difficulty Rating 

Yoga Asanas For Travellers


Area Targeted:

  • Shoulders
  • Spine & Lumbar
  • Hamstrings & Glutes



  • Refreshing circulation through stagnant limbs
  • Releasing contracted muscle groups
  • Releasing of leg musculature
  • Reviving & realigning the spine
  • Relieving stiff & seized lumbar
  • Reconnecting with the body



  • Spinal injuries
  • Severe sciatica & scoliosis
  • Knee injuries
As with the majority of yoga asanas, these can be performed to varying degrees. Even with the above contraindications, with medical or qualified advice, gentle yoga can still be performed.


Asana 1: Upward-Hands Pose: Urdhva Hastasana is, on the surface, one of the most basic asanas imaginable. But simply raising your hands above your head, with the right intent, can be wonderfully invigorating.

With your feet parallel and shoulder width apart, lift from the hips, up through the core, the shoulders and arms, to the very tips of your fingers, inhaling upwards and exhaling – allowing your shoulders to drop away from your ears, your chest to remain open and your shoulders to roll backwards.

This helps open the spine compacted by prolonged seating and release the shoulders, allowing your whole upper body space in which to realign and awaken.

Upward Hands Pose: Lift from the core to release your compacted torso

Asana 2: Wide-Legged Forward Bend: This yoga pose is similar to a conventional forward fold, but works the hamstrings a little more gently as well as activating the upper body.

To begin Prasarita Padottanasana, begin with legs wide apart, feet parallel and pointing forward and your arms raised above your head. Slowly ease downward, keeping arms straight and placing your hands on the mat in between your feet.

Spread arms outwards to your legs, grasping your feet, ankles or shins, activating your thighs and core to maintain balance.

To extend the asana, take your arms behind your back, interlock your fingers and, with straight arms, draw your hands towards your head for a rich, invigorating shoulder stretch.

Prasarita Padottanasana i – remain here or advance to stage ii for a more complete upper-body stretch

Prasarita Padottanasana ii – holding balance with your core, glutes and thighs, let gravity take your hands down towards your head.

Asana 3: Bound Angle: Badha Konasana is a nice, easy asana and inconspicuous enough to be able to do in the most public of places without drawing unwanted attention!

Sit with the soles of your feet together and use your hands to pull your heels in towards your groin, making sure to maintain a straight spine. Keeping hold of your feet, gently press knees downwards with the elbows, giving a smooth stretch through the adductor muscles in the inner thigh.

For an optional progression, you can lean your upper body forward, flexing from the hips to extend the glutes and loosen the lumbar.

Badha Konasana | Bound Angle Pose | Yoga Health Retreats

Bound Angle is a superb pose for tired & cramped legs

Asana 4: Seated Twist: Ardha Matsyendrasana is an easy progression from Bound Angle Pose, bringing the stretch into the lumbar and torso.

There are two variations of Ardha Matsyendrasana. Given the confined spaces in which travellers often find themselves, this is the slightly more compact version:

From bound angle,  bring your right foot under your left knee, curling your heal around to touch your left buttock. Place your left foot outside your right knee and place your left elbow outside your left knee, pressing against the knee to rotate the shoulders and torso clockwise. Use your right hand to balance, as in the picture, or place your hands in prayer position, continuing the twist as you bring both forearms to the horizontal.

Gently release, return to Bound Angle, and repeat to the other side.

If you are constricted to a seat on your travels, you can perform a seated twist. Place your feet and knees together, with your spine long and upright. Take your left hand to the outside of your right knee and rotate through the torso, turning your head over your right shoulder. Repeat to the left.

In Closing:

Travelling is notorious for stagnating the body. Long-haul flights now give demonstrations on exercises to undertake to prevent deep vein thrombosis among other ailments. Whenever you get the chance, whether at a service station stop, waiting at a train station, leaving your seat in an airplane or when you arrive at your destination, perform these asanas, as well as ankle, wrist and neck rotations and other compact twists and stretches. It will help you arrive fresher, have less jet lag and increase your vitality so you can enjoy your travels completely.

Bon voyage!


By Sue Hawkins.

Receive more benefits at home from the expert tuition of Sue Hawkins with ‘Yoga – for Beginner & Intermediate Levels

Cost: $35 including GST, postage and handling fee in Australia

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