RVing is a fantastic way to travel for so many reasons.
You get to keep your privacy no matter where you go. You can cook your own tasty meals in your fully-functional kitchen. And in many cases, it’s a lot more affordable than spending money on airfare and hotel rooms — especially when you’re only paying half of the cost of campground accommodations with your Passport America membership.
We also love how customizable RVing is: you’re in total control of where you go, how long you stay, and how you get there! But as flexible as this travel style may be, that’s exactly how inflexible it might leave your body feeling after an extended day of traveling.
Fortunately, there are some simple stretches and maneuvers you can do to counteract your stiffness, and to strengthen your body for all the fun activities you have planned for you travels.
Yoga for Sitting All Day
Here’s the thing about your RV: it may be your own private house on wheels, but you do have to drive it to wherever you’re going!
That means a long day of sitting, even if you take regular breaks to get up and stretch your legs (which you should, to avoid blood clots).
Sitting for too long can leave your lower back, hips, and legs feeling tight and inflexible, and we have a tendency to let our shoulders creep up, accumulating tension as we drive and deal with traffic. We also tend to hunch forward over the steering wheel, which can wreak havoc on our spinal health and posture.
Here are some of the best yoga stretches for dealing with those issues associated with sitting too long.
1. Cat/Cow Pose
This one’s a great way to loosen up your stiff lower back after a long day in the driver’s seat. Just unroll your yoga mat, get on your hands and knees, and arch your back slowly up and down, allowing your hip and back to relax.
2. Spinal Twist
If you’re feeling a little stuck, sometimes, it helps to wring it out. A gentle seated spinal twist is a great way to get rid of stubborn kinks all up and down your spine. If necessary, you can use a yoga strap to assist you.
Best Yoga for Back Strength
Lower back pain is one of the most common complaints in the country, and it’s even more likely if you’re frequently sitting still for long periods of time. Here are some natural ways to combat it.
3. Downward Dog
Here’s a classic you probably already know — but for a reason! From your calves and hamstrings to your lower back, downward dog is great for simultaneously strengthening and loosening up everything.
4. Boat Pose
If your lower back hurts, it’s actually probably the front sideof your core that needs work. To strengthen and tone your abs, try boat pose, where you balance while holding up your arms and legs in the shape of a boat. It’s not easy, but it’s a great way to gain the core strength you need for all your daily activities — and if you can’t quite make it to this advanced stage of the posture, there are many different variations and modifications for all different levels.
5. Bridge Pose
top yoga poses for back pain
yoga for back stretches
yoga poses for lower back flexibility
Yoga Poses for Circulation in Legs
Poor circulation caused by tight leg muscles can lead to cramps in your legs and worse. Here are some yoga stretches to help even the stiffest stems regain their suppleness.
6. Legs-up-the-Wall Pose
A gentle inversion, the legs-up-the-wall pose legs the blood flow out of your legs — where it’s likely pooled after your long day of driving — and back into the places that desperately need it, like your brain and your heart.
The man in the photo is using a yoga bolster, which can help make this pose easier if you have lower back pain as well as assisting the increased blood flow back toward your upper extremities.
7. Low Lunge
The low lunge is a great way to open up your hip flexor and stretch your opposing hamstring at the same time, and if you reach upwards, you’ll add a great upper back opener to the mix. If you have sensitive knees, consider using a yoga cushion or towel — or even just folding your yoga mat in half for extra padding.
8. Chair Pose
Ironically, one key to keeping your leg muscles nice and loose is to make sure they’re tight and strong. Chair pose might be a little bit challenging, but it’ll help ensure your quadriceps are ready to take on whatever comes… and it’ll strengthen your core, too! It’s basically a low squat with your legs pressed together. Be sure not to arch your back too far as you reach up toward the sky.
Easy Yoga Stretches for Stiff Hips and Legs
Here are a few good yoga stretches for the backs of your legs and to help open your hips.
9. Forward Bend
Sometimes, simple is best. To perform this post, just take a wide-legged stance and allow yourself to slowly float down. Make sure to relax your neck. Don’t worry about gripping your toes like the woman in the picture — that will come in time! Just allow all of the muscles on the rear side of your body to relax and open, slowly.
10. Pigeon Pose
Although it may be challenging at first, pigeon is one of the very best yoga poses for opening the back and hips. The secret is, the closer your front leg is to parallel with the top of the mat, the more opening (and challenging) it will be, so be sure to start easy — and don’t be afraid to use a yoga block under your hip if you need assistance!
Ahhh… now that already feels much better, doesn’t it?
This post may contain affiliate links.