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  • Writer's picturealliemacs

Yoga in your car?

Let's not get crazy, I'm not talking downward dog in the back of your SUV. Although that would be impressive. I'm talking about basic good posture.

Good Posture. Do this!

How often are we all driving or sitting in our cars? I do a lot carting kids around and a lot of waiting in the school parking lot and at other activities, and Josh is constantly driving to and from meetings. We've both been working on our posture - and Josh especially has been noticing a big difference in the way his body looks and feels. What is your body doing when you're in your car? Are you hunched over, is your left knee splaying to the side, are you leaning over to one side? And are you always glancing over your right shoulder to see your blind spot? I hope so...

Bad Posture - don't do this.

These small things might not be a big deal here and there, but over a period of time, they could really cause some damage and not-so-great posture habits.

Do you get soreness and stiffness in your neck?

Are you sore in your shoulders and back?

Constantly being hunched over means that the muscles on the back side of your body are being over stretched and the muscles in your chest and on the front of your upper body are tightened. What's the answer? Strengthening the back of your body and lengthening the front of your body. You can practice this in the car by bringing your shoulder blades together and opening up your chest. Just by simply NOTICING your patterns and making an effort to change the habitual ways you are sitting can make a big difference! Now of course my recommendation would be some more yoga, but baby steps here people, baby steps.

Another great tip from a PT Assistant friend of mine (thanks Ang!) is to put a tennis ball at your lower back - just having it there makes you more aware and forces you to have better posture. It's also great if you're sore in certain spots on your back to place it there and apply pressure with your back and it gives you a little self massage. All while you're driving! Just don't get distracted;)

How about your hips and your legs? Practice sitting evenly, with your weight evenly distributed through your hips and your feet (just your left when you're driving) flat on the floor, with your knees facing directly forward. I have had knee problems and I know when I let my left knee splay out to the side, it gets sore and doesn't help with my overall knee health in the long run.

I've talked in previous posts on how the spine moves 6 different way - forward (flexing), backward (extending), side to side (laterally), and twisting (rotating). Say you're in the car a lot of the day, for work or driving down to kids games or whatever. To help from being so stiff when we get out of the car, we can do simple movements at stoplights or waiting in line at Starbucks.

Twisting (Rotating the spine)

You can't see my legs, but if you're a passenger do figure 4 pose with your legs, placing one ankle on your opposite quad and hinging from your hips.

Simply bending from side to side or reaching one arm over while you bend is great too. And like we talked about before - extending the spine by opening up your chest and bringing your shoulders back and down. And please please please, don't be a turtle - lengthen your neck and get your ears away from your shoulders!

Don't forget about your neck! Simple neck stretches, like bringing your ear to your shoulder and reaching your opposite arm down and to the side does wonders.

Yoga is amazing and can help your body in so many ways, but you'll help yourself the most if you can just NOTICE your daily movement and posture patterns and try to correct them. And if you do those simple movements, you'll be doing yoga! A little bit of yoga every day goes a long way! And of course - safe driving:)

Cheers to good posture and feeling good! Oh - and don't forget to BREATHE!

Peace XO, Allie

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