Holiday travel is right around the corner, and we all know that sitting in planes, trains and automobiles often causes stress in our bodies. If you're wondering why the human physique suffers so much with travel, contemplate the fact that we're forcing ourselves into a poor postural position — a misaligned forward bend — for extremely long periods of time. Sitting presents many physical challenges because it tightens our hip flexors, depletes our core strength, rounds our spine, collapses our chest and thrusts our neck and head in front of our shoulders, causing them to hunch.
Sitting not only causes physical discomfort, but also prevents energy from flowing, which makes us prone to lethargy, depression and a host of other illnesses. According to The Mayo Clinic, "Researchers have linked sitting for long periods of time with a number of health concerns, including obesity and metabolic syndrome."
To counteract unpleasant effects of travel on my body, I make sure to backbend before and after embarking on a trip. Here's one of my favorite sequences. Hold each pose for five breaths. Repeat the sequence three times each time you do it.