So you’ve added yoga to your routine and you’re starting to feel the benefits of the practice. You’re gaining some flexibility in your hamstrings, you’re feeling calmer, and you’re even sleeping better. Pretty basic, right?
So, how else can yoga be of benefit to you?
Well if you plan on staying fit while on vacation, so here some poses you can do to get ready for the fabulous trip! Here’s a quick list that will get you prepared to have a fantastic getaway.
Whether it’s by plane, train, or automobile, you’re probably going to do a lot of sitting before you get to your final destination – especially if it is somewhere far-flung and exotic like Tokyo, Medellin or Mykonos.
Who likes being crammed into those tight (not-very-comfortable) airplane seats for hours on end? Well, unless you’re sitting with extra legroom in First Class (or in an exit row), you’re probably feeling like a canned sardine while sitting in coach. How can you get ready for that long haul? Try these yoga poses before you fly the friendly skies. Or just try out a gay yoga retreat to make you whole holiday yoga-centric!
We already do a lot of sitting in our day-to-day routine. Whether it’s at a computer desk or driving across town, we are in a constant state of forward fold. And while on the road when you travel, you may be taking buses and taxis in addition to your plane ride to get around. That’s a LOT of sitting. It’s time to get out of that rut and practice a counter-pose to sitting.
Backbends may be your remedy. Camel Pose is a backbend that opens the whole front side of your body. It lengths your thighs, your pelvis, and creates release and opening in your chest and shoulders. It also strengthens your lower back. While on your knees, gently lean back to hold onto your heels.
Taking a deep breath in, lift your chest up toward the ceiling to open your chest guiding your body into this luxurious backbend.
Need something that’s a little less dynamic? How about Bridge Pose; it’s another very effective backbend that you can add to your traveling-preparation routine.
It starts with you lying on the floor with your knees bent. As you press your feet into the floor, you raise your hips. You can determine how high you’d like to raise them. The posture offers similar results as Camel Pose: it opens the thighs, hips, low abs, chest, and shoulders.
When you get to your hotel room or AirBnB after many hours of travel, you may want to re-open your body with these backbend poses again. You’ll feel refreshed and ready to enjoy your trip + this is one of your favorite yoga for men beginner positions!
Throw in a few twisting postures, too, after that 5-hour flight or layover in middle America. A simple sitting posture with an added twist of the torso to both sides will strengthen your core, but also stretch those muscles that support the spine and rib cage. It will help to relieve some stiffness that can occur from sitting upright without much movement for so many hours.
WALKING & SIGHTSEEING
You’ve made it to your destination and I’m sure you’ll want to see all the tourist sights and experience how the locals live. You may be doing a lot of walking: up and down busy streets strolls through the open plazas of Rome, and steady tours through the many museums of Paris.
Are you in shape for all this walking?
SEATED FORWARD FOLD
I know you’ve already done a lot of sitting, but use these seated postures to stretch out those hamstrings. Sit upright with a slight bend in your knees and slowly fold forward.
At first, you will start to feel a nice lengthening sensation in your hamstrings. As you fold a little deeper, you may begin to experience some flexion in your lower back. These are all good sensations to have to prepare those legs for a lot a walking.
And while you’re still on the floor, try this pose to help open your inner thighs and outer hips. Pigeon Pose is an excellent posture to add to your pre-vacation workout.
With one leg bent in front and the other extended behind you, you’ll experience an inner thigh stretch, an opening in the outer hip and glute, and the extended leg gets a great stretch in the hip flexor. You want to be able to keep up with your fast-walking tour guide and travel buddies, so this hip opener is a must.
Now take a stand and become a warrior! Warrior Two Pose continues to open the hips and adds elements of strength-building in your thighs when you hold this pose. Not able to hit the gym to do your barbell squats? Use this pose as an alternative to gain some definition in your quads, too.
Do you want to look good in your shorts, too, right?
SWIMMING & CHILLING
After all that sightseeing, you’ll probably want to take a dip in the pool or dive into the ocean surf. How are your arms? Can your guns handle those waves? Some of our favorite gaycaction memories involved dipping into the resort pools of Puerto Vallarta and Phuket, or even better meeting cute locals in the surf in Honolulu and Sydney!
WIDE LEGGED FORWARD FOLD
This is a great pose because it’s gonna hit many parts of your body that you’ll appreciate if you’re gonna take a few laps in the hotel pool. This posture is great for your shoulders, back, and legs.
Stand with your feet wide apart and clasp your hands behind you. With a slight bend in your knees, slowly fold forward and gently bring your folded hands up to face the sky. If you keep the spine well extended, you’ll get a great stretch in your front deltoids and pecs.
You’ll also engage your upper back muscles in this posture. And since your legs are spread open (calm down, girl, we’ll get to more of that later!) you’ll experience lengthening down the inside and back of your legs. Now you’re ready for a quick dip!
Here’s another great posture that will make you glide through the water: Reed Pose. Stand tall with your arms extended over your head. Clasp your fingers and keep reaching to the ceiling.
Slightly bend to one side and hold for a few breaths and do the same on the other side. This will lengthen the sides of your body and open your shoulders so you have a great range of motion when you take each stroke through the water.
VACATION BETWEEN THE SHEETS
And what’s a vacation without a little-naked fun in bed! There are studies out there that state that men who have a regular yoga practice actually show an increase in their sexual functions: desire, intercourse satisfaction, performance, confidence, partner synchronization, erection, ejaculatory control, and orgasm.
Why not put that study to the test while you’re traveling to new exotic cities. Not only will your stamina and endurance increase, but think about the great flexibility you now have after a regular yoga practice. You know what that means, right?
Multiple Sexual Positions!
Being on vacation with your sexual partner (or maybe with a cute local who caught your eye at the local cafe in Valencia or Prague) will be a great time to indulge in satisfying erotic adventures. Here are a couple of poses, too, that might help with your sexual marathon training.
HAPPY BABY POSE
Probably one of the most vulnerable positions in yoga, but you’ll be thankful for having practiced this pose as part of your yoga routine.
Lie on your back and draw your knees to your chest. While keeping your knees bent, grab hold of the bottom of your feet and gently press down. This will make your legs spread open and also open your hips. You can let your imagination run wild with this one, guys!
CAT / COW
And here is one more set of poses that you may want to add to the mix. It’s actually two poses that flow together to help open your pelvis and low back.
First, get on your hands and knees. (You’re probably liking that already!) As you inhale, arch your back then when you exhale, round your back. Moving through these two poses as you breathe creates an undulation in the spine that rotates the pelvis back and forth.
Not only can you do these poses to warm up the body for some extracurricular activities, but try it in the heat of the moment. This may turn out to be the highlight of your whole vacation, but don’t forget to take these new skills home with you and try practice yoga for life!