I was asked by vegas.com to offer some tips for staying healthy while traveling and having fun in Vegas. Hey! Yogis like to have fun too! There are links to vegas.com specials provided at the end of the post, so make sure to check them out.
Since I’m a yoga teacher, I’m offering up yoga poses, but you don’t have to know any yoga to do them. ANYONE can do them – seriously! Here's a picture of one of the poses, so maybe you'll believe me:
See? You can totally do that. In fact, a few simple yoga poses can be the best way to revive and rejuvenate yourself after a long flight or drive, a late night at dinner and a show, in the casino or at any of the many fun attractions Vegas has to offer.
Yoga can also help you feel better if you had too little sleep or a bit too much to eat or drink. (Hey, it COULD happen!) And some of these poses will help boost your immune system to keep you from getting run down or sick when you are supposed to be having fun.
These poses are targeted toward relieving sore feet and ankles, soothing aching backs, releasing tight and sore shoulders and legs, and just overall helping you to feel relaxed, renewed and revived.
I’m going to use the word PROP to mean any item that we are using to help us do the pose, or in some cases, to literally, “prop us up.”
Okay, here we go!
1. FOR ACHY LEGS AND FEET, SORE BACK, HEADACHES AND IMMUNITY
Legs up the Wall
The SINGLE BEST thing you can do after a long day of traveling or walking around is to put your legs and feet up. Sounds good, doesn’t it? Well this yoga pose turns “feels good” into “feels so great I never want it to end.”
The pose is called Viparita Karani, which I always think sounds like the name of an Italian opera singer but actually means Legs up the Wall.
Props: Bed and pillow(s)
Props: Bed and pillow(s)
- Reverses the flow of lymph (responsible for immune functioning) and blood, draining ankles and feet of fluids that accumulate there.When you re-invert, fresh blood and lymph flow back to the legs and feet
- Helps digestive functioning by bathing abdominal organs in blood
- Can lower blood pressure because the heart doesn’t have to pump as hard
Since you’ll be staying in a hotel room, I’m showing the pose on the bed, because sometimes you just really don’t want to lie down on the hotel room floor, no matter how nice the hotel is. Just sayin’.
Lie back on the bed with your legs up the headboard and wall. You can pad behind the legs with pillows if needed, and you can also put a pillow under the hips. Stay in the pose for 10 -15 minutes, but if your feet fall asleep come out sooner.
2. FOR TIGHT SHOULDERS AND UPPER BACK:
Simple Shoulder Stretch
- Releases tight shoulders and upper back muscles
- Releases that hard-to-get-to spot between the shoulder blades
- Brings freedom of movement to the spine, shoulders and neck
Hold the belt or towel so that your hands are wider than your shoulders and the belt is taut between your hands. Keeping the prop taut, raise it over your head and a little behind, then lower back to chest level in front. Go back and forth with the movement. See if you can take it a little further behind you and when you feel a good stretch, hold it for a few breaths. Do this 10 or 15 times (or more) until you feel those upper back muscles release and relax.
3. FOR ACHY BACKS AND SHOULDERS:
Simple Supported Backbend
If your back hurts after a long day or night (or both!) of activities, your inclination might be to try to stretch it out by bending forward. I’m going to ask you to resist that temptation because it just pulls on muscles that are already tired. Instead, a simple supported backbend can offer better relief without putting strain on the back muscles.
- Releases and relaxes lower, mid and upper back muscles
- Releases and relaxes the shoulders
Place a pillow with a little firmness across the center of the bed. Sit in front of it with your knees bent and lie back over the pillow. Make sure that your shoulders are on the bed and NOT on the pillow. Stay for 10 minutes.
If the pillow is too big or too thick for your body, try rolling up a towel and using across the center of your shoulder blades instead.
4. FOR SORE BACKS, ACHY LEGS AND FEET:
- Releases and relieves tension in the back of the legs
- Elevates and stretches the feet
- Releases the low back muscles without straining
- Can reduce the occurrence of leg cramps at night
Lie on your back with your knees bent. Draw in one knee and put the prop (belt or towel) around the sole of your foot. Then bring that leg as vertical as possible and straighten it. The sole of your foot will be toward the ceiling. Press away through the heel and point your toe tips toward your face. You will feel this stretch primarily in the hamstring – the large muscle in the back of your thigh. Hold for 8 – 10 breaths until you feel the muscles start to release and then do the other leg.
Okay, now that you know how to feel better after having fun in Vegas, go have some Fun in Vegas! If you are looking to make the most of your tips, check out these Vegas Hotel Deals and Deals on Shows, activities and travel