Yoga on the Go

March 3rd, 2012

My yoga student, whom I have been teaching for the last few months is traveling abroad. Since he will be away and we will be unable to practice together, he asked me to design a flow for him to practice while he is away. This is the same client who has issues with his shoulder and elbow, so we typically avoid pressure on the arms. This means no plank or downward dog anything that would hurt his wrists. He also gets shin splints so we focus more on the stretching the legs. Typically we hold the poses for about 20 breaths but some poses are held for longer. We also use every opportunity to move the foot from pointed to flexed in order to engage the muscles in the calves and relieve the effects of plantar fasciitis. Our sessions usually begin with a pranayama guide on Ujjayi “ocean breath” to find the inner awareness. This involves a constriction in the back of the throat to create the “ah” sound. In this post you find each of the asanas has a description of what it is helpful for, an image showing what the pose looks like and some cues to get you into holding the position. I have also added a few extra notes hear and there to coach what to do next in places that I thought might get confusing. Here we go…

Yoga Sequence for Travel


Mountain Pose - Improves posture, strengthens thighs, knees, and ankles. Firms abdomen and buttocks. Reduces flat feet. (Inhale)

  • Stand tall & strong with feet rooted and legs engaged
  • Lengthen through the crown of the head keeping neck & spine in alignment
  • Shoulders down away from the ears and back, ribcage open, heart lifted

Standing Forward Bend - Stretches the back, hamstrings, calves and hips. Strengthens the thighs and knees. Helps relieve stress energizes the nervous system and stimulates the organs in the belly. (Exhale)

  • Fold forward at the hips
  • Relax the jaw, head and neck- letting go of stress and tension in the shoulders
  • Bend the knees- hands to elbows and/or hands to floor


Back Extension- Increase strength in core & back (Inhale)

  • Create a flat back
  • Lengthen from crown of the head
  • Lengthen legs as back comes into extension

*[Fold forward again on an exhale then come back to standing on in inhale - Repeat several times to distribute the prana (breath) flow throughout the body systems.]


Crescent Lunge - Strengthens and tones calves, quads, hamstrings & glutes. Builds balance and develops torso stability.

  • Step back balancing on the ball of the back foot with leg extended.
  • Create a 90 degree alignment with the front knee
  • Keep hips squared to the front of mat

*[Reach arms overhead keeping shoulders down away from ears then lower arms down to ground & bend the knee on back leg towards the mat 10 times breathing deep.]


Warrior I- Integrates leg strength and hip flexibility

  • From crescent lunge, drop the back heel, and press into the back leg
  • Align front knee over ankle reaching out towards pinky toes to create inner thigh stretch
  • Extend the arms overhead sliding shoulders down away from ears


Warrior II- Strengthens and stretches whole body while increasing stamina

  • Reach with open arms, gaze going over front fingers
  • Lift the torso to open heart
  • Sink front leg parallel to the floor


Reverse Warrior- Strengthens and stretches whole body while increasing stamina

  • Extend back arm down to leg
  • Lift top arm up toward ceiling / back wall
  • Rotate rib cage to keep heart lifted


Extended Side Angle- Creates a stretch along the top side of the body, from the back heel through the raised arm. nourishes vertebral discs through rotation

  • Ground through the feet centering body
  • Extend arms and reach fully
  • Lift the rib cage to open torso

[Lift up to Warrior II & Step back to Mountain pose. Switch legs & repeat on the other side]


Chair Pose- Energizes core. Builds strength in arms & legs. Stimulates diaphragm and heart.

  • Squat down into an invisible chair
  • Keep the knees behind the toes
  • Engage low belly and lengthen through the spine


Twisting Chair- Builds strength in the lower body and opens the heart, increases torso stability and stimulates vital organs.

  • Feet and knees together
  • Spiral left elbow to outside of right thigh
  • Pull the chest forward and hips back


Balancing Chair- Increasing leg strength, core stability and full body balance

  • From chair, rise onto the ball of the feet and toes
  • Engage abdomen
  • Balance as bottom reaches towards the back of the mat


Tree pose - Firm foundational balance combining stillness and strength

  • Root through standing leg
  • Bring sole of other foot to inner leg or calf avoiding pressure to the knee
  • Use breath and drishti to find balance


Warrior III- Strengthen and tones full body integrating through torso, hip and leg strength.

  • Engage through standing leg and begin equal extension forward with torso and back lifting leg
  • Square the hips while engaging the abdomen and reach from the crown of the head
  • Arms can go back, to the sides or out in front


Cat/ Cow – Builds stronger core and mobility of the spine. Massages kidneys, adrenal glands and thyroid.

  • Come down on to the floor on all fours- distributing weight evenly
  • Hands spread out directly under shoulders and  the knees under the shoulders
  • Inhale lift the heart & tail bone dropping the belly
  • Exhale  crown of head and tailbone come down toward the earth as you engage the abs


Camel - Stretches the low back

  • Stabilize on to the knees
  • Reach up with the arms overhead, bringing shoulders down away from ears
  • Press hips forward


Hero- stretches legs and massages reproductive organs

  • Sit the tailbone down onto the heels
  • Lift up through the pelvic muscles to take stress off knees
  • Elongate through crown to sit tall


Child’s Pose- Connect with the breath. Heals, releases, and rejuvenates entire body.

  • Release hips to heels
  • Reach arms forward with pals down to stretch the shoulder
  • Rest forehead onto the mat


Cobra- Strengthens low back, firms buttocks

  • Lay on the belly with hand on either side of ribcage
  • Use upper abdominal muscles and low back to lift upper body reaching through the crown
  • Engage the glutes

[Instead of holding this pose, repeat it several times adding leg lifts with a pointed to


Pigeon - Deep hip opener

  • Place same knee to outside of same wrist with other leg is extended
  • Bring heel of foot closer to thigh for modification
  • Rest forehead to mat

[Hold this pose for several breaths and repeat on the other side]


Staff- Builds torso and spine strength

  • Sit with spine erect onto sit bones and activate legs by flexing feet to the face
  • Root down by pressing palms into the ground
  • Engage abs


Boat - develops and builds core strength

  • Find center of balance on the sit bones
  • Keep a straight spine while you lift the legs up
  • Extend arms out as you keep heart lifted


Bound Angle - excellent groin and hip opener

  • Place soles of the feet together sitting tall
  • Release the knees to the Earth
  • Hinge forward for greater opening in hips


Supine Bound Angle- Calms nervous system. Softens lower back, inner thighs and hips

  • Bring upper body down to mat from bound angle
  • Soles of feet together, legs and knees come down
  • Breathe into hips


Knees to Chest - Release for back of the body

  • Hug knees into the chest lengthening spine and neck
  • Draw circles on the ceiling with knee caps
  • Rock gently to strengthen spine


Legs up the Wall- Gives blood that pools into the legs a chance to recirculate

  • Lay on back and lift lefts straight up, creating a capital L with the body
  • Work to keep legs straight by engaging abs
  • Can uses a strap or literally a wall
  • Point and flex the feet, draw circles on the ceiling with the toes


Happy Baby- Opens hips and releases low back.

  • Laying on the back soles of the feet reach up
  • Bend the knees so ankles are over the knees
  • lightly tuck the chin to the chest


Bridge- Stretches abdomen, strengthens back and the bottom

  • Soles of the feet on the floor, feet and knees together
  • Lift the hips reaching forward and up
  • Interlace fingers under the body


Savasana - physical and mental release

  • Completely release body on the back
  • Feet fall out to the side as palms face up
  • Release any mental chatter in the mind and focus on the breath


That is the basic practice we typically do. Two of my sessions are never the exact same because I  like to have variety to keep ractice from getting boring. Sometimes there are other poses added to the mix and certain modifications that might not full be explained on here. If you have questions or would like me to embellish more on any aspect please let me know and I will do my best to explain it better. Other times we might hold certain poses for longer periods of time, use your own judgement on how long to hold each pose. Always listening to your body and breathing deep throughout the sequence. If anything feels painful please back off on the intensity of the posture or skip it and go to the next one.

Occasionally, there are other poses such as twists to added to our practice as well . I’m thinking the next blog post will focus on the “detox” twisting poses since that was another request altogether.  :-)

Most of the images I found off of Google- If they belong to you and you want me to take them down, please  just lmk and I will do so.  This site in particular had many great images with modifications Thank you isport!

I hope you find this blog post useful! Please feel free to comment on what you like or improvements you would like to see. If you have any questions please contact me. Constructive criticism is always encouraged and appreciated. To my student reading this, I hope you have a wonderful vacation and return home to the sea safely so we can resume our yoga practice.  :-)




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Colby Smithhart, April 8, 2012

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Nova, April 13, 2012

Yes, your spin is the central stotian for everything else. You should see a massage therapist because chances are, after your wreck, your body is not in good alignment anymore, which will cause pains like those.

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