Earlier this week, I wrote about a few different reasons why traveling can cause annoying aches and pains. Curious how to combat and potentially even prevent these annoyances?
I’ll cut straight to the chase – I travel with balls.
In my opinion, the two best sizes of YTU Therapy Balls to bring are regular-size Yoga Tune Up® Therapy Balls and a Corgeous® ball. You can massage pretty much all of your tissues head-to-toe with this combination, plus they’re amazingly compact and super light.
Uses for the regular YTU balls on the road:
How do I use these for self massage during travel? To put it simply – I use them in every way possible. I literally use these head-to-toe using a combination of all the Roll Model® techniques Jill Miller so wonderfully detailed in her book The Roll Model (which I highly recommend in Kindle form to take on the road with you).
Uses for the Coregeous® ball on the road:
The Coregeous® ball helps with opening up the breathing tissues on the rib cage. I believe breathing is the most important practice in traveling because it allows us to settle down, rest, and take in the new environment. It helps slow down from our regular busy lives and experience the relaxation that vacation and travel can be so conducive to.
…and here’s an advantage of the Coregeous® ball you may not have considered: it’s a great way to ease digestion and help find comfort in your gut. I don’t know about you, but I’ve certainly had my fair share of questionable airplane meals and deliciously sketchy street food while traveling, and having the gentle massage of an inflated Courageous® ball is an amazing way to sort of ‘reset’ the GI tract after the tension that these meals can bring to your belly so you can stay healthy while traveling.
Here’s a good routine for using the Coregeous® ball:
For constant sitting:
Body parts that get grumpy with a lot of sitting: hamstrings, quads, hips, lower back, upper back/neck… I’ll stop there because the list goes on. Here are some great instructions for using therapy balls to combat these areas and below is a testimonial and explanation from an airline pilot on why these are so important for seated travel:
For sleep-induced problems:
One of the results of the tossing and turning that sleeping in a foreign setting can create is unusual pressure on the shoulders. For that, I recommend some of this goodness:
…and to help clear your head and find some deep relaxation for the small but mighty muscles of your jaw, face and head, add this in the mix:
I also wrote about my go-to self-massage moves for sleep-induced tightness in my article called Wake Up with Yoga Tune Up®. While it’s meant to deal with everyday sleep, this sequence is potentially even more applicable when you’re sleeping in an uncomfortable or unfamiliar bed, so it’s definitely worth taking a look at.
For lots of standing and walking you may not be used to:
Some days, I only walk an average of 3,000 steps. When I’m travelling, I end up walking 10,000-20,000 many days (3x – 6x times as much!), which is great in many ways, but going from so little to so much in a short amount of time can cause some issues in my feet and hips, so here are some remedies for those areas:
Note: this second video is using a YTU Alpha® ball, but the same exercises can be done with a regular ball on the road (using a bit less body weight pressure at first).
Prepare for your positions
While these are all good ways to combat the aches and pains that may arise, don’t wait until you’re in pain to treat your tissues. Once you’re at that point – you’re probably a few hours or days away from relief. Instead, anticipate the chain reaction that leads to these problems and work to prevent them by tuning up before the problems set in. Warm up, roll out, stretch out, and activate the muscles you need to before long periods of sitting, walking and unfamiliar sleep conditions.
Tuning up without Therapy Balls:
After using YTU Therapy Balls, it’s really nice to stretch the areas you’ve made more supple. Even if you’re travelling without any balls, your body can can do some amazing things to tune itself up. Check out my article Integrating YTU Stretches into your Daily Routine to see some great stretches to relieve achy muscles and joints and check out this YouTube page for more exercises.
To learn more about integrating YTU sessions into your life when you can’t take a YTU class, check out my articles Essential YTU Stretches for your Workday and Integrating YTU Therapy Balls into your Daily Routine.
Here’s to safe travels with happy bodies!