As you may know all too well, planning a wedding is exciting, but can also be really stressful. Little details you never imagined you would have to think about — the perfect color of dessert plates to complement the color of your cake — are demanding your attention, as are the caterer, florist and your future mother-in-law.
In order to make it through the next few months of planning and not completely lose your mind while you are driving around from wedding errand to errand, it’s important to find ways to stay relaxed and relatively sane. One great way to do this is to practice yoga poses in or near your vehicle.
Some Quick Words About Safety
While there are several yoga poses that can be modified to be done safely in a vehicle, it’s important to not let these techniques — or the wedding planning itself — distract you. As Driving-Tests.org notes, being an inattentive driver is one of the most dangerous driving habits, so if you give any of the following poses and exercises a try, be sure they do not take your mind off the road.
Start with Conscious Breathing
As Drivetime Yoga notes, the simple act of focusing on your breathing can help to lower stress and blood pressure — and make you more alert. While you are out running zillions of wedding-related errands, be aware of how you are breathing. Strive to drop your breath into your belly and consciously hold it for five seconds before releasing it. Try to avoid raising your shoulders when you breathe in and imagine each breath is filling your lungs from the bottom up.
Red Light Chin Swings
When you come to a standstill at a red light, slowly turn your chin to the right as you exhale and try to look over your right shoulder. If you can, keep the rest of your body facing forward, and make sure your hands are relaxed on the steering wheel.
Hold this position for a few sections and then slowly swing your chin back to the left and peer over your left shoulder. Depending on how long the red light lasts, do up to 10 of these calming repetitions.
Traffic Jam Thigh Moves
It can be enormously stressful to be stuck in a traffic jam due to construction or an accident. In addition, sitting in the car for long periods can make lower back pain worse. To stay on an even keel and keep your hips relaxed, try pushing your right knee out toward the passenger side of the car from the upper thigh and out.
You should feel like you are pushing against some type of resistance. Then, push your knee toward the left car door as far as you comfortably can. Repeat with your left leg and thigh, making your moves slow and deliberate. This yoga move will help to work tension out of your hips while stretching your thighs. Because you are using the leg you would normally use to drive, only do this move when you are fully stopped.
The Cat-Cow Pose
Once you arrive at your destination, take a few quick minutes to do a yoga pose right next to your car. Prevention.com has a great list of parking lot-friendly poses, including the Cat-Cow Pose, which is ideal for achy backs, necks and shoulders. Stand in a wide squat position and put your hands on your legs above the knees. Consciously round and arch your spine, breath in and out as you stretch, and repeat this cycle five to eight times.