Yoga Exercises for the Business Traveler

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Recently we shared a few tips on being more productive in the morning. One of the recommendations was to incorporate some type of yoga workout into your morning. This goes doubly when traveling for business.

The benefits of yoga are well known but lend themselves nicely to business travelers. Most importantly, yoga is a stress reducing exercise. It stretches you in ways that reverse the extremely adverse effects of planes, trains, and automobiles (not to mention conference rooms). Yoga can help you sleep better. In addition, it has been shown to help people perform better. This is probably a combination of reduced stress, better sleep, and less pain. Sign me up!

There are a few myths about the amount of time and the type of clothes/equipment you need to do yoga. Most notably, there is the yoga mat. While this can help the overall routine, it isn’t 100% necessary. If you don’t have a mat handy, just lay a sheet on the hotel floor. You can also modify your workout to ensure that the moves you’re practicing are conducive to that set up. In addition, yoga clothes are certainly helpful, but depending on the amount of time you are going to practice, they aren’t necessarily needed. I usually just wear gym shorts and a t-shirt. Speaking of time, how long do you need to do yoga to get benefit out of it? Not as long as you might think. Devoted yogis such as my wife normally practice for 60-90 minutes at a time. While nice, this isn’t practical when traveling for work, especially if you are trying to do other workouts in the morning. Honestly, even ten minutes of yoga can do a work of good for you.

Here are a couple of yoga mat suggestions that you can buy. Neither of them are expensive but they both do the job. The first one is the AmazonBasics brand and works perfectly fine at home or in the yoga studio. The second one is specifically designed for travel.

For your convenience, here are a couple of videos on YouTube that I’ve used while traveling:

Exercise 1 - 10 minute

This workout is only 10 minutes long but is incredibly effective at giving you a great stretch. It’s an effective way to wake up in the morning. Usually by the end during the child’s pose, I feel so much less tension in my neck and shoulders.

Exercise 2 - 20 minute

This is less a yoga workout and more of a flexibility workout but it accomplishes all of the benefits previously mentioned. If you can fit 20 minutes into your already packed morning schedule, you will absolutely thank yourself for it later in the day.

Exercise 3 - when sick

Unfortunately, business travel often leads to illness. No matter how much airborne you take or sanitizer you use, you can’t avoid germs and illness altogether. It’s so easy to stay in bed for an extra 30 minutes when you’re not feeling well, but the following work out is really useful in the situations. It doesn’t take very long at all, as it clocks in at under 10 minutes, but it will unscramble your tight muscles and give you a better shot at kicking off your day the right way. 

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