BLOG: Yoga Routines in Small Spaces (Like Your Camper or RV!)
When practicing yoga, having a secure and comfortable space is essential. Even if you don’t have access to an expansive studio or outdoor area, there are still plenty of ways to squeeze in some stretching into small spaces.
For example, you can use a sleeping bag as a mat. However, this will only work well if you mainly do static and restorative poses. A good yoga mat is easy to transport and can fit in tight spaces when rolled up.
Practicing a regular yoga routine awakens body and soul, and is incredibly beneficial to your overall mental health.
New to yoga? Here are some easy poses that work well in confined spaces of a tent or RV. However, when possible, doing these exercises outdoors is a wonderful experience.
Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana) is a beloved yoga pose that provides a powerful stretch for the spine, hips, shoulders, arms and hamstrings.
Aligning yourself correctly can be tricky, so look for a downward-facing V shape with your hands at shoulders’ width apart.
Many people place too much weight on their wrists and outer hands in this pose, leading to soreness. To help find a secure landing position, place a soft mat or blanket under your heels for extra support.
Child’s Pose (Balasana) is the ideal resting pose to take between more challenging poses in your yoga practice. It gently stretches your back, hip joints and shoulders while relaxing both mind and body.
This resting pose is ideal for both beginners and experienced yogis looking to unwind. It also serves as a foundation for slower-breathing meditation.
To achieve this pose, lie face-down on your mat. Bend your knees and bring both feet together in a hug.
Adjust the width of your knees as necessary, either by making them wider or keeping them together. Depending on how your body responds, you could also bring your knees closer to the floor or push them away from each other.
Cobra pose is an excellent way to stretch and strengthen your spine, counteracting the slouch that often occurs when we sit for extended periods of time, such as while working or driving. This is great to do after a long road trip!
Cobra pose can also help strengthen your back muscles and core, which may prevent future aches and pains. However, this pose should not be attempted if you have any medical conditions to consider. Be sure to consult with your doctor if you’re not sure.
If you have a history of lower back pain, try doing an altered version of Cobra that uses your forearms instead of your wrists. This may help alleviate wrist discomfort and strengthen the lower back and carpal tunnel muscles.
Planking and side planking are two core-strengthening exercises that challenge all major muscles of the abdomen. Regular planks target the transverse abdominis muscle, acting like an internal weight belt to keep you stable; side planks target quadratus lumborum — a muscle at the back of the abdomen that helps protect against back pain.
The side plank also targets the obliques, which typically don’t get much exercise during traditional ab exercises.
If you want more of a challenge, add controlled rotation to the move. Begin in a regular side plank position with your top arm straight above you.
Slowly rotate your torso to bring your hand under and through your body, then reverse it to come back into a plank position. This works the shoulder muscles, lats, hip abductors and obliques simultaneously.
Warrior poses are an excellent way to warm up and strengthen all of your hip muscles. Additionally, they improve balance and are commonly included in physical therapy regimens.
Warrior pose helps increase flexibility in the hamstrings, feet, ankles and glutes while strengthening the upper body by stretching psoas muscles.
Warrior poses can be challenging, but there are ways to make them easier. By bending your knees further back or trying different variations, you’ll find what works best for you.