Finding Balance on (and Off) the Beaches of Nicaragua
We travel the world to see, experience, and do things we dream of, and oftentimes, during the planning stage of travel, we’re filled with abundant longings of future destinations awaiting us. While the joy of an upcoming trip begins to culminate, so does the dreaded packing and traveling routine that plagues us. Will I have enough room on the plane? Will I feel stiff and tired when I land? The good news is, there are simple techniques yoga can provide to aid in swift, post-travel recovery to get you off the plane and on the beach in a snap, relaxing in an effortless turnaround that quickly relieves physical tension and soreness from the body.
Juancarlos, a yoga specialist at Guacalito de la Isla and Mukul, has garnered much expertise in his time guiding travelers through restorative yoga poses, combating long hours of spinal column compression and lack of movement that occurs in the body during long flights. He suggests beginning with a 5-part sequence to aid in recirculation of the body’s nervous system, a practice that will relieve body tension and physical discomfort often associated with flying.
According to Yoga Journal, practicing yoga helps improve flexibility, increases the body’s blood flow, and drains lymph nodes and boosts immunity, perfectly complementing the ocean’s linked benefits of increased levels of happiness and health – all symbiotic qualities to a restful, beachside visit at Mukul. Whether you enjoy a group yoga practice, a private session in your bohio, or a sunset salutation set on Nicaragua’s sparkling Emerald Coast, here, find Juancarlos’ go-to poses for regaining alignment while at Mukul.
1. Prasarita Padottanasana
The side-spread leg pose is done in an intense, forward bend posture, aiding in flexibility of the inner and outer legs. The pose tones and strengthens the muscles, while also working the abdomen, shoulders and arms. It rejuvenates the spine, liberating compression on the spinal column, while also increasing blood flow to the brain, making it a natural boost for the mind, sight, hearing, and taste. It aids in eliminating physical and mental fatigue that plagues the adrenal system, perfect for meditating and expanding one’s inner universe post-travel.
2. Utthita Trikonasana
This upward-facing triangle pose strengthens the ankles and provides greater flexibility in the legs and lower limbs. Moving upward through the body, the asana opens the heart, lungs, chest, and shoulders to eliminate back pain and boosts the weary traveler’s immune system. Once you complete a five-breath count on the right side, lift your torso and move with your breath to the left side of your body to complete the pose’s cycle.
3. Parivrtta Trikonasana
This revolved triangle posture offers multiple benefits when practiced regularly. Once settling into the pose, legs and arms become elastic and grow to include tone and strength. As a standing pose where the body is twisting at the waist, the pose also works the abdomen and aids in removing fat around the stomach. This is a great pose for aligning the entire spine. While in the pose, increase your breath gradually, making the thoracic body and the heart very strong and opened. When doing this, you increase brain flow and concentration, all while relieving back pain and energizing your entire body – from your toes to the top of your head.
4. Ananda Balasana
Ananda Balasana, more affectionately known as happy baby posture, is the perfect practice to do after the aforementioned asanas to aid in a cool down and tension ease of the body. The pose opens the thighs and increases circulation in the legs, relieving back pain and relaxing the mind and spirit by aligning the feet and knees to the stomach’s internal organs. The pose helps exude strength in the body by lowering the heels slowly to the floor, ending in a relaxing position on the mat.
At the culmination of the happy baby pose, the body is relaxed in the final stage of a practice known as Savasana, or corpse pose. This elicits a time for reflection and a deep inner stimulation to bring the body back to a state of being. By releasing the thoughts of the mind and focusing only on the hum of the body’s relaxed state, you can see your inner body as a place where you have been invited to visit and explore as you relax. Stay in this pose for as long as you like, awakening to a soft movement of the fingers and toes, ending with an Om to complete your practice.
Learn more about how to find your balance at Mukul here.