10 Yoga Poses That Help You Focus When Your Brain Is Still In Vacay Mode After Traveling
Vacation is a wonderfully luxurious break from all things responsibility, stress, and routine — aka total bliss. You’re exploring a new place, indulging in incredible food, and relaxing to your heart's content in what is likely a well-deserved break from the often-hectic nature that accompanies your day-to-day life. On the other hand, coming back from your vacay can feel anything but blissful, which is why yoga poses that help you focus can come in handy when it feels like you're suddenly drowning in a sea of emails, real-life responsibilities, and work duties.
Let's be real: When you return from a vacation, it can be a huge adjustment for your body. According to Health, most of us tend to abandon our usual routines when we're traveling, which means you might do things like drink more than you're used to, or sleep a little less than usual. So by the time you re-enter your daily routine, it's really not that shocking that you're experiencing all the "blah" feels and struggling to remember what the word "routine" even means.
Quite frankly, vacation mode can be pretty hard to deactivate, and during busy summers full of travel, road trips, festivals, and the like, getting back into the swing of things at home can seem nearly impossible. So if you find yourself feeling foggy and out of it thanks that post-vacay haze, here's a short yoga flow to help you focus and bounce right back into your normal routine.
Mountain pose is a great place to start with your post-vacay yoga practice, especially if you've been flying to and from your travel destination. This simple, yet powerful asana will ground you and allow you to feel rooted in the earth, igniting your sense of stability and coaxing you out of that vacation haze.
Raise one of your legs and rest it on the inside of your thigh as you transition from mountain pose into tree pose. This asana will encourage you to concentrate on your balance, so as you stand on one leg here, ask yourself what else in your life requires more balance right now. Breathe deeply and fully, directing your dristhi (aka yogic gaze) toward a non-moving object in the room, which will help you hold the pose with more ease.
From tree pose, wrap your arms and legs into a snug eagle pose, compressing both your body and your attention as you use your breath to work through any difficulties you may have in maintaining this asana. Again, use your drishti here to help you balance, and don't worry if you fall out of the pose. The simple act of pushing yourself to try and try again (without being hard on yourself if/when you fail) will teach you to be more gentle with yourself in all aspects of life, even as you get back into the rhythm of your everyday routine.
Unravel yourself from eagle pose and gracefully transition into warrior III. Concentrate on keeping your torso parallel to the ground and strengthening both your foundational and your raised legs.
Once you've stayed in warrior III for a few breaths, return back to mountain pose and repeat tree pose, eagle pose, and warrior III on the opposite side of your body for physical balance and mental equilibrium.
After you've warmed up with your second round of the standing sequence, ground your body and open your hips in a nourishing squat pose (or malasana, in Sankrit).
I won't lie to you: This asana isn't that easy to get into, depending on your lower-body flexibility, so be sure not to push yourself too far. No matter where your body's at in this movement, though, sinking into this posture can help improve your ability to concentrate and focus, which is exactly what you need to get out of your post-vacay haze.
From squat pose, make your way into crow pose, which is a challenging arm balance that demands complete presence, focus, and a steady breath.
Don't be hard on yourself if you're not quite able to fully balance on your arms just yet. Even attempting this pose will challenge your concentration, not to mention your ability to consistently stick with something that simply isn't easy.
When you just can't seem to snap out of wanderlust mode, flip yourself upside down and concentrate on breathing, on summoning your inner strength, and on simply being. Try this pose against the wall or with a spotter if you're a beginner, and remember to take it slow; enjoy the process of a new challenge, of being able to watch yourself progress with something.
After your inversion, make sure to take child's pose for a moment of rest and relaxation. You're nearing the end of your practice, and you'll want to slow down your heart rate and nurture your body, preparing for the few minutes of meditation to come.
Sit upright with a straight spine and relaxed shoulders for a short meditation session to really harness all that focused energy you just created in your physical practice. Close your eyes and observe your thoughts without judgment. Thank your body for the hard work it just did for you, and your brain for the focus it's capable of.
Finish your post-vacation practice with a grounding and restorative corpse pose. Mentally scan your body from head to toe, and release any lingering tension you notice in your muscles. Breathe in deeply, meditating for a moment on all the sweet memories you made during your vacation. Breathe out, and let those memories float into the air around you. Your vacation may be over, but that downtime has only made you stronger. Now it's time to harness that strength, that ironclad sense of focus, and show it to the rest of the world.