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Yoga For When You're Stuck in Traffic

If you suffer from a stiff back and neck from sitting all day in the office and your commute contains tons of traffic, this breathing and stretching guide is perfect for you!

Here is a list of some great stretches and breathing exercises that you can do to relieve back and neck pain while you sit in your car seat. These do require your arms, so I recommend only doing these while you are stopped in standstill traffic!

Neck Rolls

One easy way to relieve neck pain is to do neck rolls!

Instructions: Make circles clockwise by letting your chin rest on your chest, and then slowly look to the right, and then towards the roof of your car, and then to your left, and finally return to looking down.

Repeat this as many times as you like, and then roll in the opposite direction.

Ear to Shoulder

Another great neck stretch for when you are in an enclosed space such as a car would be the ear to shoulder stretch!

Instructions: Do exactly what the title says & tilt your head so that your right ear is resting on your right shoulder. For a deeper stretch, bring your right arm over your head and rest it on your left ear gently.

Take three deep breaths here, and then repeat on the left side.

Kapalabhati Breathing

This type of breathing is a great way to calm down while stuck in traffic, and requires minimal movement.

Instructions: Place both of your hands on your lower stomach as you’re sitting upright. Then, breathe in deeply, and forcefully release all of the air in your lungs by bringing your belly button in. Now, slowly let the air expand your stomach as you breathe in once again.

Repeat this as many times as you’d like, and then take a moment to acknowledge how you are feeling.

Neck Twist

This is about as close as you can get to a seated stretch while sitting in a car seat!

Instructions: Twist your neck as though you are looking in your blind spot, and feel the stretch in the side of your neck. Breathe in and out 3 times, and then repeat on the other side.

For a deeper stretch, place the hand opposite the direction that you are twisting to (ex. If you are looking to the right, place your left hand) on the thigh that is on the same side you are twisting to. Breathe into this extra stretch on your side.

Seated Cat/Cow

You obviously can’t do traditional cat/cow while sitting down, but this modified version is a great way to open your shoulders and stretch your back!

Instructions: Place your palms on your legs, and then roll your shoulders back and your chest up to assume the cow position. Breathe in and out.

Then, roll your shoulders forward and create an arch with your back to assume the cat position. Again, breathe in and out, and repeat as many times as you’d like.


Being stuck in traffic can be a stress-inducing experience, but with these seated breathing exercises and yoga positions, you can find a few moments of relaxation and relief from upper body pain.

I hope that you enjoyed reading about these poses, and I would love to hear any thoughts that you may have about the sequence!

Feel free to contact me or leave a comment with any opinions or ideas for other poses.


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