Written by: Ana Staskevich, Staff Writer
Illustration by: Mo-Molin
The start of a semester is messy. Most chaotic of all are mornings. You find yourself hitting snooze five times, brewing a new pot of coffee with your eyes barely open, and then rushing out the door with mismatched socks on your feet. In the midst of all this fresh-faced chaos, it becomes way too easy to forget the necessary self-care that every millennial on Instagram is preaching about. But meditation and yoga especially can do wonders for you.
So what better way to practice this self-care than squeezing it into your morning commute?
With commuter yoga, learn to shut out the world, stretch back, and productively kill time. Here are a few moves that can get you started!
The Awkward Crotch-Level Stretch
This one is probably the easiest, because it can be done if you’re standing up even in a crowded SkyTrain or bus. Shorter folks, this may not be your favourite.
First, raise hands to grab the handle bars above your head. The closer you are to someone who is comfortably sitting down, the better (trust me, people LOVE being as close as possible on public transit). Part your legs to allow yourself to tower over those in front of you like the king you are — it’s your space, after all.
Feel free to release your inner stress by letting out low grunts (no one will mind), or dabbling in “rage yoga,” where you scream out your anger and frustration to your surroundings.
This is a beginner pose, but it is perfect for anybody looking to acquire a newly vacant seat.
The Murder Victim
This one is particularly good if you’re coming back from late-night classes and the SkyTrain/bus is emptier.
Find a few side-by-side seats that are open. Then, gently lower yourself onto the seats while on your back, and even out your breathing as you relax your arms. Remember: you’re not actually trying to get closer to death, just reaping its benefits.
This is a great pose for anyone needing a pick-me-up before heading home to retire for the night, but keep an eye out for any commuters dialling 911.
The Daddy Long-Legs Bend
This one requires you to be sitting down. It can be completed by yourself or with others (#sharingiscaring), and it is perfect for anyone looking for the vainglorious rush of impeding transit traffic.
All you do here is lengthen your personal space bubble. Stretch out your legs as far as you can, staying mindful of those hamstrings, preferably getting in the way of other people while you do so. Here, you can truly exert your dominance. Once you have established that you are the Alpha, your boosted ego can help you take on the day.
To master this at its professional form, just look at any crowd of loud teenagers sprawling around.