For those who practice yoga, Savasana pose is a time to let your mind wander – perhaps toward a calming beach or even a paradise of your own imagination, with waterfalls cascading above deep green pools and clouds of butterflies floating up into a treetop canopy.
You might be surprised to learn that such a place really exists – and that you can open your eyes from Savasana to find yourself there.
Croatia’s Plitvice Lakes National Park, a place where colorful lakes meet rich vegetation and towering rock formations, is Southern Europe’s oldest national forest. The lush environment, from the sweet “after rain” smell of earth and moss, to the calming crash of waterfalls, makes the park an ideal setting for the sensory experience of yoga.
On our Yoga in Croatia journey, you’ll practice with a well-known instructor in this stunning natural environment before taking your Chaturanga to the beaches of Split and hidden coves on the Dalmatian Coast. Along the way, you’ll relieve stress with a volcanic stone massage, reconnect with friends over local Croatian wine, and discover the charm of authentic islands and villages along the Adriatic Coast. This new signature Small Group Tour is available for up to 12 guests for a truly intimate experience.
To get ready for your journey, here are five essential poses that increase circulation while you travel, so you’ll be ready for your first Sun Salutation right off the plane:
1. Mountain Pose – Easy to do with no mat required, you can even do this one in the airport. Stand up straight with your feet just under your hips, using your breath to lift your spine toward the ceiling. Hold your arms to your side, palms out, or bring your hands to prayer position. Hold for five breaths in and out.
2. Warrior Pose – Start with your feet in the same position as Mountain Pose, then step your left foot back, bringing your left heel to the floor with your toes at a 45-degree angle. Now bend your right knee over your right ankle, keeping your hips forward. As you inhale, raise your arms above your head, opening your heart as you exhale. Hold this pose for five breaths and switch legs.
3. Cat Pose –Start on hour hand and knees, hands placed beneath your shoulders and hips above your knees. On an inhale, arch your spine, keeping your head still. Exhale and slowly round your back, imagining each vertebrae stretching from head to tailbone. Repeat over ten breaths.
4. Downward Dog – Perhaps the most well-known of yoga poses, this classic does wonders for leg circulation. Start in an inverted V pose, with your hands beneath your shoulders and the balls of your feet supporting your weight beneath your hips. From this position, stretch your legs, or “walk your dog,” to get the blood moving through your legs.
5. “Legs up the Wall” Pose – This sneaky pose gives you all the benefits of an inversion without the physical strain. And it really is as simple as it sounds. Lie on your back as close to the wall as is comfortable and extend your legs up, resting your hamstrings against the wall. Lie for 10 to 15 minutes, arms extended to either side in full relaxation. Breathe from your belly, imagining stress leaving through your fingertips with each exhale.