Airplane Yoga on Your Next Flight

Traveling doesn’t have to be stressful. Yes, there’s the part about sitting in a safety-oriented airplane seat that was not built for comfort. However, with a few planning tips and yoga poses to do at the boarding gate and some to do on the plane you can arrive feeling rejuvenated and refreshed.

Whether your going home for the holidays, flying to a meeting or are jetting off to a yoga retreat destination, here are some tips to reduce the stress of flying.

Flying doesn’t have to be stressful. Some of the stress-reducing tactics include planning tips, ways to relax en-route to the airport, essential things for your carry-on bag and yoga poses to do at the boarding gate.

airplane yogaThese ‘Strategies for Zen-like Air Travel’ include some suggestions to make the visit home, a business meeting or even your next yoga retreat more relaxing and pleasant:

Planning 24 Hours Ahead of the flight:

- Clean a stainless steel water bottle; let it air-dry overnight

- Put a drop of lavender essential oil on a blindfold

Packing List Essentials for the Carry-On Bag:

- Ear plugs to reduce body fatigue from engine noise on board

- A sweater or fleece you can roll up and use as lumbar support or stay warm if the air-conditioning on board is too much for you

On the Way out the Door & En-Route to the Airport:

- Wear slip-on shoes and empty all pockets of cell phones, keys and coins prior to arriving to speed through security

- Take a few inhales and exhales en-route to the airport; Inhale 1-2-3-4, Exhale 4-3-2-1

Boarding Gate Yoga (find a place away from any TV screens):

- Sitting in a Chair: Do an easy forward bend. Then put your fingers on your shoulders and make some large circles with your elbows

- Sitting on the Floor: Try kneeling first. If that’s comfortable then raise both arms up overhead on an inhale then on an exhale twist and look over your right shoulder.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Take a few breaths. Come back to looking forward then twist to the left for a few breaths. At the airport, fill up your water bottle after going through security. On the plane begin by putting a rolled up sweater or blanket in the lumbar curve in your low back. This alone will allow your spine to come back to its natural position. Close your eyes. Inhale to the count of four and exhale to the count of four. Remember that only breathing in and out of your nose will calm your nervous system.

For Forearm Relief, start by putting your right elbow on the armrest with your palm facing the ceiling as if you were going to carry a tray then place the palm of your left hand on the fingers in your right hand and feel a stretch in your forearms. Then do with the left elbow on the armrest and press down with your right palm into the fingers of the left hand.

Palm Pushes: Hold your arms out in front of you so that they’re above the head of the person sitting in front of you. Interlace your fingers and then invert the interlaced fingers and push your palms away from you. Take a few breaths in this position.

Cat/Cow Tilt: Place your hands on the armrest. On an inhale, open your chest and look up to the ceiling (cow). On the exhale bend your chin to your chest and round your back arching it like a cat. Repeat this four to five times.

Torso Twist: Sitting upright in the airplane seat put your left hand on your right knee and, on an inhale, twist to the right looking over your right shoulder. After a few inhales and exhales, come back to center. On your next inhale put your right hand on your left knee and twist to the left looking over your left shoulder.

Leg Raises: Using both of your hands grasp one knee and pull it towards your chest on an inhale and hold this position inhaling and exhaling for three breaths. Grasp the opposite knee and repeat on the other side for three breaths.

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