‘Airplane yoga’ can bring a little Zen to your next flight
By Aimee Heckel
The cramped quarters of a plane don’t exactly lend themselves to conducting a full-fledge fitness program in flight. Although if you can do yoga at your desk, you can do it in an airplane.
If you’re crazy enough to consider doing airplane yoga to begin with, you likely already know the many benefits of a little omming. Yoga can reduce stress and anxiety, making it a perfect, natural antidote for nervous flyers. Control your breath and you can control your mind.
Especially if you’re stuck in the ergonomically incorrect airplane seats for an extended period of time, you will appreciate how physically rejuvenating the postures can be. They get the blood flowing, the shoulders opening, the back elongating and the organs functioning better.
But how do you do yoga on a plane without being The Worst Passenger In The World To Sit Next To?
Here are a three easy ways to bring yoga on the plane.
1. Focus on the breath.
Before take-off, close your eyes and meditate in your chair. Place your hands on your legs, relax your muscles and feel your breath going in and out. When other thoughts pop up, acknowledge them and then let them go. Envision your mind as a dry erase board, and your thoughts the markers. With every exhale, imagine dragging an eraser down the board and removing any thoughts that have popped up.
How often do you get a private, quiet space to meditate for an extended period of time? Consider this a blessing and take advantage of it.
2. Pack Yoga Tune-Up Therapy Balls in your carry-on to conduct a little self-massage while flying.
You could even pack two tennis balls; stick them in a sock and tie the end so you don’t have balls rolling around the cabin. (See above reference to Worst Passenger In The World.) Put the balls on the seat of your chair, sit back against them and roll them along your back to work out any tightness.
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3. Do cat-cow in the chair.
Sit on the edge of your chair. Slowly arch your chest upward, stretching out the front of your chest, and then roll it backward, to open the backs of your shoulders. Coordinate with your breath and up to the top of your spine and head. This will get your spine moving and also help relieve some stress.
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