As a very tall yogi, long flights are my worst nightmare. Here’s how I prevent the stiffness and soreness that can come from cramped seats in coach.
Lumbar support in airline seats is minimal, but flexing your spine helps alleviate low back pain from the slumped posture.
For a seated Cat/Cow pose, place your hands on your knees and press down to lift up through the crown of the head and sit tall. On an inhale, roll the shoulders back and arch your spine. On an exhale, round the back and tuck the chin in towards the chest. Lumbar support in airline seats is minimal, but flexing your spine helps alleviate low back pain from the slumped posture.
The angle of TVs on the seat back in front of you or the book in your lap can create tension in your neck. Roll your neck 180 degrees back and forth from shoulder to shoulder with your head tilted back. You can also drop your right ear down to the right shoulder to lengthen the side of your neck. Place your right hand on your head just above the left ear. Don’t apply pressure; the weight of the hand is enough to give additional stretch. Switch sides.
Taking Eagle Arms doesn’t require a lot of space and can relieve tension and stress from being crammed between strangers on a plane. Swing your right arm under the left above the elbow. Draw the backs of your hands together or intertwine your arms so the palms touch. Lift your elbows up to eye level and keep your forearms perpendicular to the floor. Keep the shoulders out of your ears, and your elbows out of your neighbor’s face by pressing them together.
Try a few Forward Folds while waiting for the rest room. As long as you don’t mind funny looks, take a few crescent lunges to show your hip flexors that sitting at 90 degrees isn’t a permanent affair.
When the baby behind you starts crying, close your eyes and find your ujayyi breath. Yoga helps to manage life off the mat, even when you’re sharing space with 200 other people.
Do you have tips for staying fit and comfy when you travel? Share your ideas in Comments so we can all learn from each other.