Although traveling is often associated with excitement, getting to and from your destination can often be exceedingly taxing on the body. If traveling first class or upgrading to a seat with "even more leg room" isn’t it your budget you might find yourself feeling cramped and achey. It is important to integrate postures that will help elevate any said stress and aid in circulating stagnant qi (energy) in the body. There are many quick and simple ways to oxygenate your blood and get yourself feeling good even if you find yourself stuck in the middle seat.
Yoga is an effective airplane practice because anyone can do it, any time. There are several stretches one can do to allivate tension without even realizing they are doing yoga. Simply choosing to get up out of your seat and take a stroll down the aisle a few times can help tremendously. Check out the stretches below and be sure to book me, Stormy Barbara, for a private yoga session on Romio today!
First begin with a brief meditation to center. Be sure to place both feet on the floor to embody a sense of grounding, close your eyes and simply check in. Roll the shoulders down and back, relax the muscles in your face and continue that idea of letting go all the way down to your toes. Start to become aware of your breath. Notice where your attention is being called to (physical sensations that need to be addressed, thoughts and emotions that are coming to the surface). Figure out exactly what it is you are needing in that moment.
With the eyes still closed start to send the head/neck in circles. There doesn’t have to be any rhyme or reason to the movement- allow it to be fluid and instinctual. Feel free to invite the hand up to massage out any spots that feel sticky or stuck. Reach the arms overhead and grab hold of the left wrist with the right hand- get longer in the spine and then lean over to the right for a lateral (side body) stretch. Repeat on the other side.
Eagle Pose (Garudasana)
Garudasana is a great shape to make with the arms to open shoulder joints, creating space between the shoulder blades. This pose has also been known to increase circulation to all joints, improve digestion and elimination and enhance your focus. To arrive in this shape extend both arms straight out in front of you and weave the left arm underneath the right. If possible try to double wrap your wrist to get the palms to touch (or as close to it as possible). If that is unavailable to you- try reaching opposite hand for opposite shoulder and feel as if you are dragging your scapula apart from one another.
Twists are amazing to rid the body of toxins built up in the internal organs as well as purifying the mind of any harmful thoughts. Simply keep your feet grounded about hips width distance apart and take your right hand to the outside of your left knee and bring your gaze over the left shoulder. You might choose to use the seat behind you as additional leverage to deepen your twist. Repeat the same thing on the other side.
Lastly I would suggest getting into the hips. With the feet still on the floor, gently pull your right knee in towards your chest. You’ll then butterfly the leg out to the side, placing your right ankle directly on top of your left knee. If that is sensational enough you may choose to stop there. If you’d like to deepen the stretch try folding forward (draping your chest over your thighs) or interlacing your fingers underneath the left thigh and drawing both knees towards your chest.