Join the Mile - High Yoga Club

Submitted by Pallavi Pandit on January 3, 2013

Flying can be a stressful activity for most what with the interminable queues, the miles covered tramping around with heavy bags, and the hours spent cramped in an airplane seat. While there is nothing much that you can do about the lines at the airport or the endless waiting, you can surely make your flight more comfortable by doing some simple yoga exercises. Now don’t look so surprised.

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We are not suggesting you whip out your yoga mat in the aisles and entertain your fellow passengers. Instead why not try some of these easy but effective yoga poses that can be done discreetly and in the comfort of your own seat? The following exercises can help you reduce stress and tension, improve blood circulation, and soothe the mind and body so that you land feeling refreshed, recharged, and raring to go!


  • Seated Spinal Twist - Sit up straight in your seat with both feet on the floor. Place your right hand on your left knee and your left hand on the seat behind your left hip. Twist your torso gently and look towards your left shoulder. Breathe slowly and deeply and hold this position for a while before repeating on the other side.
  • Shoulder Shrugs - Place a rolled up blanket lengthwise against your spine along the back of your seat. Inhale, hold your breath and push your shoulders backwards and up to your ears. Hold this pose for a bit. Now exhale and squeeze your shoulder blades together before bringing them down.
  • Back Stretch - Sit up straight and cross your right ankle over your left knee. Your left leg should still be on the floor. Flex the right foot and slowly fold your body and bring your chest forward. You should feel the stretch in the muscles of your lower back. Hold the pose and then repeat on the other side.
  • Neck Stretch - Sit straight and place your left ear as close to your left shoulder as possible. To intensify the stretch, wrap your left arm around the right side of your head and gently pull your neck down. Release the pose and repeat on the other side.
  • Eagle Pose - Sit up straight and hold your arms out in front of you. Cross your arms around you as if you were hugging yourself with your right arm under the left. Now bring your hands up towards the ceiling and try and face your palm towards each other. Keep your shoulders away from the ears and breathe deeply.

In addition to these yoga exercises, drink plenty of water throughout the flight to stay hydrated and walk around the plane for a few minutes every hour to prevent cramps and Deep Vein Thrombosis.

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