4 Airplane Yoga Poses

Let's cut straight to the point, if you're not flying first class you feel crammed in your seat and there's nowhere to go. Not to mention, sitting for long periods of time can do a number of things to your body. You may experience stiff back, tight hips, sore neck, hunched shoulders and more. And since you're on a plane, it's hard to get up and walk around to loosen your muscles and let your joints realign themselves.

You may think it's impossible to get a decent stretch in while you're on a plane, but it's not true. You just need to think outside the box.

Here are four yoga poses that you can do in your seat that will stretch your body, strengthen your muscles, and get your blood circulating.

First, work on your yoga breath. Your yoga breath (Pranayama) will ease your mind and body from any anxiety you may encounter and work on your core.

Ujjayi Pranayama - Ocean Breath

The reason this yoga breath is considered Ocean Breath is because your inhales and exhales mimic the sound of the ocean.

Take a deep breath through your nose; allow your chest and core to fill up with air. On the exhale, lips are sealed and throat is slightly constricted creating a small hissing noise.

Apply that same tone on your inhales and continue to constrict your throat on the exhales. You will soon notice an oceanic sound. This breath will allow your body to relax, ease your mind and strengthen your core.

Continue your Ujjayi breath as you practice your yoga poses in your chair. (If you're worried that you might sound weird, don't be, the airplane engine will drown out your sound and most passengers wear headphones too). So breathe on.

Airplane Yoga Poses

Keep in mind these are all done in your seat, so these poses have slight alterations to the original pose.

Garuda-asana - Eagle Arms

Benefits: Strengthen legs, improves balance and stretches shoulders.

  • Keep your feet flat and back straight.
  • Lift your right knee 90 degrees.
  • Cross your right thigh over your left. Try to hook your right foot around your left calf. Over time it becomes easier.
  • Bring your arms out in front of you (careful not to hit the person sitting next to you) and cross your right arm under your left. Bring palms to touch.
  • Lift the elbows up and make sure your shoulders stay down.
  • Hold for a minute and repeat on the other side.

Sucirandhrasana - Figure Four

Benefits: Stretches hips and inner thighs

  • Keep your feet flat and back straight.
  • Bring your right knee up 90 degrees and place your right ankle on your left thigh.
  • Interlace your fingers under your left thigh and pull your chest towards your legs.
  • Keep your foot flexed for a deeper stretch.
  • Hold for one to three minutes.
  • Release and repeat on the other side.

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