Whether you’re traveling across the country for a family get-together or making multiple airport stops on your way to a far away country, sitting for that long, generally, is detrimental to your physical health.
Though we can’t always control how long we are in the sky, we can control how we spend our time before we board the plane. Stretching by using yoga before you board a plane can help to relieve the stress of sitting. Yoga postures not only work to move and stretch the body in safe and natural ways, but the addition of slow nostril breathing can help calm any preflight anxiety you might feel.
Each of the postures below are accessible to anyone. They don’t require a mat, extra equipment or even yoga pants—just a little space and access to a chair. Make sure to find a quieter spot if possible and breathe slowly in and out through your nose during the poses.
Standing Calf Stretch1 of 8
Standing with your feet hip-distance apart, bend your left knee and place your right heel on the floor. Shift your hips back but keep your back flat. Bow forward until you feel a stretch along the back of your right leg.
Hold this position for 15 seconds and then switch sides. Alternate between the right and left sides six times.
Standing Half Split2 of 8
Stand in front of a chair and place your right heel on top of the chair. Square your hips to the chair and flex your toes toward your shin. Shift your hips back and bow forward over the front leg.
Hold this stretch for one minute and then switch sides.
Standing Quad Stretch3 of 8
Stand and grab the top of your right foot with your right hand. Bring your knees together and draw your tailbone down.
Hold this position for 30 seconds, then switch. Repeat once more on each side.
Standing Side Bend4 of 8
Stand with your feet together. Extend your arms overhead and grab your left wrist with your right hand. Pull up on your left wrist, shift your hips to the left and bend your torso to the right.
Hold for 10 seconds then switch sides. Repeat two to three more times.
Seated Figure Four5 of 8
Sit with your feet on the floor. Place your right foot over and above the left knee. Allow your right knee to drop towards the floor as you hinge forward at the hip. As you keep your spine long, draw your chest toward your shin.
Hold this position for up to two minutes, then switch sides.
Seated Spinal Twist6 of 8
Sit tall in a chair with your torso off the back rest. Place your left hand over your right knee and twist toward the right. For more leverage, place your right hand behind you on the backrest to help you intensify the twist.
Stay in the twist for 15 seconds on each side. Then repeat and hold the stretch for 20 seconds.
Neck Stretch7 of 8
Sit tall with your head in a neutral position. Wrap your left arm around your lower back. Relax your left shoulder away from your left ear. Place the right hand over the left ear and gently pull your right ear toward your right shoulder.
Hold this position for 30 seconds, then switch sides.