Use Yoga (and More) to Stay Fresh on Flights

Avoid travel aches and pains with these tips

When Beverly Hills ambassador Andrea Marcum arrived in Bali after 22 hours of flying, she found herself feeling swollen, with ankles like an elephant. Knowing there had to be a better way, she made use of her yoga wisdom to create a journey with more bending and less bloating.

Pre-boarding Practices

1) Hold the Fries
Skip the heavy meals, alcohol, caffeine and carbonated beverages 24 hours before you leave. These dehydrate you and increase the unfortunate effects of a pressurized cabin when you’re in the air.

2) Skip the Moving Sidewalk (or Just Skip)
Take a 10-minute walk around the airport to help your in-flight circulation. Getting your heart beating faster transports oxygen rich blood to your muscles and improves cellular respiration. This kick start will help keep things moving while you've got your seatbelt fastened securely.

Yoga at 30,000 Feet

1) Stretch Your Spine
In your seat, interlace your hands under your thigh and ease your knee and forehead towards each other (this is not one to do during beverage and meal service). As your back rounds, feel the space being created between those poor vertebrae that are feeling compressed from sitting in one position for the duration of your flight. Hold for a few breaths and then switch sides.

2) Twist and Shout (But Don’t Actually Shout)
Sit tall in your seat with great yoga posture. Holding the armrests, twist cautiously to one side for five breaths and then to the other. Enjoy the release in your spine and the fact that you and your neighbor are getting along so well as you turn in their direction.

Refresh at Your Hotel

1) Walk it Off
Even if you feel exhausted or jet lagged, try to take that 10 minute walk again to get your metabolism and circulation going. Hey, what a great opportunity to check out your new surroundings! For meals, opt for salads and green veggies to help move toxins and fluids through you. Green tea is a natural diuretic and will help decrease water retention and swelling.

2) The Anti-Elephant-Ankle Pose
Lie on your back and elevate your legs up a wall for 10 minutes in Viparita Karani. Blood can pool and create pressure in our leg veins and fluid collects in the soft tissue. This happens as a result of being seated upright with our feet on the ground for so long. A gentle inversion makes it easier for our heart to pump oxygenated blood through these lower limbs and throughout our newly landed bodies.

3) Soak Your Bones
Draw a warm bath with Epsom salts, or sprinkle some lavender or sandalwood oil in the water to wash away the airplane fumes.

Infusing your trip with mindful movement, a friendly spirit, good sense and good scents can make a world of difference. Whether you’re taking off for business or for pleasure, may these tips help you transcend times zones and sweeten your stay.


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