Our feet swell, our space is limited and our air is recycled amongst our fellow passengers—so what better time to explore some non-intrusive yoga. It will certainly help to pass the time by and keep your circulation flowing.
I’ve concentrated on mostly forward bending postures and some that are great for circulation. Benefits of these poses include calming to the central nervous system, greater hip and shoulder flexibility, and anti-depressant qualities—the non-pill popping variety! While an isle seat would be great specifically if you need a little bit of extra room, I’ve chosen a window seat to prove it could be done in a more finite space. See what works best for you!
1.Modified Krounchasana (Heron Pose)
How to: Fold one leg in so the heel of the foot is near the pubic bone then extend the second leg straight up, see if you can touch your chin to your shin! This pose is great to stretch out our hamstrings and bring calm to the mind.
2. Gomukasana (Cowface Pose)
Well we've all heard of seventh inning stretch, but they seem to be getting more stringent about how often they let you get up so this is a nice pose that will stretch your hip flexors and your shoulder and back. Of course be sure to switch sides and just close your eyes and imagine you are anywhere but in coach class!
3. Padmasana (Lotus Pose)
This is a great hip opener stretch and meditative pose. So if you feel as though your neighbor is less than ideal, travel into lotus or half lotus by bringing your ankles in to the opposing hip creases. Make sure there is a level of comfort to this and that your meditation doesn't feel excruciating to hold!
4. Sukasana (Easy Pose)
We've all heard it before, criss-cross applesauce. This pose in the air helps to keep our feet from getting cold and numb. It's also a nice meditative pose, though we can do nearly anything in this posture from playing on your laptop to reading your kindle or games on the iPad!
5. Marichyasana B (pose dedicated to the Sage Marichi)
So of course we want to rock the boat a little. This pose will help settle our stomachs after the crappy pretzels and mini free beverage and allow our insides to be massaged and stimulated.
Bring one ankle to the op0sing hip crease as we do in half lotus. Then take the other leg and bend it toward the chest placing the heel of the foot close to the outside of the same side sit bone. Inner rotate both arms wrapping one around the shin and the other behind the back. If binding doesn't happen for you just fold toward the half lotus knee and breath!
6. Rock the baby Pose
This one is a nice gentle stretch we can all enjoy, bring one foot into the elbow crease of the other and fold the opposite let in towards your heart, rock left and right and let those hips open up!
7. Seated Garudasana
So while this is traditionally a standing balance pose it has a nice place in coach class. This pose allows you to squeeze and inner rotate by the major arteries in the upper arms and femurs and when released will offer a nice flow of oxygen circulation through the whole body. This is not recommended if you have untreated high blood pressure.
Try not to get to hung up on any looks from strangers. And of course if you are traveling alone and have a friendly seat mate feel free to invite them to join you on your short but playful journey!
You'll be ready to hop skip and jump past all the other passengers by the end of the flight. However, even yoga on coach is still yoga, wait your turn to get out, be kind to others, spread joy through your smiles and enjoy the destination you end up in!