Taking flight with Yoga

Oct 23, 2011   //   by Staff Writer   //   The Blog  //  3 Comments

I am getting ready to embark on a month-long adventure across Southeast Asia.  Leaving in just a few hours, I’m very excited but also incredibly anxious.  Until now, I didn’t believe that I had any phobias, but the mere thought of the plane taking off the runway makes my heart race and stomach feel like it’s doing somersaults.  Thinking back to every plane ride I have previously taken, I remember experiencing a minor panic attack each time.  I completely realize the silliness of my fear, but still, it’s easier said than done to tell myself to just relax.

Taking Flight with Yoga.  By Yoga District blogger Marybeth in Washington DC.One of my good friends, a very mindful yogi, often says, “We are all going to die someday… and it might be tomorrow.”  Her words are true and wise.  As morbid as this may sound, thinking this actually makes me breathe easier and with more gratitude for the present moment.  We really don’t have as much control as we think we do.  Nonetheless, I am still prepared to totally freak-out the moment I feel the plane move.  Since my recent trainings in aromatherapy and herbal medicine, I’m stocked up with essential oils with relaxing scents and herbs with calming properties.  I am also planning to take my yoga practice on the road … um, well, up in the air, rather.

Of course it’s not likely the flight attendants will tolerate me rolling out my sticky mat in the middle of aisle to do some Moon Salutations, but the beautiful thing about yoga is that it adaptable to virtually any situation.  One of the most effective ways to calm and balance the central nervous system is simply to breathe.  The breath and our current emotional state are so intrinsically linked.  If one is in harmony, then so is the other.  Normally our bodies breathe without us asking it too; however, in times of acute stress, we often “forget” to breathe enough.  When our brain senses too little oxygen, it signals danger to our body, which then responds by taking in even less oxygen with short and shallow breaths, thus the cycle of anxiety continues.   Something as simple as consciously taking a slow deep breath is enough to break the cycle and relax the mind and the body.

I will be facing over 30 hours a traveling within the next couple of days, so although my pranayama will be helpful in dealing with the stress and anxiety of flying, my body will probably be a bit stiff after so many hours of sitting.  Oftentimes in a plane, standing stretches aren’t always an option, especially if you get stuck with the window seat.  Check out this three great yoga poses that can be done while sitting in an airplane seat!   http://www.yeeyoga.com/staying-alert-while-sitting

3 Comments

  • This is a correction to the URL that you have posted above….remove the ‘v’ from the end of the string, otherwise you will get a ‘Page Not Found’ error message! Once I did that I found the page and watched Rodney’s video. I wish I’d seen this before my last cross country flights! It would’ve saved me a bit of agony :)

    http://www.yeeyoga.com/staying-alert-while-sitting

    Peace on your journey,
    NoviSyl

    • thanks for fixing our link and for sharing yours!
      namaste

  • Yoga can help people with stress issues in plane I know that, my wife had those kind of nervous issues.

    I’ve always loved yoga and was never able to convert my wife to it, soon after I came back from my yoga teacher training in india withe the guys from http://www.smritiyoga.com , I started to teach my wife to help her to relax in planes. It worked and now I even managed to get her to learn yoga she was my first student actually after this, I guess the exemple convinced her.

Leave a comment

The Teachers

The diverse family of DC yoga teachers at Yoga District are dedicated to making yoga accessible to everyone through a huge variety of yoga class types, from vinyasa flow to restorative and beyond. Most Yoga District teachers are graduates of Yoga District’s nationally-attended 200 hour teacher training program. All Yoga District classes focus on coordinating breath with body movement to promote flexibility, strength, and peace of mind. We strongly believe in yoga as therapy, so catch one of our classes whenever you need a healthy dose of self-care.
See all yoga teachers »

The Next Step

The Yoga District 200 and 500 hour teacher training certification programs, registered by the Yoga Alliance are unique in their emphasis on diversity of teaching styles studied, personal attention, and trauma sensitive yoga. It's no coincidence that Yoga District is regularly voted the leading studio in the nation's capital, and that most of its classes are taught by graduates of its training program. As a full time yoga school, small group trainings are led up to eight times a year by a dedicated faculty including Jasmine Chehrazi, contributor to the Harvard Karma Yoga Project teacher training, teacher training faculty at George Washington University, Yoga Alliance Standards Committee Advisory Board Member, Yoga Activist Founder, and Yoga Service Council Advisory Board Member. So take your practice and community involvement to the next level by joining a training. There's a reason why our graduates call the training "transformative."
Check out the yoga teacher training »