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Yoga Moves to Try in the Airplane

Kundalini yogi Guru Jagat, founder of California’s RA MA Institute for Applied Yogic Science and Technology, shares four yoga moves that you can do in-flight to help relieve and prevent common travel ailments.

1. Ease digestion
Also known as Vajrasana, Rock Pose is said to be so effective that it could enable the human body to digest a rock. We don’t recommend that you test that out, but it’s definitely worth trying when you’ve eaten a few too many fried foods, desserts, or any other not-so-healthy vacation treats.

In your seat, get into a kneeling position so that you’re sitting on your heels (with the tops of your feet pressed into the seat). Your heels should press into the nerves in the center of your buttocks, and you should feel a gentle stretch in your legs (no pain, though – if you’re experiencing discomfort, try placing an airplane cushion or blanket between your hips and heels). Finally, place the hands palms up or down on your thighs. Bonus: This pose also works to loosen knee and ankle joints, relieving tension that builds from sitting through lengthy flights.

2. Prevent stiff muscles
It’s no secret that long haul flights can aggravate back pain. In fact, in a survey conducted by Spine Universe, 88 per cent of respondents said they experience increased back and neck pain following a flight.

To help prevent pain, take a break from your seat and find an aisle area near the back of the plane where you can stand up straight and spread your legs two feet apart. Next, touch your right hand to the toes of your left foot. Switch sides and continue this alternate motion, inhaling deeply and breathing out slowly. Bring up your torso with each inhale and drop your hand to the opposite foot as you exhale. Repeat 25 times for each side.

3. Oxygenate
Due to the pressure in airplanes during flight and your body’s lack of movement, your organs can lack the proper oxygen needed to function at their peak. 

To remove excess bile in your body and help with lymphatic drainage, try standing up in the back of the plane and performing just a few minutes of slow marching. Keep your spine up straight and bring your knees up as high to your chest as possible (alternating sides). Repeat for five minutes to give your whole body a quick boost of oxygen.

4. Energize
Feeling fatigued or jet lagged after a long flight? This basic breathing technique, a fundamental part of Kundalini yoga, helps to detoxify your body and restore energy levels.

Sit up in a comfortable position, elongating your spine and lengthening your neck. Close your eyes and relax your stomach muscles. Breathing only through your nose, begin to take rapid and shallow breaths, giving equal power to the inhalations as the exhalations. While you do this, move your hands up and down from navel to throat. Do this for one minute.

Find Guru Jagat at Ra Ma Institute in Los Angeles, California and Boulder, Colorado or catch free classes on Ra Ma TV.



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