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Surviving flights – how to keep sane and avoid the stress.

tips-for-surviving-long-flightsI often fly off to beautiful destinations and sun-drenched beaches to explore new locations for our luxury yoga retreats, and I must admit it is a wonderful perk of the job.

However, getting there is always the part I dread.

The airport crowds, the long flights, the noise, the delays, the waiting. But over the years, I’ve learned a few simple tricks to keep me sane at 30,000 feet.

Being prepared and planning ahead of time is crucial – reserving the seat you prefer ahead of time, paying a bit more for extra leg room, picking aisle or window depending on your preference – all these little things can make a big difference.

3 tips to help you get through flights:

1. Wear earplugs, close your eyes, and tune out:

It’s as simple as that: bring some earplugs (the wax ones work best), maybe bring an eye mask as well, close your eyes and completely tune out from everything around you. Difficult to do when you’re constantly bombarded with noises, screaming children, and the captain updating you on the flight status, but if you can learn to not give in to every little distraction, and instead create some moments of inner silence, you’ll arrive feeling much more rested. It’s also a lot easier to hear yourself breathing with earplugs – listen to your breath, it will relax you.

2. Don’t fight the elbow war:

How many times have you spent the entire flight struggling for the armrest, just to feel frustrated and angry toward the complete stranger sitting next to you? Next time try this, I’ve done it several times and it works wonders: simply ask your friendly neighbor in a very polite and cordial way if he or she wouldn’t mind giving you a little more room so you can share the space (yes it’s all about sharing..), and then make a joke about how small the seats are and how they really could have made them just a little wider. You will get a smile, and some more elbow room, guaranteed.

stretching on an airplane

3. Stretch at the back of the airplane:

There’s not much space back there, and it’s a bit of a challenge avoiding the toilet doors, but there’s normally just enough room for a few well planned yoga moves and stretches.

A standing twist is always feasible, in fact you can use the proximity to the sides of the airplane as leverage to twist even deeper. A standing forward bend is also doable if you are quite flexible and can bend in half, but again – watch those toilet doors opening.

A simple side stretch can be easily done, raising both arms straight up over your head, palms together, and leaning to each side, followed by a gentle back bend and a forward fold, space permitting. If you touch the airplane ceiling while doing this, bend both elbows and hold opposite elbows before side stretching.

Follow this with some slow neck rolls and shoulder rolls, and a bit of a self shoulder and neck massage. As always, happy travels, and may you arrive pain-free and stress-free!

Have you tried any stretches or yoga poses on an airplane that you’d like to share?

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Yoga Escapes organizes luxury yoga retreats in beautiful places around the world, offering a mix of Vinyasa yoga and restorative Yin yoga classes. Contact the Yoga Escapes team for info on upcoming yoga holidays.

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