It's no secret that airplane travel is stressful and airplane seats are tiny, it can leave you feeling a little cramped and low. We are very familiar with that feeling here at Wild & Free and with our surf and yoga retreat coming up we thought it was a perfect time to share some airport yoga with all of you.
Whether you have some time before your flight or you have a long stop over, these poses can help the muscles de-cramp, find space and help you stay peaceful in all the hustle and bustle. Be sure to check out the airports that have their very own yoga rooms, genius! London Heathrow Airport, San Francisco Airport, Hong Kong Airport, London Gatwick Airport, Frankfurt Airport.
Pose 1- Puppy Pose / Uttana Shishosana
This pose is perfect to stretch out the spine and shoulders pre/post airplane seats and it feels amazing! Come onto all fours, make sure hips are stacked on top of knees. Walk the hands out in front of you, and as you do lower your heart centre to the mat, either taking the forehead down or resting on the chin. Hold for 5 breaths, keep drawing the chest down and relax the shoulders. If the knees are sensitive place a blanket under the knees.
Pose 2 - Eagle Arms / Garudasana
Another yummy shoulder stretch. The shoulders can get so tight and sore from sitting upright for long amounts of time, they also hold a lot of tension. This pose stretches the rhomboids, the lower trapezius and the teres major. Take the elbows out in front of you, hands facing up. Wrap the right elbow under the left, take the backs of the palms together or wrap the hands round, so fronts of the palms meet. Inhale, draw the arms up, exhale imagine drawing elbows away from the face. Hold for 5 breaths and then swap arms.
Pose 3 - One Legged Pigeon Pose / Eka Pada Rajakapotasana
Sitting down for hours can make our hips incredibly tight, pigeon is a great reliever. It stretches the thighs, groins and psoas, abdomen, chest and shoulders, and neck. Start in Downward Facing Dog, take the right ankle just behind the left wrist, lower the shin so right knee is just behind the right elbow. Sink into the hips as you walk the back foot back and lower the knee. Keep hips square to the front of your mat. If the hips are tight, stay on the palms, if you find more space, lower to the forearms, keep spine long. Hold for 5 breaths, repeat on the other leg.
Pose 4 - Forward Fold / Paschimottanasana
Perfect for stretching out the hamstrings pre/post flying, the yin version is also a great way to relax the neck and shoulders to get deeper into the connective tissue. Come to the sit bones, feet flexed in front of you, legs straight and sit long in the spine. Inhale, draw the arms up to the sky and exhale keeping the spine long fold over the legs, drawing the heart towards your feet. For the yin variation, bring forearms alongside the legs and allow the spine to curl over, head hanging heavy. Hold for 5 breaths.
Pose 5 - Butterfly Fold / Badhakonasana
Hips hips hips! Butterfly is another yummy hip opener for the inner thighs, with a yin variation for deeper relaxation. Come to seated and bring the soles of the feet together about an arms distance away from the sit bones. Sit tall, take a hold of the feet with the palms and keep the spine long, folding forward whilst drawing the knees down, heart towards feet. For a yin version, place the forearms down and allow the spine to curl over, neck and head heavy.
Pose 6 - Legs Up The Wall / Viparita Karani
The best times to practice inversions are when you have long periods of time sitting or standing. Inversions send the fresh blood back to head, re-energising the body, reducing swelling in the feet (often happens in flights), calms the nervous system and mind. Legs up the wall is also amazing for relieving any lower back pain. The is the ultimate travel pose and a must do whenever you can, maybe even squeeze it in on the plane!
Start sitting side on to a wall, swivel your legs up to the sky resting feet on the wall, lying on your back. Make sure your lower back is connecting with the ground below you and sit bones connecting with the wall. If they aren't, wiggle in close to the wall and if hamstrings are too tight bend the knees. Take the arms out either side of you, palms facing up, close the eyes and take as many breaths as you have time for!
To book onto our Wild & Free Morocco surf and yoga adventure, or any of our other surf and yoga holidays click the links below...
Morocco Surf and Yoga Retreat
Costa Rica Surf and Yoga Retreat
Cornwall Surf and Yoga Retreat
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