Yoga for Traveling: Yoga Stretches during & after your flight

February 12, 2008

I’m not sure about you, but I’m definitely ready for spring or at least a springlike day once in a while. For those of you planning spring break or work trips, here are some yoga tips that travel with you.  

Before you go: 

Try to do a mini-class at home – even if it’s just breathing, some flowing movements like Cat & Cow, that’s great….You’ll be sitting for a long time.  At the airport, try not to sit – continue to move around, walking or doing standing bends (Flowing Chair, Side Stretches – who cares if you look silly? Your legs & back will thank you later).  

Once seated: 

  • Deep abdominal or diaphragmatic breathing…sitting tall – back away from the back of the chair, feet flat on the floor. Feel your breath in the belly and lower rib cage.  Allow your shoulders and facial muscles to relax. Continue as long as you like – especially during any turbulence.
  • Shoulder rolls & shrugs
  • Neck tilt and stretch (right hand to left ear, drawing ear to shoulder, then turning to look down past your shoulder – then reverse) Hold each side for 6-8 breaths. 
  • Side stretches – lengthening one arm toward the ceiling then the other – moving with your breath (Inhale to lengthen the arm, exhale to switch sides)
  • Seated cat/cow – moving with your breath – inhale to cow, exhale to cat
  • Forward fold – lengthening out over your lap, resting chest on legs, letting your head and arms dangle…breathing…
  • Seated twist – both feet flat on the floor…resting right hand on outside of left leg, left hand on armrest…letting your twist come from your navel, twisting to the left…hold for 8-10 breaths – then reverse….

You’ll want to get up and move around every hour – walking the aisles or just standing in your row…additional options while standing:  

  • Flowing Chair
  • Side Stretches
  • Mountain – standing tall – breathing  

After your flight:

Once you get to the hotel or your final destination, find a spot to put your legs up the wall or rest legs in the seat of a chair and breathe – this helps your circulation from sitting for so long….Try 5-10 minutes.  

Also, doing a mini-class to get your blood flowing would be good depending on what time you get there…if you’re going to sleep when you get there, I would just do the legs up the wall and then try a mini-class in the a.m. before your day starts…

Enjoy and happy, restful travels!



  1. […] way to ground your travels, particularly after long flight and dramatic time changes.  But beyond the rigors of air travel or long road trips, there are practical reasons why I love to practice diligently when away from home.  For one, […]

  2. […] Check out Yogaxoga’s recommendations for yoga stretches to do during and after your flight. […]

  3. […] flight, I’m attempting more proactive measures on this go-round. In-flight yoga, for one; YogaXoga has some recommendations for stretching when you can’t get out of your seat, and for recovery […]

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