I’m currently lounging in 80 degree weather, mango on my lips, a slight breeze wafting a heady flower perfume up to my balcony, having just yesterday retreated from the January weather in Idaho.
Don’t hate. I know how lucky I am.
My mother in law is wonderful, not only for birthing the stunning specimen that is my husband, but also for brainstorming, planning, and funding this getaway to Costa Rica.
But I’ll save the sweet tropical lessons due another post. Let’s slog through the details of travel for a moment, shall we? Normally, after a day of driving-sitting-flying-sitting-driving, fearfully abiding water in lieu of multiple inconvenient bathroom breaks, and living off of granola bars and/or takeout, our bodies feel a little off.
One of the best ways to counter some of the stiffness and some of the indigestion is to move the body through some yoga poses.
“But Kirsten”, you’re thinking, “I’m not about to get my downward dog in someone’s space while we’re waiting to board”.
Fair enough. We all want to be respectable and aware of the social graces and space limitations of the airport. But movement is so important in breaking up the monotony of non movement during travel (ironic statement, right?).
So here are just a few ways to love your body and love-thy-neighbor between flights.
- As private as possible.
Do your yoga in a space that isn’t impeding people from walking and isn’t right in their bubble. I doubt anyone would like to be started down by your upward facing dog while they’re enjoying their Starbucks breakfast sandwich. So scope out your area. Usually there’s a little nook or empty gate where you can face the window or corner and move through some asanas where hardly anyone will glance your way. In the Boise airport I found a “digital library” area that was empty and also walled off. Bingo. In the Dallas airport there’s a whole wing that is barely used because they now have a shuttle that makes it unnecessary to walk through that part of the airport. Just myself and a teenager practicing his country jams on the acoustic were utilizing that sweet spot. Just a little area with only none or one or two people is all you’re looking for.
2. Standing poses only.
There’s no law that states you can’t roll around on your belly in locust to get a good back stretch- I’m just trying to consider how communicable an airport truly is, and how many different shoes have walked in different places before your face was inches to that carpet. By all means, though, if standing cat/cow isn’t cutting it, there’s nothing wrong with all fours. But standing is allowing the blood to move around the legs, takes some pressure off the low back, and engages the quads, glutes and belly.
- Consider standing poses that open the hips, such as Dancer, Tree, Warrior 1, or One Legged Chair Pose.
- Consider standing poses that open the chest, such as Cow Face arms, side stretches, Camel, or Standing Cat/Cow.
- Consider also a forward fold or twisting the arms.
3. Be mindful of time.
Even though you’re trying to let go of the frenetic energy of traveling, getting too lost in your practice messy lead you to forget that, again, this IS a shared space. If you’re busy is truly asking for more movement, and it’s not just your ego asking for validation from strangers that you finally nailed your handstand, just float on over to a new, semi-private area in case someone else is in need of your haven- you know, someone like the airline attendant trying to board the next flight.
Travel in peace, my friends. The call you create in your body will resisted out to others around you. Any the airport is definitely a place in need of a little more zen.