Traveling the world and experiencing new cultures is one of my absolute most favorite things to do—just ask my wallet. In my humble opinion, you can’t put a price tag on the rich learning experience that travel provides. Getting lost in the ancient streets of Beijing, awaking to sounds of morning prayer and chanting in Bali, smelling fresh rain on the pavement in Belfast, catching a glimpse of the sun melting into the ocean in Santorini—all of it. Except maybe the hours of waiting in airports and cramped into planes, subways, cabs, cars, buses, and (insert any other mode of transportation here).
It used to be that a ten-hour flight in a middle seat wouldn't bother me. After all, they served free wine on international flights and I was so excited about the adventure ahead. As I’ve gotten a bit older, those endless flights have gotten a bit—OK, a lot—more challenging. On my most recent trip, a nearly twenty-four-hour excursion to Vietnam, I decided to apply my own best yoga advice to the journey. The result was a freer body, a clearer mind, and it also left me feeling a lot less jet lag once I touched down in Ho Chi Minh City.
The following yoga poses help relieve back pain, open up your hip flexors, and even provide a bit of a workout while you’re in transit. Try the seated postures when the seatbelt sign is on and the standing postures if you can briefly and safely stand at the back of the plane or next to your seat or for those extra-long airport layovers. They’ll help bring blood flow back to your head and legs and counterbalance the hours of sitting.
If all else fails, grab a glass of free wine (and lots of water to stay hydrated) and take some long, slow deep breaths. Happy travels!
Photos: Diana Pop. Yoga Clothing: Colosseum Brand.