Yoga for Long Flights

February 11, 2016

Seated stillness has transformative power.

Flying settles me into a meditative serenity. Theres an unspoken freedom in flight that brings us closer to truth.
For all one knows it could be the magnitude of powerlessness while travelling at hundreds of miles per hour, thousands of feet above the clouds that gives all of us a little something special, should we notice it.

Many a good song have come from a flight.

These manifesting dreams around and within me have all come from some space in the in between.

Transition Triumphs – Not who I was, not yet where I am going.

However, MANY a brutal butt cramp have also come from flights so which means this is the ideal practice space and time!

The amazing folks and crew flying Air Canada Rouge from Cancun to Toronto just carried on business as usual. Maybe it was that mood lighting?


Everyone here is just doing their thing. We are all on our own journey and for this small space in time we crossed paths. Its pretty beautiful when you think about it. Some people are doing the family thing, the business thing, the hippie backpacker thing, the all-inclusive thing, the yogi mermaid songbird adventurer thing and for this time, we are all in it together.

Usually at the back of the plane on larger flights there’s a little pocket of space and most flight attendants are happy to share. Just you the food cart and perhaps a couple curious eyes.

In our plane we had a father slow dancing his baby to sleep(swoon) in our ‘back pocket’, so I opted for the aisle close-by!






Here are few simple warm ups to show yourself as well as and any onlookers that you mean business.
Strengthening your gaze, improves your focus and certainly helps to not to take yourself so seriously.

Stretch yo face


Find your best “deer in the headlights”

now scrunch it up

 Like you are eating a lemon covered in habanero

You are beautiful don’t worry who’s noticing.

Expanding vision enhances clarity.

The people at your upcoming meeting will never know if the person flying beside you thought you were seeing ghosts.


eyes4Left to Right                         Chin stays neutral                              Up and Downeyes2




 Repeat 9x    Each



Slow breaths





lunge1High Lunge Heart Opener

*Can also be done with back knee resting.

  • Open heart + long spine
  • Feet in line with hips
  • Hips square towards pilot
  • Pelvis neutral
  • Active thighs
  • Back heel lifted
  • Front knee over ankle
  • Broad space across chest
  • Shoulder blades together and soften down
  • Ribs knit together with stability through core

*thumbs can stay resting on sacrum with bent elbows or take flight




Warrior II + Reverse Warrior
  • Front Heel to back arch alitriko1warrior2gnment
  • Front knee bent – legs strong
  • Arms stretch out, active, at shoulder height
  • Root down through pinky toe side of back foot
  • Tailbone sharpens down
  • Belly draws in and up

To transition:

  • Front palm lifts up and back
  • Keep the strong foundation
  • Repeat both on opposite side

**optional to use the bathroom wall to support alignment!

  • Smile at new friends
  • Hips square toward the lady in pink giving you sideways eyes, she’s full of love too.


airplane headstand

If your personal practice and your flight crew allow it

Get a little weird up there at 30,000 feet

Im not about to internet talk you into this one, because if you don’t already have a headstand practice you sure as sattva should NOT try it out on a plane.

My new friend made in reverse warrior is straight up giggling behind me now.



I can honestly say this was my first headstand at high altitude and it felt AMAZING.


If your fasten seatbelt sign is on, there’s no need to get turbulent inside.

This is my absolute favourite ‘Small space backside balancer combo’


Start by sitting up with a tall spine – chair in upright position.

Hip Opener
  • Start by sitting up with a tall spine – chair in upright position.
  • Cross one ankle over thigh, keeping foot active to protect knee hips2joint.
  • Enjoy and soften in with every breath
  • Stay for 10 breaths – 5 mins
  • **optional to fold forward here, keeping spine long
  • If you don’t have room to fold forward, you can also take the bottom foot to gently rest on the back of the headrest in front of you. Alignment cues move with you!


Seated Hamstring Lovin’
  • Please as much or as little of a bend in your knee as needed.
  • Tall spine and belly breaths to dive in
  • Top leg may track a little closer to chest on each exhale
  • Hips stay side by side
  • If you want some extra juice hold to the arch of your foot with opposite hand and move toward medial line of body.
  • Foot into the aisle asana – your body will thank you now and later.





Seated Garudasana

Eagle pose on a plane?
But of course, you were born to fly!

  • One arm over and one leg crossed
  • thighs strong
  • **option to stay tall with a neutral spine elbows triceps parallel to the floor or to move with each breath:
  • inhale to lift chest, elbows, fingers and gaze
  • exhale to curl tailbone under, round forward belly back
  • arms may come to rest on legs
  • Practice equal breath on both sides



When it comes to travel Ok Go is always the best answer. And perhaps after a little mindful breath and movement, all flights could feel so magical.

Much love and happy travels

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1 Comment

  • Reply Marc February 12, 2016 at 4:23 pm

    love the purple pants headstand in the flowers! :)

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