Long flights can wreak havoc on the body and mind, and the last thing travelers want is to arrive to a vacation destination in a horrible mood. Mindful exercises and stretches are becoming a popular way to help passengers relax and relieve fear of flying, both in the air and on the ground, with airport yoga.
A "Yoga in the Sky" guide from Iyengar Yoga Deutschland prompts airline passengers to practice the exercises during flights to help ease both mental and physical tension, and London's Gatwick Airport recently added a yoga lounge for travelers to utilize before long flights.
Why Yoga for Fear of Flying?
In recent years yoga has become popular as a form of exercise, but it has long been a practice of meditation, meant to focus the mind and body and promote relaxation. The idea is that by allowing passengers to access yoga in flight or before boarding, travelers will be able to de-stress before even getting on the plane, which will help them arrive at destinations in a far better place, both mentally and physically.
It is difficult to make flights a relaxing process when one has fear of flying, and both mental and physical stress can mean getting vacations off on the wrong foot. During a flight, your body often has to stay in a confined space for an extended period of time, and most airline seats these days have sacrificed ergonomic comfort for the ability to fit more passengers. Blood clotting and impaired circulation can also lead to serious medical problems for those at risk, so the "Yoga in the Sky" Guide was developed to ensure passengers get both mental and physical relief during long flights.
Easy Airport Yoga
The great thing about this airport yoga guide is that it can easily be done from your seat or in an aisle, and won't affect passengers around you. As with all yoga practices, it focuses on slow movements and lots of breathing, which makes sure that all of your body's systems are working properly, and that you are getting enough oxygen.
None of the poses require familiarity with yoga, and all can easily be tapered to account for size or ability differences. The main goal is to avoid cramps and stiffness from sitting for long periods, and to give your mind a bit of a rest through the meditative movements.
Floga: Gatwick Airport's New Yoga Center
London's Gatwick Airport has also recognized how a bit of stretching before a flight can do wonders to relax both the body and mind. Following in line with the recent addition of a yoga room at San Francisco International Airport in California, Gatwick is now offering free classes for those who are traveling on long flights, with sessions from celebrity yoga trainer Shona Vertue.
The sessions are 20 minute long videos, played on loop in a relaxing studio area known as the "floga" lounge so that travelers can freely access them.
Vertue specifically notes how pre-flight yoga can help stimulate the body's digestive system and circulation, both of which are typically affected when flying. Furthermore, travelers sitting in waiting areas have more time to get nervous or anxious about their flights, and so Vertue and Gatwick see this as a great way to ensure passengers are calm before long flights.
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