Few things leave me feeling tighter, crunchier and with just an overall "ugh" in my body than a long day of flying. As life would have it, I have been spending a ton of time on planes and in airports lately. So to avoid the crunchiness and discomfort that often accompany me in my frequent cross-country journeys, I spend much of my layover time trying to move and stretch my body as much as possible. It is always incredible to me how just a little bit of movement can open the body and relieve tension and compression.
Typically, I walk from terminal to terminal just to get the blood flowing a bit and then I find a relatively clean spot kind of close to my departure gate and move through different asanas. There are so many poses that are beneficial during a long day of travel, but I tend to spend most of my time in variations of the following three. For me, they target all of the places and spaces that could use a little extra love.
Added bonus: watch what happens when you begin to stretch. Notice how the other travelers respond. Every time I do this, I see people start to stretch a bit themselves. Maybe it’s just a shoulder roll or two or a slight side bend or twist, but it’s something and I think that is just so awesome. Share the love.
Uttanasana (Standing Forward Fold)
This is pure love for your hamstrings and love back. This could be a bit intense at first, especially if you have already been on a plane, so be gentle, but try to remain in the pose for at least a few breaths. Watch the body start to open and relax the longer you stay here.