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12 Yoga Poses To Practice On An Airplane

Megan McGowan
June 20, 2013
Megan McGowan
Written by
June 20, 2013

If you’re an avid traveler like me, the lack of sleep and hours spent in airports and on airplanes leaves you with little time or energy. But there's no reason an irregular schedule has to throw off your yoga practice! Try these simple poses the next time you're 35,000 feet in the air.

1. Neck rolls. Exhale, drop your right ear to your right shoulder, look down toward your chest. Inhale, drop left ear to left shoulder, look up. Repeat the other direction.

2. Neck stretches. Inhale, look ahead. Exhale, look right.  Inhale, look ahead.  Exhale, look left. Repeat.

3. Shoulder lift. Inhale, raise shoulders toward your ears. Exhale, completely let go.

4. Bring your palms together and reach your hands up toward the ceiling. Inhale, reach up. Exhale, draw your hands to the right. Inhale, come back to center and reach up.  Exhale, draw your hands to the left.

5. Back and shoulder stretch. Interlace your fingers and turn your palms up. Inhale, reach your hands up toward the ceiling. Exhale, bend your elbows as your draw your right elbow to the right.  Your left elbow will come behind your head. Inhale, straighten your arms and you reach your palms toward the ceiling. Repeat with the other side.

6. Seated Cat-Cow. Place your hands on your thighs. As you inhale, draw your chest forward and your shoulders back. Look up. Exhale, round your spine and draw your shoulders forward. Look down toward your navel. Repeat 5 times.

7. Straighten one leg and hug the other to your chest. Flex the foot of your straight leg. Repeat with the other side.

8. Bend left knee and place left ankle on top of right thigh. Interlace your fingers under your right thigh. Sit up straight and draw your left knee down towards the ground.

9. Seated twist. Place your right hand on your left knee or left armrest. Inhale, lengthen your spine. Exhale, twist to your left, drawing your left shoulder back. Look back over your left shoulder.  Repeat on the other side.

10. Bent knee drop. With knees bent, place your heels on the edge of your seat. Inhale. Exhale, drop knees to the left. Inhale, center. Exhale, drop knees to the right.  Inhale, center.

11. Hug both knees to your chest. Press your hands against your shins as you lengthen your spine by lifting the crown of your head toward the ceiling.

12. Seated savasana. Close your eyes and let go of the noise and other distractions. When thoughts come to you, let them go.

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Megan McGowan

Megan McGowan is a yoga teacher, student, and world traveler from Chicago. She has taught around the world. Megan’s numerous travels have taught her how to establish a strong foundation in her practice and her life no matter what time zone she is in.