Yoga in the airport makes a long flight bearable

A flight across Canada is enough to make even a yogin cramp up! On the way west to east, I swore I’d bring my yoga mat in my carry-on next time, and just this week I followed through on my promise. It was a very good idea, and I dare say, one of my finest public yoga actions yet.

Certainly I was discrete, not wanting to draw attention to myself. People were respectful but I immediately noticed nods of approval and comments of support which gave me confidence to continue in the face of hoards of weary air travelers. (They’re not as curious as one may think). I truly felt I had enough semi-private space to do my yoga routine, which I dearly needed after a restless sleep the night before, and stewing for extended periods like a claustrophobic sardine.

I brought a travel yoga mat with me. It’s thin and shorter than standard mats, and folded up nicely in a cloth laptop bag, without the laptop of course.The one drawback was that it was damp. 24 hours wasn’t long enough to dry the mat, much to my surprise. It actually turned out to be slightly refreshing in the dry as dust airport. However, I would recommend giving your mat a couple of days to dry before traveling with it!

Mainly I was happy to lie in Savasana – the corpse pose – but I didn’t want to fall asleep so did several other stretches as well:

  • Balasana – childs pose
  • Matsyanasana – spinal twist
  • Paschimottanasana – sitting forward bend
  • Baddhakonasana – the cobbler
  • Gomukhasana – cow face pose
  • Padmasana – sitting meditation in the lotus pose
  • sitting side stretches 

All those poses were done on my mat but the following can be done without a mat. 

  • Virabhadrasana – the warrior pose
  • Trikonasana – triangle pose
  • lunges
  • backbend
  • standing forward bend

Suffice it to say, I won’t take a long trip again without my travel yoga mat, when I arrived home to BC I was decidedly more relaxed than when I arrived in New Brunswick. This had a lot to do with stretching between flights, which kept my joints lubricated and the deeper breathing kept my mind calm.