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Airplane Yoga: Escape In-Flight Aches And Anxiety With These Simple Moves

After two years of staycations, we’re all looking forward to a long-haul flight to a new destination. With more and more countries easing restrictions, we can finally stop living vicariously through Instagram and book that holiday we’ve been dreaming of. 

However, in case you’ve forgotten, flying can take its toll on our bodies. The pre-travelling stress alone is enough to cause tension, not to mention carrying heavy luggage.

Whether you’re travelling for two hours or 10, incorporating movement into your journey is important to keep aches, pains and major swelling at bay 

Anna de Sousa, MoreYoga expert instructor, has the best no-equipment, limited space in-flight moves to help you get to paradise feeling ready to start ticking things off your bucket list. 

Here are 7 Yoga poses to do on the plane: 

1. Cat > Cow

Mobilise your spine with a few rounds of seated cat-cow! To begin, move your bum slightly forward in your seat and place your hands on your knees. 

Take a breath in and open your chest, soften the belly and perhaps lookup. As you exhale, draw the chin to your chest and round your spine as much as you can. Do 5-10 rounds like this!

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2. Neck Stretch

First, wrap your right arm behind you and hold your right wrist with your left hand. Then move your chin towards your left shoulder. Stay there for a few seconds, and then lower your chin down to your left shoulder. Hold for a few seconds, then repeat on the right. 

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3. Overhead Stretch 

Needing a bit of an energy boost? Stretching the sides of our body can help wake up the body!  

Take your arms overhead and catch your right wrist with your left hand. First, lengthen up and then lean towards your left-hand side slightly (without invading the space of the person next to you!) Make sure you’re rolling your chest upwards. Release and repeat on the other side

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4. Shape “4” stretch 

Now let’s bring awareness to the legs! Stretching the sides of the legs and the glutes will feel AMAZING after sitting for an extended time. 

Bring your right ankle on top of the left thigh. And encourage the right knee to lower. The longer you stay here, the lower your right knee will get. If you want a bit more intensity, gently push your right thigh down. Then repeat on the left side.

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5. Forward Fold 

Are you feeling anxious? Rest your belly over your thighs and let go of your neck. Allow everything to hang heavy and start taking deep breaths to the back of your rib cage. Guaranteed to  chill you out! 

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6. Quad Stretch

Lower back pain can get real in-flight! So anytime you get up to walk around the cabin (or even after using the loo) get in a quick quad stretch!

Grab your right ankle with your right hand and drive the heal into your bum. If you want a bit more sensation, draw your hips forwards. Hold for a few seconds and then repeat on the left side. 

7. Standing Downward Facing Dog 

If you need a full-body move to stretch the whole back of your body, find a wall you can lean on and get into a standing downward-facing dog! 

Make sure you’re pushing through your hands while tilting your hips up. Soften your knees if you need to. Take a few deep breaths before moving back to your seat as if nothing happened. 

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And remember: don’t wait until you need to stretch to do these. Better safe than sorry!