Just returned from that looooong international trip, logging 26 hours in the air. Remember the asanas my yoga instructor recommended? I’m pretty sure they did more than prevent swollen ankles and stiff joints.
After being on display as one of those touristy Americans for two weeks, my inhibitions on the plane were non-existent. I stood in the aisle, behind the constantly occupied lavatories, and up against any flat surface I could find. By the end of the second 11-hour flight, I was twisting in my seat with one foot on the armrest, and getting plenty of what’s-wrong-with-that-person looks. I even had the lady next to me rolling her ankles and reaching up over her head (two flight attendants thought we were trying to flag them down).
And here’s the bonus: the music selections on the on-board computer playlist included some really relaxing classical and ambient choices, so I plugged my earphones in, put my sleep mask on, and did some breathing. The droning of the plane’s engines added just enough brown noise that I was able to tune out the turbulence, ignore the puking kid four rows behind me, and focus on oxygenating my deprived cells. Once I was focused, I added some stretches and actually felt pretty good after about a half hour. I was amazed!
Unfortunately, yoga can’t curb the effects of airplane food.
But I’m home, and excited to get back to a consistent practice. Being in a foreign culture is a stressor in many ways, but it also is a gift. I learned so many alternative ways of doing things: shopping for groceries, working at a job, relaxing with friends and family, and even just getting around. The Yoga Mat Life is everywhere, people! It focuses us on the present, helping us to be intentional about our relationships, to choose activity over inactivity, and to suck the juice out of every single moment, savoring the flavor of life at home and wherever we go!