07 April 2007

don't disembark and then sit!

dev dharam yogic travelYoga stretches are great to lengthen your muscles and release tension after a long flight. Don't be afraid to find a quite area and just stretch.

You can usually find a quiet space to do some simple yoga postures. I have been in the most busy airports in the world and I can always find a small area where I can stretch...almost in private.

I can't tell you how many people I've watched disembark from an 8- or 12-hour flight, walk into the terminal, find their departure gate, and sit to wait for their next flight. It's like they fall in line and do what is expected of them. Sit. Wait. Good boy. Good girl.

Get yourself in step. Yoga is not only about stretching and asanas. Connect breath with movement.

You've got the opportunity. MOVE! Walk up and down the terminal. Try to avoid the elevators, escalators, and people walkways. WALK. WALK. WALK. Connect your breathing with your walking. That's yoga.

Make your movement around a terminal easy. Most international airports offer trollies to cart around carry-on bags. Use one. Give your back a chance to be free. Plan ahead and wear shoes that will be kind to your feet when you're walking up and down the terminal area.

Airport terminals usually don't offer a wide variety of activities. There is always shopping. Browsing through the duty free shops is good for the mind. (e.g.: gentle distractions, practice neutral mind, practice non-attachment...who in their right mind would pay that much for a pen...oh, and non-judgement)

Maintain your yogic diet to help your gut travel better.

Avoid those junk food isles. Duty free sounds good and looks even better. But "free" doesn't mean "no calories." Avoid junking up and avoid caffing up. Stick to water and fruit. And, even though I'm sure it is noon somewhere in the world, avoid saucing up with alcohol.

Travel gives your body and mind plenty of challenges to adjust and balance. Adding alcohol to the mix will just gob much unpleasantry into the uncomfortableness of it all. It really doesn't help with jet lag, at all. I should know. I once thought getting as drunk as possible would get me through jet lag and all the travel blahs. After I started consistently practicing yoga, I found that maintaining my yogic diet by consuming no alcohol, no coffee, and no sugar gave me the best traveling experiences. Bon voyage, yogis.

dev dharam yoga amsterdamYogic stretching in the Amsterdam airport.
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