On a recent flight from Chicago to San Francisco, I sat on a plane so crowded that I felt like a frog stuffed in a jar. Children kicked my seat from behind and the people around me yakked loudly in a language I didn't understand. In short, I was miserable.
The mainstream yoga poses I found in the in-flight magazine—foot flexes, neck rolls, and shoulder shrugs—helped with the physical tension. But I needed more. I breathed slowly as I searched for an answer.
Eventually, I looked around and silently acknowledged my fellow passengers. As I did so, I realized they might be just as irritated as I was. I thought about the pilot and her skill in flying and decided to be grateful instead of judgmental. As I reflected on these things, I could even appreciate the exuberance of the children behind me.
Then I remembered a Kundalini meditation that involves rhythmically tapping the thumbs and fingers of each hand in the rhythm of "Sa Ta Na Ma," meaning totality, creation, dissolution, regeneration. I combined this with a seated Savasana (Corpse Pose) and, blessedly, began to relax. The payoff was immediate and long lasting.
And a good thing, too: When the plane landed, I was able to stay cool, calm, and polite as I filled out the form to have my lost luggage returned to me.
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