5 Poses to Help You Unwind After Flying

Whether you’re antsy after being cooped up for a while, jet-lagged, or seriously stiff, here’s your new post-flight go-to.
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Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend), after flying

Feeling stiff, cranky, and tired after air travel? These are the best yoga poses to do after a flight to help you unwind and feel more rested and less stressed—instantly.

You made it—the end of your air travel. Despite long lines, annoying baggage fees, not-so-tasty airport food, and dueling wailing infants on either side of the aisle, you have arrived.

Once the aircraft has landed and the fasten seatbelt sign dings off, you stand up to prepare to disembark and notice how stiff your body is from the flight. Your upper back and neck are tight from carrying all of your bags. Your legs feel double their size and sore, despite so many hours of not moving. Your tummy hurts from not being able to stand up after your meal, and your bum feels numb from sitting for so long. Then, there’s possible jet-lag and pent-up stress to contend with.

Being sedentary under any circumstance isn’t great for your body, and being still while cramped on an airplane is even worse. After all, you’re breathing recirculated air and dealing with dehydration at 30,000-plus feet above sea level. Plus, the effects of stress (read: decreased immunity and digestive issues) make matters worse.

See also 5 Poses to Calm Your Pre-Flight Jitters

While there are some movements you can do in your seat to combat all of this, getting on the ground and moving wisely can make a big difference when it comes to countering the toll travel can take. Just as you unroll your yoga mat to open it up, this sequence will help you unravel your body to open yourself back up after flying. You can practice these poses while you are waiting for your luggage at baggage claim or looking for your Uber at the pick-up curb. Because each pose is a standing pose, it doesn’t matter if you don’t have much space or if your travel mat is still in your suitcase.