As a yogi, you can learn a lot about your fears through your practice. Think about the first few times you practiced going upside down in Headstand or Handstand, or even when your teacher asked you to hold Chair Pose longer than what felt comfortable for you.
The good news? Facing your fears on the mat can help you feel prepared when you face fears off the mat. By getting to know your nervous system, you can learn how to find a steady and comfortable seat anywhere—whether it’s at the gate before you board, in your seat during turbulence, or before you land.
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Try this 5-pose sequence to calm any nervous energy you might have before flying:
Easy Pose (Sukhasana)
It is very helpful to feel grounded before you fly. If you’re anxious, you’re not in the present moment: You’re worrying about what is going to happen versus what is happening. Practicing this simple seated posture before flying will help to anchor you in the present. What’s more, you can return to this pose this posture any time to feel safe and calm.
How-to: From a seated position, cross your legs so that your right shin is in front of your left. Flex your ankles strongly and rest your knees on your feet. (If you’re seated in a cramped place and can’t place your knees wide, simply cross your shins.) Place your palms down onto your thighs so the heaviness of your hands can cultivate a sense of grounding and the weight of your arms releases any tension in your shoulders and neck. Keep your chest lifted and breathe deeply, then close your eyes and focus your attention on the feeling of solid ground beneath you. Recite the mantra, “I am safe,” silently to yourself 10 times, then switch the cross of your legs and repeat.
See also 5 Poses to Practice in a Cramped Airplane Seat
About the Author
Sarah Ezrin is a yoga teacher in San Francisco. Learn more at sarahezrinyoga.com.