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Yoga on a Plane: Symptom Management

Yoga on a plane may sound odd, especially given that there is so little room on planes. Even in first class, where most of us will never be seated. Regardless, practicing yoga inside a plane may be a great challenge for all. The narrow aisle and the even narrower seat and the legroom is certainly limited, unless you are under five feet tall.

Recently I traveled by air and in the terminal was a woman practicing a form of yoga next to her seat. A fellow passenger commented by calling it “airport yoga.” That is what inspired me to address yoga on a plane. The benefits of exercise are well known and can offer great relief for hepatitis C.

Yoga on planes and in airports

Having once been a regular yoga class attendee, I could never imagine getting into even one of the poses or positions on a plane or even in a crowded terminal like most are nowadays. Hepatitis C affected my ability to do some of the more difficult positions work for me and it was at times even painful as my joints ached and therefore limited my flexibility. Having traveled quite a bit by plane in my work, I knew I had to do something. I always try to get out of my seat and wander or stretch as space allows, or to address my active bladder issues. It is good to move, and if for no other reason than to relieve my deep veined thrombosis (DVT). It can be dangerous and made even more so for those inclined to suffer with it.

A simpler exercise while flying

I decided to come up with a simple method to keep moving, periodically between my walkabouts. With the risk of turbulence, it is generally a good idea to stay buckled in our seats, have experienced an event while in restroom on a recent flight that had me holding on for dear life for about 15 minutes.

What I do now, while seated, is to start at my toes with wiggling and bending. Moving upward to my feet and ankles, next up to lower leg and up my entire body with short and small movements. You get the idea I am sure. The frequency is up to you, but at least once every hour is my goal and it only takes about 5-10 minutes and should never bother passengers in the seat next to you. They may think that you are odd, but I hope we don’t care much about that. It is something that helps me, and is not limited to preventing DVT. I am not suggesting that it will in itself do that at all, but I think it can’t hurt. Moving around as always helps me feel better and less stiff from sitting in a plane for extended hours in a small space. Call it yoga, or call it anything you like, the name matters less. It may make your journey less pain- free and that is a positive thing any day of the week, especially the days that end in.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.