Monday, 30 April 2012

Travelling and Iyengar Yoga

Today I leave on a two week tour of Turkey.  It’s going to be a long day with three flights.  The longest flight will be Toronto to Munich at 8 hours.  I rarely sleep on a plane which is a curse and a blessing.  The curse is if I could sleep I would be there sooner.  The blessing is I keep moving whether I am wiggling in my seat or standing up in the aisle on a regular basis to stretch.  This is a great opportunity to practice a little Iyengar Yoga.  I like to work my shoulders and hips so I don’t cramp up.  Once I am able to stand up in the aisle, I just take a few moments and stand in Tadasana (mountain pose).  For those of you who do not practice yoga, It kind of looks like standing at attention.  Basically it is giving me the opportunity to line up all of my body parts.  I still need to remind myself to place my hips in the correct position (front of pelvic floor slightly turned up).  Once that is done, my legs now will roll into place and my shoulders will go back.  If I get it just right, I get the sensation of weightlessness.  It’s nice if you can find an open spot at the back of the plane (usually a galley or WC).  My “go to” pose is Uttanasana (standing forward bend).  My hands now reach the floor so I do not need to find any supports.  Stand up straight, open the front of the hips as best as possible by slightly leaning back, hinge from the hips and gently bend forward keeping my back straight until my hands reach the floor.  I like to press into the floor and work my muscles down from the hips into the calves. My neck is relaxed.  Coming up, hands on hips and use glutes to pull body upright.  The shoulder stretches I do are Urdhva Hastasana (upward salute) and the arm posistion for Garudasana (eagle).  I have never had a flight attendant ask me what I was doing.  I do get the occasional nod of approval.  Some of my fellow passengers may think I’m nuts but I don’t worry about them.  I rarely get leg cramps or stiff muscles since I started Iyengar Yoga.  Ten minutes of simple yoga poses a day can work wonders.  I am back mid-May and will let you know about some of my adventures.  One of them, weather willing, will be a balloon ride over Cappadocia.

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