Five exercises to keep you zen while travelling
The notion of travelling across the globe induces an exhilarating thrill. Hopping on a plane, soaring through the sky, and landing at your dream destination – what a concept. However, the reality of travelling can be far less glamorous and much more exhausting. While there is certainly nothing Zen about long TSA lines or sitting between two selfie queens, there are ways to manage your stress levels.
Joel Granik, co-founder and director of Floating Lotus, a holistic wellness and float center in NYC, suggests these practical ways to stay mindful and collected while flying.
Between the hustle and bustle of travelling and general jet lag, your body becomes fatigued. “Floating, even for 30 minutes, allows your body and mind to rest deeper than normal sleep, helping you recover,” says Granik. Schedule a float before and after your trip. If access to floatation therapy is out of the question, create a makeshift tank in a salt bath infused with lavender oils to mimic a float and incorporate relaxing aromatherapy benefits.
This one is obvious but often forgotten: Stretch. Understanding that your space on an airplane is severely limited, small movements can still be achievable. Granik suggests practicing sun salutations before and after boarding. “While on the plane, lift your arms above your head, and stretch. Calf raises are also easy to do in your seat.” Stretching allows greater circulation of blood to flow through various parts of the body while increasing energy levels.
To help ease your mind during airport chaos, rely on your favourite pick-me-up to soothe the soul. Grab a travel version of a gentle cream infused with a calming fragrance like lavender to help relax stress and jitters.
Learning to breathe with awareness can be a valuable tool in helping restore balance in the mind and body. According to Granik, “The key is to take slow, deep breaths in, hold the breath for about five seconds, then release as slowly as you can manage.” Trying this technique for just one minute will help reduce anxiety.
Several acupressure points throughout the body can help ease stress, if triggered correctly. Activate them in-flight to put your entire body at ease. Granik suggests hitting these three main points: inner gate, outer gate, and union valley. “The inner gate is located around 1.5 inches (3.8cm) below your inner wrist, straight down from between your index and middle finger. This point encourages deep breathing. The outer gate, located between the two tendons on the back side of the arm about 1.5 inches (3.8cm) below the wrist, increases energy flow through the body. And the union valley point is right in the webbing between the thumb and index finger, and it helps reduce muscle tension,” Granik says.
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