Yoga at the Airport: 5 Techniques for a Long Layover

Yoga is a Sanskrit word which means union. Yoga signifies the union of our spiritual and physical existence. The work of the ASANAS that we perform as yoga is to make the union stronger and help us attain enlightenment and peace. Yoga consists of different postures (ASANAS), techniques of breath control (PRANAYAMA), simple meditation, and light exercises which help us to keep the blood circulation throughout the body in optimum condition and make us feel fresh.

You have often heard that people opt for yoga to release stress, but what do long flight layovers have to do with it? In this article are listed 5 yoga techniques that can be easily performed in a public place like an airport and which would be enough for you to feel refreshed again.

Due to long flights people sometimes feel stressed – if you’re squeezing yourself into a not particularly comfortable seat, without much personal space – unless you are rich and always travel in business class! – jokes apart, people do get stressed.

This reduces your energy level. At higher altitudes with low air pressure through the flight, although the cabin is pressurised, your body takes in less oxygen. This doesn’t have any impact over a small period of time, but for long layover flights, it can become an issue. Also, you will be sitting most of the time which may cause pain in your lower spine, buttocks, and knees. These yoga techniques are easy and you can perform them on the go and feel fresh and recharged when you reach your destination. 

The 5 yoga techniques are as follows:


This is the most common yoga technique of PRANAYAMA that everyone in India knows and performs to get relief from stress. The steps to do it properly are as follows:

Sit straight with your spine straight.
Close your eyes and focus on your breathing.
Keep your thumb over one of your nostrils and inhale through the other.
Now release the previous nostril and cover the other one.
Now exhale then inhale through the same nostril.
Repeat the same for the other nostril and do it alternatively.

Repeat the cycle 10-12 times. This technique will help you to deal with the problem of stress by supplying oxygen to your body and by maintaining proper blood circulation throughout the body.

In the above image, we can see the posture of the fingers and how the nostrils should be covered for this pose.


This is a yoga technique that will help you with tinnitus of your ear, the ringing sound you hear often during flights. It occurs due to different air pressure levels or changes in air pressure. This also may cause mild stress with a headache. To alleviate it, you can perform this technique. The steps are as follows:

Sit straight on your seat with your spine straight.
Close your eyes then take deep and long breaths.
Place your index finger over your closed eyes, the middle finger in the area of your nostrils, without covering them completely, and your ring finger and your little finger place them in the area of your mouth. 
Keep the mouth closed and exhale with a humming sound like ‘Om’.
Keep on doing this for 8-10 times.

This technique helps the mind to clear out. You will feel refreshed after doing this. It is beneficial for people with hypertension. It also helps to lower the stress level.

This figure shows the pose for BHRAMARI PRANAYAM.


In long layovers, you have to sit for long hours. This is a pose for your legs. In this pose, the following steps are followed.

Sit straight with your left ankle over the right knee or vice-versa.
Place your hand over the leg which is placed over the other. Keep your hands straight.
Now inhale a deep breath.
Bent forward just enough to give your belly a slight squeeze and exhale slowly.
Then again become straight and inhale.
Repeat the same thing for 8-10 times.

Due to the long journey and sitting for long hours the blood circulation in the muscles of our lower body decreases which may cause pain. A bit of stretching is enough to make the circulation normal.

4. Cat-cow stretch (variant)

In this pose you have to follow the below steps:

Sit straight on your seat.
Place your hands straight over your knees.
Now inhale and arch your spine and roll your shoulder blades onto your back.
Then exhale, let your chin come down and head and shoulders to come forward.
Repeat this step 8-10 times.

This is for stretching your back and lower back muscles which may get cramped.

5. Savasana (variant)

This is the final and the easiest pose of all. In this ASANA, you just have to sit straight and keep your breathing nice and steady. You can close your eyes and concentrate, which would increase its effectiveness. This also helps to reduce stress and facilitate blood circulation. You can skip the previous four poses and jump to the fifth if you wish but doing each of them accordingly will again increase the effectiveness of this ASANA. 

In conclusion, yoga is always good for health. The regular practice of yoga is always suggested. Yet, in your busy schedule, in your long flight overlays, even if you don’t have time for anything else, you can perform these simple yet fruitful yoga exercises to keep yourself refreshed and running.


May 24, 2020


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